WWII Soviet Archives Declassified

Here is an important announcement for researchers. Kommersant reports:

Russia’s Defense Ministry has declassified archive documents of Red Army and Navy for 1941 to 1945, RIA Novosti reported referring to Colonel Sergey Ilienkov, who heads the Archive Service at Defense Ministry.

The secrecy labels were removed from documents stored in Defense Ministry’s Central Archive in Podolsk, where over four million dossiers of the WW2 time, 250 pages each, were kept closed for public at large. The Central Naval Archive in Gatchina and Military Medical Archive in St. Petersburg, containing hundreds of thousand documents, were opened as well.

The work is underway to process archive documents and create an electronic database, the so-called Electronic Archive, by late February or early March. Once emerged, the Electronic Archive will make more precise the WW2 casualties of the Soviet Union, Ilienkov said.

According to the current data, the overall death toll of the Soviet Union in WW2 stands at 26.600 million, including 8.660 million as military casualties.

Electronic Archive! Oh how I dream of the day when Russian archives could be accessed on the net. The only archive I know of that is currently available in digital form is the Comintern. And who really cares about that?