The Status of these Archives (2018)

In 1992, for a period of five months, Vladimir Bukovsky was given access to the archives of the CPSU Central Committee in Moscow.

The new Russian government of Boris Yeltsin asked him to speak as a witness on its behalf at the forthcoming “trial of the Communist Party” (the CPSU or Communist Party of the Soviet Union). As a condition of his participation and support, Bukovsky required access to the internal documents of the Central Committee, the highest administrative body of the Communist Party.

cropped-bukovsky-cover-of-polish-edn.jpgThis might well prove the only opportunity, Bukovsky knew, for an outsider to read and record what those classified records said about Soviet activities at home and abroad. With a hand-held scanner, he copied several thousand pages of Secret and Top Secret documents, including KGB reports to the Central Committee, and brought them back to England before the trial ended on 30 November 1992.

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July 1992* (no number)

RF Presidential Archive. List of eight documents reflecting Politburo discussion and action in relation to Poland, between August 1980 and September 1982. [R Jul 92]

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The Past on Trial: Russia, One Year Later

Richard Pipes

The Washington Post, 16 August 1992

IN THE MORNING hours of July 7, 1992 an unusual spectacle unfolded in the center of Moscow, off Staraya Ploshchad, where until recently the all-powerful Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) had had its headquarters: In a small room, 13 magistrates sat in judgment on both the democratically-elected government of President Boris Yeltsin and its predecessor, the CPSU.

The event had no precedent in Russian history, for Russia’s governments had always stood above the law. Watching the proceedings of the Constitutional Court, one had the sense of witnessing a dramatic break in the destiny of an ancient nation that had suffered more than most from the curse of lawlessness.

The antecedents of the trial go back to the abortive putsch launched one year ago by a group of Communist officials, military officers and functionaries of the security services. Its immediate purpose was to prevent the signing of the new federal constitution, which would have deprived them of much authority. Ultimately, it was intended to put an end to perestroika, which they felt had gotten out of control. They organized their coup badly and when Yeltsin, supported by a few thousand brave democrats, stood up to them, it collapsed.

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31 October 1975*, 2743-A

KGB report. The results of preventative and prophylactic work by the KGB since 1959, reducing the need for imprisonment, even for the most serious crimes. Statistical information for 1959-1974 on p. 2. [R 31 October 1975, Volkogonov] total 2 pp.

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20 January 1977*, 123-A

KGB report. Measures to halt the anti-Soviet activities of the “Helsinki Watch Committee in the USSR: Yury ORLOV, Alexander GINZBURG, N.D. RUDENKO, Tomas VENCLOVA. Includes Secretariat Resolution, St 1/15 (25 January 1977), p. 1.
[R 20 January 1977, St 1-15] Total 6 pp.

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