B. Sources

BI. Archives and their sites; BII. Sources in print, microfilms, microfiches; BIII. Legislation; BIV. Soviet leaders’ works; BV. Memoirs and autobiographies; BVI. Literary works; BVII. Statistics and censuses; BVIII. Periodicals and journals


BI. Archives and their sites


T. Khorkhordina, Istoriia otechestva i archivy, 1917-1980-e gg, Moscow, 1994, is the best available history of Soviet archives. To follow later developments one may consult Otechestvennye arkhivy, the professional journal of Russian archivists.

Arkhivy Rossii, at, the site of Rosarkhiv, the Russian State archival administration, is the most important source of knowledge.

Also very valuable is ArcheoBiblioBase: Archives in Russia (ABB),, a data bank reuniting information on the main archives of all CIS countries, built over the years by Patricia Kennedy Grimsted thanks also to the support of Amsterdam’s International Institute of Social History. The site provides detailed information on:

a)     The 14 federal archives administered in Russia by Rosarkhiv;

b)     The archives of federal institutions legally authorized to keep their own documents;

c)     Moscow and St. Petersburg local and regional archives;

d)     A preliminary list of all the republican and regional archives in the Russian Federation, with a bibliography of available guides;

e)     Ukrainian archives (;

f)      Belarusian archives (

To get information on the archival situation and the available documentation the following sites are also useful:

Conseil international des archives,;

Portail des archives de l’Unesco,, pointing among other things to the sites of state archives in Estonia,; Latvia, and Lithuania,;

History Virtual Library,, through which one may get information on other CIS countries’ archives.


The hyper-centralized nature of the Soviet system strengthened the concentration of archives and relevant documents in Moscow. Regional and local archives, though less important than in other countries, have nonetheless valuable collections. This applies also to the archives of the new CIS and non-CIS countries (especially those of the Baltics), where one can get documents still not available in Russia. The Ukrainian journal Z archiviv VUChK-GPU-NKVD-KGB (1994-) has, for instance, published important political police papers.

Moscow’s main archives are:

1. The State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF);

2. The State Russian Archives of the Economy (RGAE, where the papers produced by the Soviet state economy are kept);

3. The Russian State Archives for Political and Social Movements (RGASPI, holding the Communist party papers up to October 1952;

4. The Russian State Archives for Contemporary History (RGANI, holding the post-1952 Party papers. Access to them is today very difficult. Fortunately a sizeable part – notably fond 1 (Party congresses), fond 2 (Central Committee plenums), fond 6 (Party control committee), and fond 89 (declassified presidential archive documents) as well as parts of fond 5 (Central Committee) – was microfilmed in the 1990s, and is today available at Stanford and Harvard); and

5. The Russian State Military Archives (RGVA).

Crucial archives are also held by institutions legally allowed to keep their own documents, or having “forgotten” to reverse them into state archives. The most important among the former are the archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense (post 1939), the Federal Security System (FSB, heir to part of the KGB), and Foreign Intelligence Service (another successor to the KGB). Access is very difficult, usually impossible.

Finally, there is the extremely important presidential “archive.” Quotation marks are necessary because technically it was not an archive reuniting the documents produced by a single administration. Rather it worked as the service archives of the Politburo, reuniting relevant papers produced by different administrations, papers that were seemingly arranged by topic. Access to these “archives” is also extremely difficult.

Formally, Russian laws grant free access to documents 30 years after their production (exceptions are made for documents relating to individuals). Yet access has to be preceded by declassification, carried out by special commissions whose work rhythms and decisions thus determine the actual availability of documents. Besides, the documents of the ministries that illegally kept their papers remain for obvious reasons inaccessible.

Of great interest for the Soviet system’s last years is the Gorbachev Foundation archives (see AIV. above), whose rich holdings are freely available.

Despite these rather dark shadows, it is legitimate to speak of a 1991-92 revolution in the availability of Soviet documents. Obstacles, delays, and prohibitions notwithstanding, the mass and value of today’s available papers is huge, as are the possibilities they open to scholars, as witnessed by the extraordinary interest and number of document collections (sborniki dokumentov) published in Russia and CIS countries after 1991.


Needless to say, both the former Soviet archives and their holdings need to be approached with a keen critical attitude, the more so because each “open” inventory (opis’) is often paralleled by a secret one, whose existence is not always acknowledged. The problems they present are discussed in:

1. P. Kennedy-Grimsted (a scholar all Soviet researchers owe much), Archives in Russia Seven Years After: “Purveyors of Sensations” or “Shadows Cast to the Past”?, Washington, DC: CWIHP research paper no. 20, 1998 (it includes a bibliography and it’s freely available online at the CWIHP site);

2. Archives et nouvelles sources de l’histoire soviétique, une réévaluation, special issue, Cahiers du monde russe, 1-2, 1999;

3. Various articles published in the CWIHP Bulletin;

4. Symposium. Soviet Archives: Recent Revelations and Cold War Historiography, special issue, Diplomatic History, 2, 1997;

5. Les archives: la nouvelle histoire de l’URSS, special issue, Communisme, 42-44, 1995 ;

6. Olga E. Glagoleva, Introduction to Russian Archives,, a supplement to the course "Introduction to Russian Archives" offered at CREES, University of Toronto.


Sources critique was however already and profitably practiced in Soviet times. See in particular:

6. G.A. Trukan, ed., Istochnikovedenie istorii Sovetskogo obshchestva: ukazatel’ literatury, Moscow, 1987;

7. M.N. Chernomorskii, Istochnikovedenie istorii SSSR: Sovetskii period, Moscow, 1976;

8. N.A. Ivnitskii, ed., Istochnikovedenie istorii Sovetskogo obshchestva, Moscow, 1964;

9. I.D. Koval’chenko, ed., Istochnikovedenie istorii SSSR, Moscow, 1973;

10. I.D. Koval’chenko, ed., Problemy istochnikovedeniia istorii SSSR, Moscow, 1984.


Soviet archives, and their holdings, as well as the problems they raise, are also discussed in (11.) Research in Former Soviet Archives on Issues of Historical Political Economy, (specializing in economic history); (12.) Yale Russian Archive Project, (with useful information on documentary collections now available in the U.S.); (13.) The Stalin-Era Research and Archives Project (SERAP), of the University of Toronto,; and (14.) the already mentioned Harvard Project on Cold War Studies,


BIa. Guides in print

1. P. Kennedy Grimsted et al., Archives of Russia: A Directory and Bibliography Guide to Holdings in Moscow and St Petersburg, 2 vols., Armonk, NY, 2000 (describing the majority of the archives listed in the ArcheoBiblioBase and including a rich bibliography);

2. P. Kennedy Grimsted, Handbook for Archival Research in the USSR, Princeton, 1989 (still useful);

3. P. Kennedy Grimsted, Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the USSR: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Belorussia, Princeton, 1981;

4. P. Kennedy Grimsted, Archives and Manuscript Repositories in the USSR: Ukraine and Moldova. 2 vols., Princeton, 1988.


Among the new guides, some of which are discussed by D.J. Raleigh, “The Russian Archive Series,” Russian Review, 55 (1996), one may remember:

5. Rossiiskii Tsentr Khraneniia i Izucheniia Dokumentov Noveishei Istorii (the RGASPI’s previous name), Kratkii putevoditel’, Moscow, 1993;

6. Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Ekonomiki (RGAE), Putevoditel’, Moscow, 1994;

7. Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii (GARF), Putevoditel’, 2 vols., Moscow, 1994-1996;

8. Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Rossiiskoi Federatsii, Arkhiv noveishei istorii Rossii, vol. 1, “Osobaia papka” I. V. Stalina, 1944-1953 gg., Moscow, 1994, which has been supplemented by other volumes of the same nature with the osobaia papka (special file, meaning the secret material prepared for various leaders) of Molotov, 1944-1955 (Moscow, 1994), Khrushchev, 1954-1959 (Moscow, 1995), and Beriia, 1946-1953 (Moscow, 1996).


An overview of the material on many important Soviet writers held in the former KGB (now FSB) archives is provided by (9.) V. Shentalinskii, Arrested Voices: Resurrecting the Disappeared Writers of the Soviet Regime, New York, 1996.


BIb. Archives in the West

Many documents of great value and interest for Soviet history are held in Western institutions. Some of these, as well as their holdings, are described in:

1. M. Lesure, Les sources de l’histoire de Russie aux Archives nationales, Paris, 1970;

2. R.C. Lewanski, ed. Eastern Europe and Russia/Soviet Union: A Handbook of Western European Archival and Library Resources, New York, 1980;

3. J.M. Hartley, Guide to Documents and Manuscripts in the United Kingdom Relating to Russia and the Soviet Union, London and New York, 1987;

4. S.A. Grant, J.H. Brown, The Russian Empire and Soviet Union: A Guide to Manuscripts and Archival Materials in the United States, Boston, 1981.


The following is instead a list of some of the most important among these archives:

1. The Smolensk Party Archives, 1917-1941, in Washington (also available in its entirety in microfilm at Harvard). Over 200,000 pages seized in 1941 by the German army and later by the American army. It’s the material M. Fainsod used in 1958 for his fundamental book (see DIIb. below). Recently it has been in part given back to Russia.

2. The Trotsky Archives at Harvard’s Houghton Library. An important section of Trotsky’s personal archives, given to Harvard by his widow. It contains important material he was allowed to bring abroad with him in 1929, as well as post-1929 papers (see J. van Heijenoort, “The history of Trotsky’s papers,” Harvard Library Bulletin, v. 28. Part of the documents have been published by Iu. Fel’shtinskii, see BIIa2. below). Amsterdam’s International Institute of Social History also has a collection of Trotsky papers, published in their entirety by J.M. Meijer (see BIIa4. below).

3. The Souvarine papers (1915-1984), always at Harvard’s Houghton Library, (

4. The Georgian Archives, 1914-1958, at Harvard, with the documents of the Menshevik government.

5. The Harvard Emigre Interview Project (Harvard Project on the Soviet Social System) full collection of papers and transcribed interviews at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. The materials of the great oral history project, involving more than 2,000 Soviet refugees, were carried on at Harvard from 1951 to 1953 with the Air Force’s support. Among the directors of the project, which resulted in fundamental studies such as R.A. Bauer, A. Inkeles, C. Kluckhohn, How the Soviet System Works, Cambridge, Mass., 1956, but whose findings and raw data have not yet been properly exploited, were Alex Inkeles, Merle Fainsod, Alexander Dallin, Raymond Bauer, Mark Field, and Paul Friedrich. Excellent finding aids are available at the Davis Center.

6. The archival funds held at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. See C.A. Leadenham, ed., Guide to the Collections in the Hoover Institution Archives Relating to Imperial Russia, the Russian Revolutions and Civil War and the First Emigration. Stanford, 1986; Ead., Archival Collections in the Hoover Institute Archives Relating to the Soviet Union (1923 to the present), Stanford, 1983; A. Bourguina, M. Jakobson, eds., Guide to the Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection in the Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford, 1989.

7. The Bakhmeteff Archive of Russian and East European History and Culture at Columbia University. See Russia in the twentieth century: The catalog of the Bakhmeteff Archive, Columbia University, Boston, 1987.

8. The documents held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum,, including many on the Holocaust in the USSR.

9. The funds at Israel’s Yad Vashem,, with extensive collections on the Soviet Jewish communities and their tragic fate.

10. The German Federal Republic’s Bundesarchiv holdings on WWII on the Eastern front,

11. The documents of the Reichsministerium für die besetzten Ostgebiete, 1941-1945, and of the Reichskommissar für das Ostland, 1941-1945 are available in microfilms in the U.S., where the originals were brought after the war (see Captured German Records in the Guides to German Eecords Microfilmed at Alexandria, Virginia, National Archives, 1958-1993, Nos. 1-98). These are the documents used by Dallin and Howell in their important works (see DIIId3. below).

12. The Peter J. Potichnyj Collection on Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Ukraine, 1941-1954,, at the Petro Jacyk Slavic and East European Resource Centre of the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library.

13. The many CIA studies and documents on various aspects of Soviet life, many of them now declassified and freely available online at (see also BIIC. below).

14. The Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute, 1949-1994, now available at the Open Society Archives (OSA), held by the Central European University, These include also the Samizdat Archives of Munich’s Radio Liberty, partially published after 1972 under the title Sobranie dokumentov Samizdata and Materialy Samizdata.

15. The Mitrokhin Archives, that include copies –not originals– of documents still unavailable in the USSR, but which appear nonetheless reliable (see Andrew’s and Mitrokhin’s book in section DIIh2. below).

16. The Volkogonov Collection, with more than 10,000 documents (often copies) from various archives, where they are still inaccessible. One copy is located at the Library of Congress, another at the Harvard Cold War Studies Project (This includes items not in the LOC collection). See D.A.Volkogonov, A Register of His Papers in the Library of Congress, Washington, DC 1996.

17. The Bukovsky Archives, made up of documents copied by the famous dissidents in Moscow archives during the Soviet regime’s terminal crisis. They include some of the KGB reports to the Party’s Central Committee. See V. Boukovsky, Jugement à Moscou. Un dissident dans les archives du Kremlin, Paris, 1995. Many of the documents were once freely available online. A large majority are stored in RGANI’s fond 89, and are now available also in microfilms (see section BI. above).

18. The NATO archives, at, containing documents obviously relevant to Soviet history.

BII. Sources in print, microfilm, microfiches

After 1990-1991 hundreds of documents collections have been published in CIS countries, particularly in Russia. Their critical value is uneven, but their riches are astounding, and it may be said that historians have not yet even started to use them in full. A good, but incomplete bibliography is P. Blitstein, “Selected bibliography of recently published document collections on Soviet history,” Cahiers du monde russe, 1-2 (1999), listing approximately 250 titles.

Countless sources have also been published in all kind of periodicals (the already mentioned Istoricheskii arkhiv and Istochnik first of all). An excellent bibliography is I.A. Kondakova, Otkrytyi arkhiv. Spravochnik opublikovannykh dokumentov po istorii Rossii XX veka, 1985-1996, Moscow, 1999, with more than 3,000 entries and an extremely useful subject index.

I am listing here just some of the most interesting and influential collections, some of which have often changed our image of Soviet history, as well as some of the most important publication projects. A few titles chosen in order to give an idea of the richness and the variety of the documents available in print today have been added.

See also the bibliography section, CIb. below.


BIIa. Internal policy


BIIa1. Soviet sources published in the West after 1991

1. The Archives of the Soviet Communist Party and of the Soviet State (Chadwyck-Healey Archive),, is the most extensive collection of documents filmed in Russian archives after 1991;

2. The Primary Source Media – Yale Group Microfilms Russian archives collection, at, if not as extensive, at least as important.

3. J. Howlett, ed., Leaders of the Russian Revolution (Chadwyck-Healey and Rusarchiv), 1992-1994, 421 reels;

3. Yale University Press’s series Annals of Communism has published a number of important volumes, such as R. Pipes, ed., The Unknown Lenin; M.D. Steinberg, V.M. Khrustalev, eds., The fall of the Romanovs; J. Arch Getty, O.V. Naumov, The Road to Rerror: Stalin and the Self-Destruction of the Bolsheviks, 1932-1939, (a strange volume, whose introduction often conflicts with the sources it publishes) etc.;

4. W. Materski, ed., Z archiwow sowietskikh, 5 vols., Warsaw, 1992-1995;

5. N. Werth, G. Moullec, eds., Les rapports secrets soviétiques, 1921-1991, Paris, 1994 (a valuable sample collection);

6. La Collectivisation des campagnes soviétiques. Documents et recherches, special issue, Cahiers du monde russe, 3, 1994;

7. J.T. Fuhrmann, ed., The Complete Wartime Correspondence of Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra: April 1914-March 1917, Westport, CT, 1999;

8. F. Corley, ed., Religion in the Soviet Union: An Archival Reader, New York: New York University Press, 1996;

9. D.M. Glanz, ed., The Evolution of Soviet Operational Art, 1927-1991. The Documentary basis, 2 vols., London, 1995;

10. R. Sakwa, ed., The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Union, 1917-1991, London, 1999;

11. M. Scammell, ed., The Solzhenitsyn Files, Chicago, 1995;

12. P. Chinsky, Staline, archives inédites: 1926-1936, Paris: Berg international, 2001.


BIIa2. Soviet sources published in CIS countries after 1991

The bulk of documents collections was published in CIS countries, sometimes in collaboration with Western institutions. Starting with major projects, one may list:

1. Neizvestnaia Rossiia XX vek, 4 vols., Moscow, 1992-1993;

2. The series Rossiia. XX vek. Dokumenty, edited by A.N. Iakovlev, which has published fundamental volumes like Katyn’. Plenniki neobliavlennoi voiny (1997); Lavrentii Beriia. Stenogramma iiul’skogo (1953) plenuma TsK KPSS (1997) [see also D. M. Stickle, ed., The Beria affair: the secret transcripts of the meetings signalling the end of Stalinism, New York, 1992]; Molotov, Malenkov, Kaganovich, 1957: Stenogramma iiun’skogo plenuma TsK KPSS (1998); 5810. Nadzornye proizvodstva prokuratury SSSR. Mart 1953-1991 (1999); Vlast’ i khudozhestvennaia intelligentsiia. Dokumenty 1917-1953 (1999); Ekologiia i vlast’, 1917–1990 (1999); Kak lomali NEP. Stenogrammy plenumov TsK VKP(b) 1928-1929 (2000); Reabilitatsiia: kak eto bylo, mart 1953-fevral’ 1956 (2000); Gulag, 1918-1960. Dokumenty (2000); Georgii Zhukov (2001); Lubianka. Stalin i VChK-GPU-OGPU-NKVD . Ianvar’ 1922-Dekabr’ 1936 (several volumes, starting in 2003), etc. Most of these volumes are freely available on line at the Mezhdunaronyi fond “Demokratiia” (fond A.N. Iakovleva) web site,

3. The series Dokumenty sovetskii istorii, edited by A. Graziosi and O. Khlevniuk, with volumes like Stalinskoe Politbiuro v 30-e gody (1994); Bol’shevitskoe rukovodstvo. Perepiska, 1912-1927 and 1928-1941 (1996 and 1999); Pis’ma vo vlast’, 1917-27 and 1928-39 (1998 and 2002); Politbiuro TsK VKP(b) i Sovet ministrov SSSR. 1945-53 (2002); Sovetskaia zhizn’, 1945-1953 (2003).

4. The project Sovetskaia derevnia glazami VChK-OGPU-NKVD, 1918-1939, directed by V.P. Danilov. See V.P. Danilov and A. Berelowitch, “Les documents de la VChK-OGPU-NKVD sur la campagne soviétique, 1918-1937”, Cahiers du monde russe, 3 (1994).

5. The series Tragediia sovetskoi derevni. Kollektivizatsiia i raskulachivanie, 1927-1939, edited by V.P. Danilov, L. Viola and R. Manning, in five volumes.


Among single volumes one may mention (in their topics’ chronological order):

6. G.F. Krivosheev, ed., Rossiia i SSSR v voinakh XX veka. Poteri vooruzhennykh syl, Moscow, 2001 (an important book –see also G.F. Krivosheev, ed., Soviet Casualties and Combat Losses in the Twentieth Century, London, 1997);

7. V.F. Verstiuk et al., eds., Ukraïnska Tsentralna Rada. Dokumenty i materialy, 2 vols., Kyïv 1996-97;

8. Protokoly Prezidiuma VSNKh, 1919 g, Moscow, 1993;

9. I. Bilas, Represyvno-karal’na systema v Ukraïni, 1917-1953, 2 vols., Kyïv, 1994;

10. V.P. Danilov, T. Shanin., eds., Krest’ianskoe vosstanie v Tambovskoi gubernii v 1919-1921 gg. “Antonovshchina”, Tambov, 1994 (a beautiful book –see also J.-L. Van Regemorter, L’insurrection paysanne de la région de Tambov, 1919-1921. Documents, Coeuvres-et-Valsery, 2000);

11. V.K. Vinogradov et al., eds., Kronshtadtskaia tragediia 1921 goda, 2 vols., Moscow, 1999;

12. Holod 1921-1923 rokiv na Ukraïni, Kyïv, 1993;

13. Ja.S. Drabkin, ed., Komintern i ideia mirovaia revoliutsiia, Moscow, 1998;

14. Iu. Shapoval et al., eds., ChK-HPU-NKVD v Ukraïni: osoby, fakty, dokumenty, Kyïv, 1997;

15. N.N. Pokrovskii, S.G. Petrov, eds., Politbiuro i tserkov’, 1922-1925 gg., Moscow, 1997;

16. G. Sevostianov et al., eds., “Sovershenno sekretno”: Lubianka-Stalinu o polozhenii v strane (1922-1934 gg), Moscow, 2001;

17. V.D. Esakov, ed. Akademiia nauk v resheniiakh Politbiuro TsK RKP(b) – VKP(b) – KPSS, 1922-1991, Tom 1, 1922-1952, Moscow, Rosspen, 2000;

18. Iu. Fel’shtinskii, ed., Kommunisticheskaia oppozitsiia v SSSR, 1923-1927, 4 vols., Moscow, 1990 (including documents from Harvard Trotsky collection);

19. Iu. Shapoval et al., eds., Mykhailo Hrushevs’kyi i HPU-NKVD, 1924-1934, Kyïv, 1996;

20. O.V. Khlevniuk et al., eds., Pis’ma I.V. Stalina V.M. Molotovu 1925-1936 gg., Moscow, 1995 (see also the English edition in Yale’s Annals of Communism);

21. Iu. Fel’shtinskii, “Dva epizoda iz istorii vnutripartinnoi bor’by”, Vorposy istorii, 2-3 (1991);

22. Industrializatsiia Sovetskogo soiuza: novye dokumenty, novye fakty, novye podkhody, Moscow, 1997;

23. S.V. Kul’chyts’kyi et al., eds., Kolektyvizatsiia i holod na Ukraïni, 1929-1933, Kyïv, 1993;

24. A.L. Litvin, ed., Menshevitskii protsess 1931 goda, 2 vols., Moscow, 1999;

25. O.V. Khlevniuk et al., eds., Stalin i Kaganovich. Perepiska 1931-1936, Moscow, 2001 (see also the English edition in Yale’s Annals of Communism);

26. M. Riutin, Na koleni ne vstanu, Moscow, 1992 (including Riutin’s 1932 platform);

27. Zh. Abylkhozhin et al., eds., Golod v kazakhskoi stepi, Alma-Ata, 1991;

28. K. Aldazhumanov et al., eds., Nasil’stvennaia kollektivizatsiia i golod v Kazakhstane v 1931-33 gg, Alma-ata, 1998;

29. Holod 1932-33 rokiv na Ukraïni: ochyma istorykiv, movoiu dokumentiv, Kyiv, 1990;

30. Iu. Shapoval et al., eds., Komandiry velykoho holodu: poïzdky V. Molotova i L. Kahanovycha v Ukraïnu ta na Pivnichnyĭ Kavkaz, 1932-33 rr., Kyïv, 2001;

31. V.F. Koliazin, et. al., eds., “Vernite mne svobodu!”: Deiateli literatury i iskusstva Rossii i Germanii – zhertvy stalinskogo terrora, Moscow, 1997 (including political police’s files on important writers);

32. A.N. Iakovlev, ed., Reabilitatsiia: politicheskie protsessy 30-50-ch godov, Moscow, 1991;

33. N.F. Bugai, L. Beriia-I. Stalinu: “Soglasno vashemu ukazaniiu…”, Moscow, 1995 (on the deportation of nationalities in the 1930s and 1940s);

34. L.D. Riabev, ed., Atomnyi proekt SSSR, 1938-54, 2 vols., Moscow, 1998-1999;

35. M.M. Zarogul’ko, ed., Voennoplennye v SSSR, 1939-1956, Moscow, 2000;

36. Ia.F. Pogonii, ed., Stalingradskaia epopeia, Moscow, 2000 (including political police’s documents);

37. S. Zubrenkov, N. Mitrokhina, eds., “Lesnye Brat’ia” 1944-45 gg.: dokumenty Litovskoi osvoboditel’noi armii, Moscow, 1995;

38. V.P. Popov, ed., Rossiiskaia derevnia posle voiny, 1945-1953, Moscow, 1993;

39. V.P. Naumov, ed., Nepravdennyi sud. Poslednii Stalinskii rasstrel. Stenogramma sudebnogo protsessa nad chlenami evreiiskogo antifashistskogo komiteta, Moscow, 1994

40. V.F. Nekrasov, ed., Beriia: konets karery, Moscow, 1991;

41. N. Kovalev et al., eds, Molotov, Malenkov, Kaganovich. 1957. Stenogramma iun’skogo plenuma TsK KPSS, Moscow, 1998

42. “Kak reshalis’ ‘voprosy Vengrii’. Rabochie zapisi zasedanii Prezidiuma TsK KPSS, iiul’-noiabr’ 1956 g”, Istoricheskii arkhiv, 2 (1996);

43. A.A. Fursenko, ed., Prezidium TsK KPSS, 1954-1964. Chernovye protokol’nye zapisy zasedanii. Stenogrammy, Moscow, 2003 –of great importance;

44. Ideologicheskie komissii TsK KPSS 1958-1964. Dokumenty, Moscow, Rosspen, 1998;

45. G.S. Vetrov, ed., S.P. Korolev i ego delo: svet i teni v istorii kosmonavtiki, Moscow, 1998;

46. “Kak snimali N.S. Khrushcheva: materialy plenuma TsK KPSS, oktiabr’ 1964 g.”, Istoricheskii arkhiv, 1 (1993);

47. Dokumenty i pechat’ obshchestvenno-politicheskikh klubov, 1987-1989 gg., Moscow, 1991;

48. Institut gumanitarno-politicheskikh issledovanii, Samizdat Russian newspapers. A Collection of Unofficial Russian Newspapers Published Between 1988 and 1992, on microfiche, Moscow, 1993.

49. M. Gorbachev, ed., Gody trudnykh reshenii, Moscow, 1993;


The following volumes cover the Soviet repressive apparatus throughout its history, or most of it:

50. N.G. Okhotin, A.B. Roginskii, eds., Zveniia. Istoricheskii almanakh, Moscow, 1991;

51. Soprotivlenie v GULage. Vospominaniia, pis’ma, dokumenty, Moscow, 1992;

52. M.B. Smirnov, ed., Sistema ispravitel’no-trudovykh lagerei v SSSR. Spravochnik, Moscow, 1998;

53. T.M. Goriaeva et al., eds., Istoriia sovetskoi politicheskoi tsenzury, Moscow, 1997.


BIIa3. Soviet sources published in the USSR before 1991

I am listing here only some of the most relevant publications, which may serve as illustrations of what was done in the pre-1991 period.


Kommunisticheskaia partiia sovetskogo soiuza, S”ezd. Stenograficheskii otchet, 7th ed., (1918– ), Moscow (the printed version of the party congresses’ minutes, especially lively in 1917-1927, 1956-62, and, again, during the USSR’s final years). The minutes of the various national parties’ congresses and conferences are quite interesting, especially but not only for the above mentioned periods.

The same applies to the minutes of Soviet congresses (S”ezd sovetov. Stenograficheskii otchet, 1917-1935), as well as of other organizations or institutions, like Trade Unions (especially up to 1928) and the Gosplan (for 1921-23 see the Protokoly Prezidiuma Gosplana, Moscow, 1979-1991).

Among the best documents collections published in the USSR one may remember the Istoriia industrializatsii SSSR, 1926-1941, 4 vols., Moscow, 1969-1973, edited by M.P. Kim. Regional series, often in more volumes, were also published: see for instance S.I. Tiul’panov, ed., Industrializatsiia severo-zapadnogo raiona, Leningrad, 1967 or F.G. Evgrafov et al., eds., Istoriia industrializatsii nizhegorodskogo-gor’kovskogo kraia (1926-1941 gg), Gor’kii, 1968.

The multi-volume series Vtoraia mirovaia voina v issledovaniiakh, vospominaniiakh, i dokumentakh, published by Nauka since the beginning of the 1960s is also worth mentioning (see S. Byaler, ed., Stalin and his generals, BVd. below).

The minutes of the Pervyi s”ezd narodnykh deputatov SSSR: 25 maia-9 iiunia 1989 g.: Stenograficheskii otchet, Moscow, 1989 (see also R.W. Theen, ed., The U.S.S.R. First Congress of People’s Deputies: complete documents and records, May 25 1989-June 10 1989, 4 vols., New York, 1991) represent instead fundamental sources of the USSR crisis.


BIIa4. Soviet sources published in the West before 1991

Again, I am listing here only some of the most significant or typical, even if not always convincing from the critical point of view. In general, for English-language sources one may refer to the Documents section (with hundreds of entries) of the already mentioned English-Language Primary Sources for the Study of Soviet History (see AIV. above).


Of general interest are:

The microfilm edition (more than 400 reels) of the Boris I. Nicolaevsky Collection in the Archives of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace (see AIc. above), published by UMI in 1991 –with documents by Trotsky, Tsereteli, Axelrod, Bakunin, Gor’kii, Andreev, Bunin, Kropotkin, Plekhanov, Martov, Miliukov et al., as well as of various political parties.

The microfilm edition (75 reels) of the Smolensk Archives (see BIb. above and S. Maksudov, ed., Neuslyshannye golosa. Dokumenty Smolenskogo archiva. Kulaki i parteitsy, Ann Arbor, 1987).

R.V. Daniels, ed., A Documentary history of Communism, 2 vols., Hanover, 1984;

M.B. Olcott, L. Hajda, A. Olcott, eds., The Soviet Multinational State: Readings and Documents, Armonk, NY, 1990;

R. Schlesinger, ed., Changing Attitudes in Soviet Russia: Documents and Readings, 1. The Family in the U.S.S.R., 2. The Nationalities Problem and Soviet Administration, London, 1949;

R.A. Wade, A.G. Cummins, eds., Documents of Soviet History, 1917-1931, 5 vols., Gulf Breeze, FL, 1991.


By historical period:

R.C. Elwood, ed., The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, 1898-October 1917, Toronto, 1974;

O.H. Gankin, H.H. Fisher, eds., The Bolsheviks and the World War, Stanford, 1940;

R.P. Browder, A.F. Kerensky, eds., The Russian Provisional Government, 1917, 3 vols., Stanford, 1961;

G. Boffa, ed., I bolscevichi e la Rivoluzione d’ottobre: verbali delle sedute del Comitato centrale del Partito operaio socialdemocratico russo (bolscevico) dall’agosto 1917 al febbraio 1918, Rome, 1962;

J. Bunyan, H.H. Fisher, eds., The Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and Materials, Stanford, 1934;

J. Bunyan, Intervention, Civil War, and Communism in Russia, April-December 1918: Documents and Materials, Baltimore, 1936;

P. Avrich, ed., The Anarchists in the Russian Revolution, Ithaca, NY, 1973;
V. Brovkin, ed.,
Dear Comrades: Menshevik Reports on the Bolshevik Revolution and the Civil War, Stanford, 1991;

J. Bunyan, The Origin of Forced Labor in the Soviet State, 1917-1921: Documents and Materials, Baltimore, 1967;

E. Heifetz, ed., The Slaughter of the Jews in the Ukraine in 1919, New York, 1921;

Tche-ka: matériaux et documents sur la terreur bolsheviste recueillis par le bureau cental du Parti socialiste-révolutionnaire russe, Paris, 1921;

J.M. Meijer, ed., The Trotsky Papers, 1917-1922, 2 vols., The Hague, 1964-1971 (based on the Trotsky papers at Amsterdam’s International Institute of Social History);

A. Pim, E. Bateson, eds., Report on Russian Timber Camps, London, 1931;

Ukrainian Association of Victims of Russian Communist Terror, The Black Deeds of the Kremlin. A White Book, 2 vols., Toronto 1953, Detroit 1955 (the second on The Great Famine in Ukraine in 1932-33 is of special interest);

P.R. Magocsi, ed., Morality and Reality: The Life and Time of Andrei Sheptyts’kyi, Edmonton, 1989;

A. Dallin, ed., Diversity in International Communism. A Documentary Record, 1961-1963, New York, 1963;

T.H. Rigby, ed., The Stalin Dictatorship: Khrushchev’s ‘Secret Speech’ and Other Documents, University Park, 1968;

L. Labedz, On Trial: The Case of Sinyavsky (Tertz) and Daniel (Arzhak), London, 1967;
Samizdat 1: la voix de l’opposition communiste en URSS, Paris, 1969;

V. Mastny, ed., East European Dissent, 2 vols., New York, 1972;

K. Kaplan, Dans les archives du comité central: trente ans de secrets du bloc soviétique, Paris, 1978 (on Czechoslovakia and other Eastern European countries);

S. Cohen, ed., An End to Silence: Uncensored Opinion in the Soviet Union from Roy Medvedev’s Underground Magazine Political Diary, New York, 1982;

G. Saunders, ed., Samizdat: Voices of the Soviet opposition, New York, 1974;

Samizdat Archive Association, Register of Documents: Supplement 1975-1976, Munich, 1976;

L. Verba, B. Yasen, eds., The Human Rights Movement in Ukraine: Documents of the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, 1976-1980, Baltimore, 1980;

“The Novosibirsk report”, Survey 1 (1984);
J. Millar, ed.,
Politics, Work and Daily Life in the USSR, Cambridge, 1987 (based on interviews with emigrés, mostly Jewish);

A. Yaroshinska, Chernobyl, the Forbidden Truth, Lincoln, 1995;

I. Commeau-Rufin, ed., Lettres des profondeurs de l’URSS: le courrier des lecteurs d’ “Ogoniok”: 1987-1989, Paris, 1989;

I.J. Tarasulo, ed., Gorbachev and Glasnost: Viewpoints from the Soviet Press, Wilmington, Del., 1989;

J.L. Black, ed., USSR Documents Annual, 1987-1991, 5 vols., Gulf Breeze, FL, 1989-1993;

V.E. Bonnell, A. Cooper, G. Freidin, Russia at the Barricades: Eyewitness Accounts of the August 1991 Coup, Armonk, NY, 1994.


BIIa5. Non-Soviet sources

Only some of the most important are listed, in their topic’s chronological order. More information on American documents are to be found in A Guide to Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: the Soviet Union Internal Affairs, 1950-1954, and Foreign Affairs, 1950-1954, Frederick, 1985, and A Guide to the Microfilm Edition of the John F. Kennedy National Security Files: U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe, 1961-1963, Bethesda, 1987.


R. Jarman, ed., Soviet Union Political Reports, 1917-1970, 12 vols., Farnham Common: Archive Editions, 2004 (Reports and dispatches from the British diplomatic representatives, Foreign Office’s analyses etc);

D. Cameron Watt, ed., British Documents on Foreign Affairs. Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print: Part II, from the First to the Second World War: Series A, The Soviet Union, 1917-1939, Frederick, 1984-86;

P. Kesaris, ed., Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post Records: Russia and the Soviet Union, 1918-1941, 3 vols. Frederick, 1982- (microfilms);

A. Graziosi, L’Unione sovietica nell’Archivio storico del Ministero degli Affari Esteri, 1917-1939, dans A. Venturi, A. Masoero, eds., Russica. Studi e ricerche sulla Russia contemporanea, Milano, 1990;

Commission on the Ukrainian Famine, Investigation of the Ukrainian Famine, 1932-33. Report to Congress, Washington, DC 1988;

A. Graziosi, ed., “ ‘Lettres de Char’kov’. La famine en Ukraine et dans le Caucase du Nord à travers les rapports des diplomates italiens, 1932-1934”, Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique, 1-2 (1989) (see also the more complete Lettere da Kharkov. La carestia in Ucraina e nel Caucaso del Nord nei rapporti dei diplomatici italiani, 1932-33, Torino, 1991);

L.Y. Luciuk, B.S. Kordan, eds., The Foreign Office and the Famine: British Documents on Ukraine and the Great Famine of 1932-33, Kingston, 1988;

D. Zlepko, ed., Der ukrainische Hunger-Holocaust (German diplomatic documents), Sonnenbühl, 1988;

K. Krupinski, ed., Rückkehrer berichten über die Sowjetunion, Berlin, 1942;

Commission internationale contre le régime concentrationnaire (Bruxelles), Livre blanc sur les camps de concentration soviétiques, Paris, 1951;

D. Rousset, P. Barton, L’Institution concentrationnaire en Russie, 1930-1957, Paris, 1959;

O.S.S./State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, The Soviet Union, 1941-1949, Washington, D.C., 1977 (microfilms);

United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, Records of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: The Soviet Union, Part I, 1942-1945 and Part II, 1946-1953, Frederick, 1981 (microfilms);

I. Ehrenburg, V. Grossman, eds., The complete black book of Russian Jewry (1947), New Brunswick, N.J., 2002;

H. Monneray, ed., La persécution des Juifs dans les pays de l’Est présentée à Nuremberg, Paris, 1949;

Paul Kesaris, ed., Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: the Soviet Union Internal Affairs, 1945-1949. Frederick, 1984 (microfilms);

G.K. Haines, R.E. Legget, eds., CIA’s Analysis of the Soviet Union 1947-91, Washington, DC, 2001 (available on line at and, partially, in the proceedings of the conference with the same title held at Princeton University in March 2001). See also A Cold War Conundrum, with the reports on the early 1980s war scare, and At Cold War’s End: US Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1989-1991, at;

National Security Agency, Venona Project - (with more than 3,000 documents from the most important, and top secret, American sigint project, which successfully decrypted in the 1940s some of the MGB and GRU messages). See also Benson’s and Warner’s book, in section DIIk1. below;

D. P. Steury, ed., Intentions and Capabilities: Estimates on Soviet Strategic Forces, 1950–1983, Washington, DC: CIA,1996;

S. A. Koch, ed., CIA Cold War Records: Selected Estimates on the Soviet Union, 1950–1959, Washington, DC: CIA, 1993;

Joint Military Intelligence College, Strategy, Intelligence, and Military Operations: Insights from Archival Records, Washington, DC, 1995.


BIIb. Sources on Soviet foreign relations

Each important country publishes valuable diplomatic documents collections, in which Soviet relations figure prominently. See for instance Documents diplomatiques français; Documenti diplomatici italiani; Akten zur deutschen äuswartigen Politik (partially available also in English, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945); The Foreign Relations of the United States (see also their site at; and of course the Dokumenty Vneshnej Politiki SSSR, 1918-1938, 21 vols., Moscow 1957-1977. Vol. 22, on the year 1939, was published in 1992.


On the Cold War it is imperative to check all the issues of the CWIHP Bulletin (see AIIIc. above), and especially Cold War Crises, 5 (1995); Leadership Transition in a Fractured Bloc, 10 (1998), and Cold War Flashpoints, 11 (1998).  


The following are just some of the other, relevant collections:

Z.A.B. Zeman, ed., Germany and the Revolution in Russia, 1915-1918: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Ministry, London, 1958;

J.T. Degras, Calendar of Soviet Documents on Foreign Policy, 1917-1941, London, 1948;

J.T. Degras, ed., Soviet Documents on Foreign Policy, 1917-1941, 3 vols., Oxford, 1951-53;

H.J. Goldberg, ed., Documents of Soviet-American Relations, 1917-1945, 4 vols., Gulf Breeze, Fl., 1993;

B. Dmytryshyn, F. Cox, eds., The Soviet Union and the Middle East, 1917-1985, 2 vols., Princeton, NJ, 1987;

VKP(b), Komintern i Iaponiia, 1917-1941 gg., Moscow, Rosspen, 2001;

S. Clissold, ed., Soviet Relations with Latin America, 1918-1968: A Documentary Survey, Oxford, 1970;

Ia.S. Drabkin, ed., Komintern i ideia mirovoi revoliutsii. Dokumenty, Moscow, Nauka, 1998;

J.T. Degras, ed., The Communist International, 1919-1943: Documents, 3 vols., London, 1956-1965;

Pol’sko-sovetskaia voina 1919-1920. Dokumenty, 2 vols., Moscow, Institut slavianovedeniia i balkanistiki RAN, 1994;

X. J. Eudin, H. H. Fisher, eds., Soviet Russia and the West, 1920-1927: A Documentary Survey, Stanford, 1957;

X. J. Eudin, ed., Soviet Russia and the East, 1920-1927, Stanford, 1957;

O.M. Ken, A.I. Rupasov, eds., TsK VKP(b) i otnosheniia SSSR s zapadnymi sosednimi gosudarstvami (konets 1920-1930kh gg), St. Petersburg, 2000;

Moskva-Rim. Politika i diplomatiia Kremlia, 1920-1939, Moscow, Nauka, 2002;

G. Adibekov et al., eds, Politbiuro TsK RKP(b)-VKP(b) i Evropa. Resheniia “osoboi papki”, 1923-1939, Moscow, 2001;

X.J. Eudin, R.M. Slusser, eds., Soviet foreign policy, 1928-1934: documents and materials, University Park, 1967;

R.J. Sontag, J.S. Beddie, eds., Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941: Documents from the Archives of the German Foreign Office, Washington, D.C.: Dept. of State, 1948 (Westport, CT, 1976);

Generak Sikorski Historical Institute, Documents on Polish-Soviet Relations, 1939-1945, 2 vols., London, 1961;

S. Clissold, ed., Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, 1939-1973: A Documentary Survey, New York, 1975;

G.L. Kynin et al., eds, SSSR i germanskii vopros, 1941-1949, Moscow, 1946-

G.P. Murashko et al., eds., Vostochnaia Evropa v dokumentakh rossiiskikh arkhivov, 1944-1953 gg., 2 vols., Novosibirsk, 1997-98;

T.V. Volokitina et al., eds, Sovetskii faktor v vostochnoi Evrope, 1944-1953, 2 vols., Moscow, 1999;

Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files: The Soviet Union Foreign Affairs, 1945-1949. Frederick, 1984 (in microfilms);

J.A. Naik, ed., Russia and the Communist Countries: Documents, 1946-71, Atlantic Highlands, N.J., 1980;

J.A. Naik, ed., Russia in Asia and Africa: Documents, 1946-1971, Kolhapur, 1979;

G. Procacci et al., eds., The Cominform. Minutes of the Three Conferences, 1947/1948/1949, Milano, 1994;

J. Hanhimäki, O. Arne Westad, eds., The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eye-Witness Accounts, Oxford, 2003;

C. Osterman, Upring in East Germany, 1953, Budapest, 2001;

Otdel TsK KPSS po sviazam s inostrannymi kompartiiami, 1953-1957. Annotirovannyi spravochnik, Moscow, Rosspen, 1999;

E.D. Orekhova et al., eds., Sovetskii Soiuz i vengreskii krizis 1956 goda. Dokumenty, Moscow, 1998;

C. Békés, M. Byrne, J.M. Rainer, The 1956 Hungarian Revolution: A History in Documents, Budapest, 2002;

W.E. Griffith, The Sino-Soviet Rift, Analyzed and Documented, Cambridge, MA, 1964;

E. Hoxha, Albania Challenges Khrushchev Revisionism: Speeches, Reports, Letters, Radiograms, June-December 1969, New York, 1976;

“Khrushchev-Kennedy Correspondence,” Problems of Communism, special edition, spring 1992;

M. S. McAuliffe, ed., CIA Documents on the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962, Washington, DC: CIA, 1992;

Les Relations franco-soviétiques: textes et documents 1965-1976, Paris, 1976 ;

J. Navrátil et al., eds., The Prague Spring, 1968, New York, 1998;

W. Burr, ed., The Kissinger Transcripts. The Top Secret Talks with Beijing and Moscow
A National Security Archive Documents Reader
, New York, 1998;
C. Andrews, O. Gordievsky,
Comrade Kryuchkov’s Instructions: Top Secret Files on KGB Foreign Operations, 1975-1985, London, 1991;

B.B. Fischer, ed., At Cold War’s End: US Intelligence on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, 1989–1991, Washington, DC: CIA, 1999.

BIII. Legislation

Only a sample of the most important collections is listed. All must be utilized keeping in mind that especially but not exclusively in 1928-1953 most laws and decrees had secret, unpublished sections, often substantially altering their nature. For each important law or decree it is thus imperative to search for its secret parts in archives.


RSFSR, Sistematicheskii sbornik uzakonenii i rasporiazhenii rabochego i krest’ianskogo pravitel’stva, Moscow, 1919;

RSFSR, Sistematicheskii sbornik vazhneishikh dekretov, 1917-1920, Moscow, 1921;

SSSR, Sobranie zakonov i rasporiazhenii raboche-krest’ianskogo pravitel’stva SSSR, continued by Sobranie postanovlenii i rasporiazhenii pravitel’stva SSSR, Moscow, 1924–;

The various codes (labor, criminal, agriculture, etc.) in their various editions over time.

The collections of the various commissariats’ and ministries’ decrees.

Kommunisticheskaia partiia Sovetskogo soiuza v rezoliutsiiakh i resheniiakh s”ezdov, konferentsii i plenumov TsK, 15 vols., 9th ed., Moscow, 1983-1988 (see also R.H. McNeal, Guide to the Decisions of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1917-1967, Toronto, 1972).

Soviet Statutes and Decisions, 28 vols., Armonk, NY, 1964-1991.

BIV. Soviet leaders’ works

Many of the communist leaders’ (Soviet ones included) works are now posted, and in various languages, on the Internet, for instance in the above quoted Iz arkhivov russkoi revoliutsii, 1917-37 and on Internet Archive (see AIV. above). The latter includes texts by Lenin, Rakovskii, Gor’kii, Plekhanov, Krupskaia, Radek, Bukharin, Lunacharskii, Trotsky et al.


Y.V. Andropov, Speeches and Writings, Oxford, 1983;

Iu.V. Andropov, Izbrannye rechi i stati, Moscow, 1979.


L.I. Brezhnev, His Life and Work, New York, 1982;

L.I. Brezhnev, Socialism Democracy, and Human Rights, Oxford, 1980;

L.I. Brezhnev, Izbrannye proizvedeniia, 3 vols., Moscow, 1981.


N. Bukharin, E. Preobrazhenskii, The ABC of Communism, Ann Arbor, MI, 1988;

N. Bukharin, Selected Writings on the State, Nottingham, 1982;

N. Bukharin, The Politics and Economics of the Transition Period, London, 1979;

N. Bukharin, Imperialism and the Accumulation of Capital, London, 1972;

N. Bucharin, E. Preobraženskij, L’accumulazione socialista (L. Foa, ed.), Roma, 1979;

N.I. Bukharin, Izbrannye proizvedeniia, Moscow, 1988;

N.I. Bukharin, Tiuremnye rukopisy, 2 vols., Moscow, 1996.


K.U. Chernenko, Speeches and Writings, Oxford, 1984;

K.U. Chernenko, Narod i partiia ediny: izbrannye rechi i stati, Moscow, 1984.


N.S. Khrushchev, Khrushchev Speaks: Selected Speeches, Articles, and Press Conferences, 1949-1961, Ann Arbor, MI, 1963;

N.S. Khrushchev, Stroitel’stvo kommunizma v SSSR i razvitie sel’skogo khoziaistva, 8 vols., Moscow, 1962-1964.


M.S. Gorbachev, Izbrannye rechi i stat’i, Moscow, 1987 (Selected Speeches and Articles, Moscow, 1987);

M.S. Gorbachev, Perestroika and the New World Order, Selected Speeches, Moscow, 1991.


V.I. Lenin, Collected Works, 45 vols. (based on the appalling 4th Soviet edition, with some corrections), Moscow, 1960-1972;

V.I. Lenin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii, 55 vols., 5th ed., Moscow, 1958-1970 (see also the volume of unpublished documents edited by Pipes, BIIa1. above).


E. Preobrazhenskii, The Crisis of Soviet Industrialization: Selected Essays, (D.A. Filtzer, ed.), White Plains, N.Y., 1979 (see also his works with Bukharin, above);

E. Preobrazhenskii, The New Economics, Clarendon Press, 1965.


C. Rakovsky, Selected Writings on Opposition in the USSR, 1923-1930, London, 1980.


I.V. Stalin, Sochineniia, 13 vols. (1901-1934), Moscow, 1946-51 (in English, Works, Moscow, 1952). The publication of Stalin’s works, interrupted in the USSR after his death, has been continued in the U.S. by R.H. McNeal, ed., Sochineniia, vols.14-16 (1935-1952), Stanford, 1967 (see also J.F. Matlock, An Index to the Collected Works of I.V. Stalin (1955), New York, 1971 and R.H. McNeal, Stalin’s Works: An Annotated Bibliography, Stanford, 1967).


L.D. Trotsky, Sochineniia, 21 vols., Moscow, 1922-1927;

L.D. Trotsky, Œuvres, 24 vols. (1933-1940), published under the direction of P. Broué, Paris, 1978-1987. In 1988 a second series was launched, covering the 1928-1932 years. See also the Encylopedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL),

BV. Memoirs and autobiographies

It is obviously impossible to list all relevant memoirs and autobiographies. I am therefore presenting a personal selection, including works which I believe to be of exceptional or typical value. Some of them are indeed extraordinary documents. For memoirs published in the USSR see the bibliography listed in section CIb2a. below.

The selection is chronologically arranged. Many of the memoirs, however, obviously cover more than one period. Besides, the USSR’s life spanned a period short enough to produce documents covering it in its entirety, such as:

D.S. Likhachev, Reflections on the Russian Soul: A Memoir, New York, 2000;

A. Mikoian, Tak bylo, Moscow, 1999;

F.I. Chuev, Molotov Remembers. Conversations with Felix Chuev, Paris 1991 (though not technically memoirs, can be included in the category).


BVa. Revolution and civil war

The very valuable Arkhiv russkoi revoliutsii (see BVIIIa. below) must also be checked.


A. Antonov-Ovseenko, Zapiski o grazhdanskoi voine, 4 vols., Moscow, 1924-33 (perhaps the best Soviet memoirs. In order to ingratiate Stalin, the last two volumes are biased against Trotsky);

I.E. Babel, 1920 Diary, New Haven, 1995;

A. Berkman, The Bolshevik Myth (Diary, 1920-1922) (1925), London, 1989 (the famous anarchist who had shot Frick to avenge the Homestead strikers –see also E. Goldman, Living My Life, 2 vols., (1931), London, 1988);

I. Bunin, Cursed Days. A Diary of Revolution, Chicago, IL, 1998

V.B. Shklovskii, A Sentimental Journey. Memoirs, 1917-1922 (1926), Ithaca, NY, 1984 (a beautiful book);

F. Dan, Dva goda skitanii (1919-1921), Berlin, 1922;

A. Denikin, The Russian Turmoil. Memoirs, Westport, CT, 1973 and The White Army, Cambridge, 1992;

A.F. Kerensky, Russia and History’s Turning Point, New York, 1965;

N. Makhno, Russkaia revoliutsiia na Ukraine, Paris, 1929; Pod udarami kontr-revoliutsii, Paris, 1936 and Ukrainskaia revoliutsiia, Paris, 1937 (the last two volumes edited after Makhno’s death by Volin-Eikhenbaum –see DIIIa4. below);

P. Pascal, Mon journal de Russie, vol. 1, À la mission militaire française, 1916-1918 ; vol. 2, En communisme, 1918-1921, Lausanne, 1975-77;

M. Rafes, Dva goda revoliutsii na Ukraine. Evoliutsiia i raskol Bunda, Moscow, 1920 (a valuable recollection of civil war in Ukraine by a Bund leader who joined the communists);

J. Reed, Ten Days that Shook the World (1919), New York, 1997 (famous, but important mainly as a propaganda document, as well as a testimony of Western “enthusiasm”);

J. Sadoul, Lettres sur la révolution, new ed., Paris, 1971;

V. Serge, Year One of the Russian Revolution, London, 1972;

P.P. Skoropadskï, Erinnerungen: 1917 bis 1918, Stuttgart, 1999;

P.A. Sorokin, Leaves from a Russian Diary, Boston, 1950 (the excellent recollection of the great sociologist, who served in Kerensky’s cabinet –see also the less valid A Long Journey. The Autobiography of Pitirim Sorokin, New Haven, 1963);

N. Sukhanov, The Russian Revolution, 1917, Princeton, 1984 (a fundamental text, by a noted Menshevik);

L. Trotsky, My Life: An Attempt at an Autobiography (1930), New York, 1970;

V. Vynnychenko, Shchodennyk, vol. 1, 1911-1920, Edmonton 1980 (the Ukrainian socialdemocrat leader’s diary);

W.S. Woytinsky, Stormy Passage, New York, 1961 (of great value);

N. Zhordania, Moia zhizn’, Stanford, 1968 (the Georgian Menshevik leader).



B. Bazhanov, Bazhanov and the Damnation of Stalin, Athens: Ohio University Press, 1990 (an exceptional document);

M. Eastman, Love and Revolution: My Journey through an Epoch, New York, 1964;

R. Fischer, Stalin and German Communism: A Study in the Origins of the State Party, Cambridge, MA, 1948;

G. Hilger, The Incompatible Allies: A Memoir History of German-Soviet Relations, 1918-1941, New York, 1953 (fundamental on the topic);

V.N. Ipatieff, Life of a Chemist, Stanford, 1946 (the parts on the revolution and the civil war are of great interest too);

P. Pascal, Mon journal de Russie, vol. 3., Mon état d'âme,1922-1926 ; vol. 4, Russie: 1927, Lausanne, 1982;

V. Serge, Memoirs of a Revolutionary, 1901-41, New York, 1984 (a beautiful book);

V. Serge, The Life and Death of Leon Trotsky, New York, 1975 (largely based on the recollections of Trotsky’s wife, Natalia Sedova);

N. Valentinov, Novaia ekonomicheskaia politika i krizis partii posle smerti Lenina, Stanford, 1971 (a fundamental volume).


BVc. The 1930s

G. Andreev-Khomiakov, Bitter Waters. Life and Work in Stalin’s Russia, Boulder, CO, 1997 (very vivid);

A. Barmine, One Who Survived, New York, 1945 (of great value) ;

A. Ciliga, The Russian Enigma (1938), New York, 1979 (of great value) ;

D. Corneli, Il redivivo tiburtino, Milano, 1977 (good on working class life);

The Diary of Georgi Dimitrov, 1933-1949 (I. Banac, ed.), New Haven, CT, 2003 (not as interesting as it promised);

S. Frankfurt, Men and Steel, Moscow, 1935 (a surprisingly frank account of industrialization);

A.V. Gorbatov, Years Off My Life: The Memoirs of a Soviet General, New York, 1965;

E. Gnedin, Katastrofa i vtoroe rozhdenie: memuarnye zapiski, Amsterdam, 1977 (Gnedin was Parvus’ son);

E. Ginzburg, Into the Whirlwind, and Within the Whirlwind, New York, 1975 and 1981 (among the fundamental works on terror);

E. Guarnaschelli, Une petite pierre: l’exil, la déportation et la mort d’un ouvrier communiste italien en U.R.S.S., 1933-1939, Paris, 1979;

V.A. Kravchenko, I Chose Freedom (1946), New Brunswick, NJ, 1989 (perhaps the most important memoir on the decade);

H. Kostiuk, Zustrichi i proshchannia: spohady, Edmonton, 1987;

E. Lipper, Eleven Years in Soviet Prison Camps, Chicago, 1951;

J. Littlepage, In Search of Soviet Gold, New York, 1938 (interesting);

N. Mandelshtam, Hope Against Hope, and Hope Abandoned, New York, 1970-1974 (of great value);

A. Orlov, The Secret History of Stalin’s Crime, New York: Random House, 1953 (by the most important Soviet defector ever. A fascinating but troubled book. See the unsatisfactory J. Costello, O. Tsarev, Deadly Illusions: The KGB Orlov Dossier Reveals Stalin’s Master Spy, New York: Crown, 1993, and E.P. Gazur, Alexander Orlov: The FBI’s KGB General, New York: Carroll & Graf, 2002);

J. Scott, Behind the Urals, Bloomington, 1973 (important);

A. Stakhanov, Rasskaz o moei zhizni, Moscow, 1938 (ideologically representative);

K. Voinov, Outlaw: The Aubiography of a Soviet Waif, London, 1955 (of great interest);

A. Weissberg, The Accused, New York, 1951 (an important book);

Z. Witkin, An American Engineer in Stalin’s Russia, 1932-34, Berkeley, 1991;

M. Yvon, L’U.R.S.S. telle qu’elle est, Paris, 1938 ;

M. Zalcman (Salzman), Histoire véridique de Moshé, ouvrier juif et communiste au temps de Staline, Paris, 1977 (interesting).


BVd. War, Post-war years, the Thaw

A. Adjoubei (Adzhubei), À l’ombre de Khrouchtchev, Paris: la Table ronde, 1989;

L. Alexeyeva, The Thaw Generation, Pittsburgh, 1993;

S. Allilueva, Twenty Letters to a Friend, New York, 1967 (Stalin’s daughter);

V.M. Berezhkov, At Stalin’s Side: His Interpreter’s Memoirs, New York, 1994;

L.I. Brezhnev, Trilogy, New York, 1980 (a revealing text on Soviet official climate in the 1970s);

E. Buca, Vorkuta, London, 1976 (on the 1953 revolt in labor camps);

F. Burlatsky, Khrushchev and the First Russian Spring: The Era of Khrushchev through the Eyes of His Advisor, New York, 1991 (an important book);

S. Byaler, ed., Stalin and His Generals: Soviet Military Memoirs of World War II, New York, 1969 (a valuable collage of some of the memoirs published by Nauka in the 1960s –see BIIa3. above);

S. Shtemenko, The Soviet General Staff at War, 2 vols., Moscow, 1985;

M. Djilas, Conversations with Stalin, New York, 1962 (small but important);

I. Erenburg, Selections from People, Years, Life, New York, 1972;

M. Gefter, Iz tekh i etikh let, Moscow, 1991 (valuable);

G. Herling, A World Apart (1951), New York, 1986 (vivid);

G.F. Kennan, Memoirs, 2 vols., Boston, 1967-1972;

N.S. Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers; Khrushchev Remembers: The Last Testament and Khrushchev Remembers: The Glasnost Tapes, Memoirs, New York, 1970-1990 (fundamental –for the complete edition see now N.S. Khrushchev, Vospominaniia –vremia, liudi, vlast’, 4 vols., Moscow, 1999);

G. Kisunko, Sekretnaia zona: ispoved’ general’nogo konstruktora, Moscow, 1996;

L.Z. Kopelev, The Education of a True Believer, and Ease My Sorrows, New York, 1980-83;

G. Kornienko, Kholodnaia voina: svidetel’stvo ee uchastnika, Moscow, 2001 ;

E.F. Kozhina, Through the Burning Steppe: A Memoir of Wartime Russia, 1942-1943, New York, 2000;

Y. Kwizinskij, Vor dem Sturm: Erinnerungen eines Diplomaten, Munich, 1993 (on Berlin’s crisis, 1958-62)

W. Lotnik, Nine Lives: Ethnic Conflict in the Polish-Ukrainian Borderlands, London, 1999;

V. Mićunović, Moscow Diary, London, 1980 (by the Yugoslav ambassador –valuable on 1956-57);

N. Mukhitdinov, Gody, provedennye v Kremle, 3 vols., Tashkent, 1994;

K. Rokossovsky, A Soldier’s Duty, Moscow, 1970;

A. Sakharov, Memoirs, New York, 1990 (fundamental. It covers the entire post-war period);

J. Scholmer, Vorkuta, London, 1954 (of great interest);

V.E. Semichastnyi, Bespokoinoe serdtse, Moscow, 2002 (by the former KGB chief);

D. Shumuk, Life Sentence: Memoirs of a Ukrainian Political Prisoner, Edmonton, 1984 (of great interest);

K. Simonov, Glazami cheloveka moego pokoleniia: razmyshleniia o I.V. Staline, Moscow, 1990;

P.A. Sudoplatov, Special Tasks, Boston, 1994 (very interesting);

O. Troianovskii, Cherez gody i rasstoianiia, Moscow, 1997;

A. Ulam, Understanding the Cold War. A Historian’s Personal Reflections, Charlottesville, 2000;

E. Vanni, Io comunista in Russia, Bologna, 1950 (good on workers’ life during the war);

Marshal A.M. Vasilevskii, A Lifelong Cause, Moscow, 1981.

Marshal G.K. Zhukov, Memoirs, New York, 1971 (the uncensored version is now available in Russian);

A.G. Zverev, Zapiski ministra, Moscow, 1973 (Stalin’s ministry of finance).


BVe. Stagnation

A.M. Aleksandrov-Agentov, Ot Kollontai do Gorbacheva: vospominaniia diplomata, Moscow, 1994 (by Brezhnev’s intelligent foreign policy advisor);

G. Arbatov, The System: An Insider’s Life in Soviet Politics, New York, 1992 (an important book);

N.K. Baibakov, Ot Stalina do El’tsina, Moscow, 1999 (the Soviet oil industry chief);

K.N. Brutents, Tridtsat’ let na Staroi poloshchadi, Moscow, 1998 (the deputy head of the CC International Sector);

E.I. Chazov, Zdorov’e i vlast’: vospominaniia “kremlevskogo vracha”, Moscow, 1992 (by the Soviet elite’s doctor);

A.S. Cherniaev, Moia zhizn’ i moe vremia, Moscow, 1995 (important);

A. Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to America’s Six Cold War Presidents (1962-1986), New York, 1995 (important);

Y. Yevtushenko, Russian Journal: 1965-1990, New York, 1991;

V.V. Grishin, Ot Khrushcheva do Gorbacheva, Moscow, 1996 (by a Politburo member);

V.SL Israelyan, On the Battlefields of the Cold War: A Soviet Ambassador’s Confession, University Park, Pa, 2003;

O. Kalugin, The First Directorate. My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage Against the West, New York, 1994;

D.A. Kunaev, O moem vremeni: vospominaniia, Alma-Ata, 1992 (by a Politburo member);

O.P. Liashko, Gruz pamiati: vospominaniia, 3 vols., Kyïv, 1997-2001 (by Ukraine’s former premier);

A. Nekrich, Forsake Fear: Memoirs of an Historian, Boston, 1991 (important);

R. Orlova, Memoirs, New York, 1983;

G. Shakhnazarov, S vozhdiami i bez nikh, Moscow, 2001 (important);

R.Z. Sagdeev, The Making of a Soviet Scientist, New York, 1994;

P. Shelest’, …Da ne sudimy budete: dnevnikovye zapisi, vospominaniia chlena Politbiuro TsK KPSS, Moscow, 1995;

A.N. Shevchenko, Breaking with Moscow, New York, 1985;

V.K. Vrublevskii, Vladimir Shcherbitskii: pravda i vymysly, zapiski pomoshchnika, Kyïv, 1993.


BVf. Perestroika, crisis and collapse

Together with the period encompassing World War I, the revolution and the civil war this is perhaps the period best covered by memoirs and autobiographies.


Marshal S. Akhromeev and G. Kornienko, Glazami marshala i diplomata, Moscow, 1992;

I. Afanassiev, Ma Russie fatale: révélations d’un historien engagé, Paris, 1992;

V. Bakatin, Izbavlenie ot KGB, Moscow, 1992 (the last KGB chief);

V. Boldin, Ten Years that Shook the World: The Gorbachev Era as Witnessed by His Chief of Staff, New York, 1994;

A. Chernyaev, My Six Years with Gorbachev, University Park, 2000 (among the best and most important memoirs on the period);

B. Eltsine, Against the Grain, and The Struggle for Russia, New York, 1990 and 1994;

Y. Gaidar, Days of Defeat and Victory, Seattle, 1999;

M. Gorbachev, Memoirs, New York, 1996;

A.S. Gratchev, Final Days: The Inside History of the Collapse of the Soviet Union, Boulder, 1995;

A.N. Iakovlev, Le vertige des illusions: réflexions et analyses sur la tragédie communiste, Paris, 1993;

A.N. Iakovlev, Sumerki, Moscow, 2003 (among the best and most important memoirs on the period);

V. Kriuchkov, Lichnoe delo, Moscow, 2001;

V. Landsbergis, Lithuania Independent Again, Seattle, 2000;

General A. Lebed, My Life and My Country, Washington, DC, 1997;

Y. Ligachev, Inside Gorbachev’s Kremlin, New York, 1993 (important);

J. Matlock, Autopsy of an Empire: The American Ambassador’s Account of the Collapse of the Soviet Union, New York, 1995 (important);

K.P. Morozov, Above and Beyond: From Soviet General to Ukrainian State Builder, Cambridge, MA, 2000;

J.P. Pogrebniak, Ne predam zabveniiu... Zapiski professional’noho partiinoho rabotnika, Kyïv, 1999 ;

N.I. Ryzhkov, Perestroika: istoriia predatel’stva, Moscow, 1992 (by Gorbachev’s prime minister);

G. Shakhnazarov, Tsena svobody: reformatsiia Gorbacheva glazami ego pomoshchnika, Moscow, 1993 (important) ;

Marshal E. Shaposhnikov, Vybor: zapiski Glavnokomanduiushchego, Moscow, 1993;

A. Sobtchak, For a New Russia, New York, 1992;

Marshal V. Varennikov, Sud’ba i sovest, Moscow, 1993;

V.I. Vorotnikov, A bylo eto tak: iz dnevnika chlena Politbiuro TsK KPSS, Moscow, 1995;

D. Yazov, Udary sud’by, Moscow, 1999.


There also exist books based on interviews with Soviet leaders. On the problems they raise, see, for instance, S. White, O. Kryshtanovskaia, I. Kukolev, “Interviewing the Soviet Elite”, Russian Review, (2) 1996 and M. Ellman, V. Kontorovich, “The Collapse of the Soviet System and the Memoir Literature”, Europe-Asia Studies, 49, 2 (1997).

S. Cohen, K. van den Heuvel, eds., Voices of Glasnost, New York, 1989 and M. Ellman, V. Kontorovich, eds., The Destruction of the Soviet Aconomic System: An Insiders’ History, Armonk, N.Y., 1998, are perhaps the most important among such compilations.

See also A.I. Gribkov, W.Y. Smith, Operation ANADYR: U.S. and Soviet Generals Recount the Cuban Missile Crisis, Chicago, 1994; D. Pryce-Jones, The War that Never Was: The Fall of the Soviet Empire, 1985-1991, Phoenix, 1996.


BVI. Literary works

What follows is but a small selection of important works. The guiding criteria has been their historical value (as testimonies, interpretations, etc. See for instance A. Gerschenkron’s essays on the value of Russian novels as sources in Economic Backwardness in Historical Perspective, Cambridge, MA, 1966). A few works by non-Soviet authors have also been selected. This list too is chronologically organized, but many of the works cover more than just one period.


I. Babel, Red Cavalry, New York, 2003;

M. Bulgakov, The White Guard, Chicago, 1987;

A.V. Tchaianov (Chaianov), Voyage de mon frère Alexis au pays de l’utopie paysanne, Lausanne, 1976;

B. Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago, London, 1987;

A. Platonov, Chevengur, Ann Arbor, 1978;

M. Sholokhov, Quiet Flows the Don, London, 1996;

V. Veresaev, The Deadlock, London, 1927;

E. Zamiatin, We, New York, 1993.


M. Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita, London, 1997;

F. Gladkov, Cement, New York, 1980;

A. Platonov, The Foundation Pit, London, 1996;

A. Tolstoy, Peter the First, New York, 1959.


M. Alekseev, Drachuny, Moscow, 1982;

I. Erenburg, The Second Day, Moscow, 1984;

V. Grossman, Forever Flowing, London, 1986;

V. Kataev, Time, Forward!, New York, 1933;

A. Koestler, Darkness at Noon, New York, 1987;

A.N. Rybakov, Children of the Arbat, Boston, 1988;

V. Serge, The Case of Comrade Tulayev, London, 1993;

V. Shalamov, Kolyma Tales, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1994;

I. Stadniuk, Liudi ne angely, 2 vols., Moscow, 1963-66;

M. Tsvetaeva, Selected Poems, Oxford, 1993;

M. Tsvetaeva, Deserti luoghi: lettere, 1925-1941, Milano: Adelphi, 1989;

S. Zalyguine (Zalygin), Au bord de l’Irtych: chronique du village de Kroutyé Louki, Paris, 1970.


A. Akhmatova, The Complete Poems, Boston, 1997;

H. Dunmore, The Siege, London, 2001;

V. Grossman, Life and Fate, New York, 1985 (still the most important book on World War II);

V. Nekrassov, Front-Line Stalingrad, London, 1964;

G. Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-four: A Novel, New York, 2003;

G. Orwell, Animal Farm: A Fairy Story, New York 1996;

K. Simonov, The Living and the Dead, Garden City, NY, 1962.


A. Bek, La nouvelle affectation, Paris, 1988 (the best book on the Stalinist “best” bureaucrats’s ideology and reaction to Khrushchev’s reforms);

I. Bondarev, Silence, Boston, 1966;

L. Chukovskaia, The Akhmatova Journals, New York, 1994;

V. Dudintsev, Not by Bread Alone, New York, 1957;

I. Erenburg, The Thaw, Chicago, 1955 (minor, but named an epoch);

E. Evtushenko, The Collected Poems, 1952-1990, New York, 1991;

V. Ovechkin, Greetings from the Front, and Collective Farm Sidelights, Moscow, 1947 and 1954;

L. Razgon, True Stories, Dana Point, California, 1997;

A. Solzhenitsyn, Cancer Ward, London, 1968;

A. Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, London, 1995;

A. Solzhenitsyn, Matryona’s House, in We Never Make Mistakes, Columbia, 1963.


C. Aitmatov, The Day Lasts more than a Hundred Years, Bloomington, Indiana, 1988;

V. Aksenov, The Burn, London, 1984;

V. Astafiev, Une Enfance en Sibérie, Paris, 1981;

N. Baranskaia, A Week Like Any Other, Seattle, 1990;

S. Dovlatov, The Compromise, New York, 1983 and The Zone, New York, 1985;

B. Okudzhava, Pesni Bulata Okudzhavy: melodii i teksty, Moscow, 1989;

V. Rasputin, Farewell to Matyora, New York, 1979;

I. Trifonov, Another Life, and The House on the Embankment, Evanston, 1999;

V. Vysotskii, Sochineniia: v dvukh tomakh, Ekaterinburg, 1994;

A. Zinovev, The Yawning Heights, London, 1979.

BVII. Statistics and censuses


The last statistical handbook of the Tsarist empire that could rightly boast of a brilliant, if recent, tradition in the field, was published in 1916. However, such tradition bore fruits also in the decade following the revolution, before falling prey to the post-1929 ruinous persecutions (see Stanziani, DIIc1. below). Both in the civil war and in the NEP years statisticians thus continued to produce valuable works. In 1921 the handbooks for 1913-17 and 1918-20 were published, followed by a resumption of annual and other publications. Among the best examples one may recall the Trudy of the Tsentral’noe statisticheskoe upravlenie, which also published studies on later prohibited topics such as suicide, abortion, crime, etc.; Statistika truda or Trud v SSSR (1924-1930); detailed studies of the Soviet working classes, of workers’ and peasants’ time, consumption, income and work “balances” (1922-1927), of the state apparatus (1924-28), etc. The most important statistical effort of the first Soviet decade was, however, the 1926 census, published in 56 volumes between 1927 and 1933.

In 1928 the last serious handbook saw the light. A general, sudden, and precipitous deterioration in the quality and quantity of information published (and, as we now know, gathered) followed. No handbooks were published for either 1931 or 1933, while the 1932 handbook had no sections on prices and real incomes. Meanwhile, most economic data, often of dubious quality, were being confined to restricted publications, such as those prepared for the leadership of the Commissariat of Heavy Industry. In 1932, 1933, 1935, and 1936 Trud v SSSR volumes, greatly inferior in value to those of the previous decades, were published, together with some studies of Trade Unions’ members. The three Sotsialisticheskoe stroitel’stvo v SSSR handbooks for 1934-1936 and the 1936 Zenshchina v SSSR were the last statistical publications of a certain ambition to be published before 1956 (the small 1939 Sotsialisticheskoe stroitel’stvo, including 1933-1938 data, is in fact almost purely propaganda).

The 1937 census, whose data on population Stalin disliked, was declared void, and its authors purged (its results were published only in 1991, Vsesoiuznaia perepis’ naseleniia 1937 g. Kratkie itogi, Moscow, 1991). A few results of the 1939 one appeared in two Pravda articles (July 2, 1939 and April 4, 1940), and were later briefly discussed in Vestnik statistiki, 6 (1956) (see now Vsesoiuznaia perepis’ naseleniia 1939 g. Osnovnye itogi, Moscow, 1992). The 1937 and 1939 censuses data are now fully available in microfilm (319 reels) from the Russian Archives collection of the Gale group.

In 1956 statistical publications started anew with the Narodnoe khoziaistvo SSSR, Moscow, 1956 (see N. Jasny, The Soviet 1956 Statistical Yearbook, East Lansing, 1956, whose first chapter also outlines a short history of Soviet statistics). In the following 15 years their number, and their value, grew. A volume with the 1959 census Itogi was, for example, published in 1962, followed by several other volumes for the various republics.

After the publication in seven volumes (1972-1974) of the 1970 census, however, a new decline in both quantity and quality became more and more evident. It also affected restricted publications (see M. Tolts’s essay, DIIe3. below). The 1979 census’ results started to be published in a satisfactory way only after 1985, when the number, and the quality, of statistical publications started again to grow. However, at least up until the collapse of the USSR, statistical series continued to be marred by deliberate, politically inspired distortions, and not just by human errors (see V. Kirichenko, “Vernut’ doverie statistike”, Vestnik statistiki, 3 (1990), and M. Eidel’man, “Peresmotr dinamicheskikh riadov osnovnych makroekonomicheskikh pokazatelei”, Vestnik statistiki, 4 (1992)). An idea of the post-1985 publications’ richness may be gathered by browsing the titles in the Collection of Russian and Soviet Statistical Handbooks at the Slavic Research Center, Hokkaido University,, which does not include republican or regional handbooks.

G.I. Khanin elaborated the most important alternative statistical series in the economic field. His work is analyzed in M. Harrison, “Soviet Economic Growth Since 1928: The Alternative Statistics of G.I. Khanin”, Europa-Asia Studies , 45 (1993) and R.E. Ericson, The Soviet Statistical Debate: Khanin versus TsSU, in Rowen and Wolf, eds., Impoverished (see DIIl. below).


For a general overview of available publications see:

R.S. Clem , ed., Research Guide to the Russian and Soviet Censuses, Ithaca, 1986 (it covers the 1897-1979 years);

T.E. Heleniak, Bibliography of Soviet Statistical Handbooks, Washington, DC, 1988;

Id., Bibliography of Soviet/Russian Statistical Handbooks, 1954-1992, Newtonville, 1992;

C. Makhroff, “Deux cents ans de statistiques russes et soviétiques: catalogue des annuaires disponibles dans les bibliothèques européennes”, Cahiers de l’Institut de science économique appliquée. Economie planifiée, Décembre 1966;

E.A. Mashikin, V.M. Simchera, Statisticheskie publikatsii v SSSR. Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’, Moscow, 1975.


A relatively useful compendium of the available data can be found in USSR: Facts and Figures Annual, Gulf Breeze, FL, 1977-1992 (since 1993 Russia & Eurasia Facts & Figures Annual).


Soviet statistics are discussed in:

Statistique démographique et sociale (Russie-URSS): Politiques, administrateurs et société, special issue, Cahiers du monde russe, 4 (1997);

V.G. Treml, J.P. Hardt, eds., Soviet Economic Statistics, Durham, NC, 1972 (See also sections DIIe3. and DIIi2. below for other relevant works).


I am listing here a small selection of post-1985 publications, often including formerly unknown data:

J. Serio, ed., USSR Crime Statistics and Summaries: 1989 and 1990, Chicago, 1992.

And in alphabetical order:

Chislennost’ naseleniia RSFSR po dannym Vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1989 goda, Moscow, 1990 (see also other volumes like Chislennost’ naseleniia otdel’nykh etnicheskikh grupp);

Demograficheskii ezhegodnik SSSR, Moscow, 1990;

Finansy SSSR (1989-1990 gg.), Moscow, 1991;

Itogi Vsesoiuznoi perepisi naseleniia 1979 goda, 9 vols., Moscow, 1985–;

Natsional’nye scheta dlia byvshego SSSR, Moscow, 1994;

Narodnoe khoziaistvo SSSR v Velikoi Otechestvennoi voine 1941-1945 gg., Moscow, 1990;

Narodnoe khoziaistvo SSSR za 70 let, Moscow, 1987;

Nauchno-technicheskii progress v SSSR, Moscow, 1990;

Okhrana zdorov’ia v SSSR, Moscow, 1990;

Prestupnost’ i pravonarusheniia, Moscow, 1992;

Sel’skokhoziaistvennoe proizvodstvo v lichnykh podsobnykh khoziaistvakh naseleniia, Moscow, 1991;

Sotsial’noe razvitie SSSR, Moscow, 1990;

SSSR i soiuznye respubliki v 1988 gody, Moscow, 1990;

Trud v SSSR, Moscow, 1988;

Vneshniaia torgovlia SSSR v 1989-1990 gg., Moscow, 1991;

Zhilishchnye usloviia Rossiiskoi Federatsii po dannym perepisi naseleniia 1989 g., 2 vols., Moscow, 1993;

Zhenshchiny v SSSR, Moscow, 1991.


On population trends and movements see also the already mentioned site Démographie de la Russie (see section AIV. above). Data banks such as the already mentioned Integrum (see AIV. above) are important, too.

BVIII. Journals and periodicals


BVIIIa. Journals and various periodical publications

One has to keep in mind that especially after 1930 there were numerous periodicals printed only for a restricted audience. Generally these were not listed in published catalogues, and can be found only in archives and special collections.


Among catalogues the following may be referenced:

Letopis’ zhurnal’nykh statei, Moscow, 1926-

Gosudarstvennaia publichnaia biblioteka imeni M.E. Saltykova-Shchedrina, Obshchie bibliografii russkikh periodicheskikh izdanii, 1703-1954, Leningrad, 1956;

Vsesoiuznaia knizhnaia palata, Periodicheskaia pechat’ SSSR, 1917-1949: bibliograficheskii ukazatel’, 10 vols., Moscow, 1955-1963;

Letopis’ periodicheskikh izdanii SSSR, later replaced by Letopis’ periodicheskikh i prodolzhaiushchikhsia izdanii;

Iu.I. Masanov, Ukazateli soderzhaniia russkikh zhurnalov i prodolzhaiushchikhsia izdanii, 1755-1970 gg., Moscow, 1975;

Gosudarstvennaia publichnaia istoricheskaia biblioteka RSFSR, Katalog otechestvennych zhurnalov na russkom iazyke za 1917-1977 gg, 4 vols., Moscow, 1981;

N. A. Zemtsova, ed., Izdaniia perioda revoliutsii i grazhdanskoi voiny (1917-1921) v Rossii: katalog kollektsii, Moscow, 1991;

Bibliographic Guide to Soviet and East European Studies, New York, 1978–1993;

M. Armand, A. Thikian, “Inventaire des tables cumulatives des périodiques russes se trouvant dans les bibliothèques parisiennes”, Cahiers du monde russe et soviétique, 3, 1972.


Some of the most significant journals are listed below in chronological order. Preference has been given to historical and political ones:

Kommunist, Moscow, 1918 (The Left Communists’ journal –interesting);

The New Russia, London, 1919-1920 (Miliukov’s review);

Kommunisticheskii internatsional, 1919-1943 (the Comintern’s official organ);

Proletarskaia revoliutsiia, Moscow, 1921-40;

Sotsialisticheskii vestnik, 1921-1963 (The Mensheviks’ main journal –very interesting);

Arkhiv russkoi revoliutsii, 22 vols., Berlin, 1922-37 (An extraordinary source on the civil war);

Krasnyi arkhiv, Moscow, 1922-41 (See A Digest of the “Krasnyi Arkhiv” (Red Archives), An Historical Journal of the Central Archive Department of the USSR, 2 vols., Cleveland, 1947-1955 and V.V. Maksakov, ed., Krasnyi arkhiv: Istoricheskii zhurnal, 1922-1941: annotirovannyi ukazatel’, Moscow, 1960) –a rich source;

Planovoe khoziaistvo, Moscow, 1923–, (The Gosplan official journal, quite interesting for the 1920s. In 1930 it absorbed Vestnik statistiki);

Kommunist, Moscow, 1924-91 (The CPSU Central Committee’s official organ –important);

Istorik-Marksist, Moscow, 1926-41 (See A.S. Powell, Istorik-Marksist, 1926-1941: cumulative Index, Millwood, 1982);

Puti industrializatsii, Moscow (up to 1931 the VSNKh’s main journal –rich on industrialization);

Biulleten’ oppozitsii (bol’shevikov-lenintsev), 1929-41 (The Trotskyite opposition’s review –very interesting);

Novyi zhurnal, New York, 1942- (one of the best journals of the Russian emigration);

Literaturnaia gazeta, Moscow, (The Writers Union’s journal);

Novyi Mir (The Thaw’s main journal, directed in the 1950s-1960s by Tvardovskii, Simonov, and, again, Tvardovskii);

Politicheskii dnevnik, 1964-1970, 2 vols., Amsterdam, 1972-1975 (Medvedev’s journal);

Sovetskie arkhivy, Moscow, 1966-;

Khronika tekushchikh sobitii, nos. 1-64 (since 1968 Soviet dissent’s main publication –see P. Reddaway, Uncensored Russia: The Human Rights Movement in the Soviet Union, London, 1972, for a translation of nos. 1-11);

Etudes of the research project “Les crises des systèmes de type soviétique”, directed by Z. Mlynar (Mlynář) in the 1980s. Several issues of different length but great interest, with essays by K. Kaplan, F. Fehér, A. Heller, J. Kosta, D. Havlicek et al.;

Izvestiia TsK KPSS, Moscow, 1989-1991 (it has published quite important documents).


BVIIIb. Newspapers

Besides the great national newspapers, such as Pravda and Izvestiia, there existed in the USSR hundreds of local or specialized newspapers. Unfortunately, but for the civil war and the terminal years of the Soviet regime their interest is generally low. See M. Lenoe, Mobilizing the Labor Front: Newspapers, Society and the Origins of Stalinist Culture, 1922-1932, Cambridge, MA, 2004.


Here are just some of the available catalogues, in chronological order:

Russkie gazety perioda 1917-1922 gg. v fondakh Gosudarstvennoi biblioteki SSSR imeni V.I. Lenina. 3 vols., Moscow, 1982;

I. V. Morozov, ed., Gazety pervykh let Sovetskoi vlasti, 1917-1922: svodnyi bibliograficheskii katalog, Moscow, 1990;

Gazety SSSR, 1917-1960: bibliograficheskii spravochnik, 5 vols., Moscow, 1970-84;

The already mentioned Letopis’ periodicheskikh izdanii SSSR has separate volumes on newspapers for 1955-60, 1961-65, 1966-70 and 1971-75;

N.N. Bessonova, O.N. Nizhneva, Krupneishie gazetnye fondy nauchnykh bibliotek strany: Annotirovannyi ukazatel’, Moscow, 1984;

Bibliothèque de Documentation International Contemporaine, La Nouvelle Presse en Russie - Catalogue des périodiques de l’ex-URSS, Nanterre, 1993;

P.L. Horecky, ed., Russian, Ukrainian, and Belorussian Newspapers, 1917-1953: A Union List, Washington, DC, 1953;

P.L. Horecky, ed., Newspapers of the Soviet Union in the Library of Congress (Slavic, 1954-1960; non-Slavic, 1917-1960), Washington, DC, 1962;

M. Karol, Soviet and Russian Newspapers at the Hoover Institution, a Catalog, Stanford, 1966;

R. Smits, ed., Half a century of Soviet serials, 1917-1968: A bibliography and Union List of Serials
Published in the USSR
, 2 vols., Washington, DC, 1968.


Useful translations are provided by:

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service, USSR: Daily Reports and the Joint Publication Research Service (various reports on the USSR), two daily US Government (CIA) publications;

The BBC World Service, Survey of World Broadcasts, a British government daily publication;

The Current Digest of the Soviet Press, a private weekly publication.

Some translations can also be found in:

Soviet Press Translations, 4 vols., 1946-49;

Current Abstracts of the Soviet Press, 1968-70;

Soviet Press: Selected Translations, Washington, DC, 1973-.