AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXVII, No. 1, Spring 1995


Archives on Soviet Nuclear Program to Be Published

Russian President Boris Yeltsin issued a decree on February 17 ordering the declassification and publication of an official collection of papers documenting the Soviet nuclear program up to 1954 (Rossiiksaia Gazeta , March 1, 1995). The decree said the measure was requested by numerous Russian agencies, and would seek to create an "objective picture" of how the Soviet Union developed nuclear weapons. There were no details of how much would be published or when.

In an Internet posting on the H-DIPLO list, David Russel Stone suggests that the move is partly a reaction to the controversy raised by the purported memoirs of Soviet spymaster Pavel Sudoplatov (see the Newsletter, Fall 1994). "The reaction of the Russian popular press this summer to both Sudoplatov's book and the 45th anniversary of the first Soviet atomic bomb was most often irritation at the suggestion that Soviet science relied heavily on materials stolen from the West. Judging from this, the forthcoming collection will likely attempt to show a very different picture of the development of the Soviet nuclear program."

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