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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • March 10, 1938

    Report on Imre Nagy’s Arrest by the NKVD (Commissariat of Internal Affairs)

    Matusov and Altman report on Nagy's arrest on 4/5 March 1938 and subsequent release on 8 March, and describe some of his work.

  • September 02, 1938

    A Conversation Between Cdes. Stalin, Molotov, and Voroshilov and the Governor Shicai Sheng which Occurred in the Kremlin on 2 September 1938

    Stalin, Molotov, Voroshilov, and Governor Sheng discuss Xinjiang's military, level of industrialization, and natural resources, as well as Governor Sheng's strong desire to join the Communist Party.

  • January 04, 1939

    Translation of a Letter from Governor Shicai Sheng to Cdes. Stalin, Molotov, and Voroshilov

    Governor Sheng Shicai expresses gratitude to Cdes. Stalin, Molotov, and Voroshilov for the opportunity to visit Moscow. After reporting critical remarks made by Fang Lin against the Soviet Union and the Communist Party, Sheng Shicai requests that the All-Union Communist Party dispatch a politically experienced person to Urumqi to discuss Party training and asks that the Comintern order the Chinese Communist Party in Xinjiang to liquidate the Party organization.

  • January 10, 1939

    Concerning Soviet Troops in Xinjiang

    The Politburo transfers Soviet military units deployed in Xinjiang and supervision of the Xinjiang army to the control of the People's Commissariat of Defense.

  • January 11, 1939

    Concerning the Work of the NKVD Special Departments

    The Politburo describes the work of the NKVD Special Departments, which are charged with fighting counterrevolution, espionage, and other anti-Soviet activity in the Red Army, Navy, and NKVD. To accomplish these tasks, the Special Departments organize an apparatus of informers and conduct searches and seizures.

  • March 07, 1939

    Letter from People’s Commissariat of Power Plants and Electrical Industry to the Council of People’s Commissars of USSR, 'On the Organization of the Research Activities on the Nuclear Atom'

    In this letter the Soviet minister proposed to the Soviet government to concentrate the nuclear research in Ukrainian Institute of Physic and Technology (UIPhT) and to locate in Kharkov the nuclear scientists from Leningrad Institute of Physic and Technology because Kharkov institute had very good base for the nuclear studies. If this proposal was realized Kharkov could become more important Soviet nuclear center than Moscow or Sarov. In any case this letter of people’s commissar recognized the prominent role of the Ukrainian Institute of Physic and Technology (UIPhT) in the Soviet nuclear science.

  • September, 1939

    Secret Supplementary Protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact, 1939

    Secret Texts of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Non-Aggression Pact, 1939

  • December 28, 1939

    Concerning the NKVD's Monitoring of International Communications

    The Politburo describes changes to its existing procedures for monitoring international communications, including requiring the NKVD to monitor all international conversations of foreign embassy officials and journalists, prohibiting private citizens from making international calls, and increasing the NKVD's work to identify illegal radio stations operating within foreign embassies.

  • February 22, 1940

    Letter from State Plan of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic to Academy of Sciences of USSR, 'About the Rationality of the Cyclotron Construction in UIPhT'

    This letter informed the Academy of Sciences that UIPhT asked the government of the Ukrainian Soviet Republic to allocate 75 thousand rubles for designing of the cyclotron, and 1,5 million rubles for its building. The State Plan asked an advice on necessity to build the cyclotron.

  • February 28, 1940

    Letter from Director of the Institute of Physical Problems Petr Kapitsa to State Plan of Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, 'About Cyclotron of Ukrainian Institute of Physics and Technology'

    This document is an answer to the letter from State Plan of Ukrainian Soviet Socialistic Republic to Academy of Sciences of USSR “About Rationality to Construct Cyclotron in UIPhT” (22 Feb 1940). The answer of academician Petr Kapitsa to this letter was very critical. Kapitsa wrote that UIPhT “during the last several years built a number of research installation but did not finish them. However it started to build new installations. Such activities of UIPhT can’t be considered as normal”. So Petr Kapitsa discouraged building a cyclotron in UIPhT, and this was one of the reasons why this institute did not become the leading nuclear center in USSR.

  • March 14, 1940

    Concerning the Secret Cipher Unit of the USSR Consulate in Urumqi

    The Politburo directs the NKVD to permit the division of the combined secret cipher unit of the USSR Consulate General and Trade Mission in Urumqi into independent secret cipher units.

  • April 17, 1940

    Conclusion of Radium Institute of Academy of Sciences on Invention of UIPhT Fellows Sent to Agency of Military Chemical Defense

    In this letter two nuclear scientists from UIPhT described the construction of the nuclear bomb and proposed to start activities in producing of the nuclear arsenal and make these activities secret. Two Ukrainian physicists were first Soviet scientists who revealed the way of producing the nuclear weapon (of course they did not know about the similar inventions of the western scientists which were made at the same time because of secrecy regime).

  • May 09, 1940

    Memorandum to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU on Troop Strength Orders for the Red Army, 9 May 1940

    Memorandum to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU on Troop strength orders for the Red Army, May 9, 1940. Proposals for strengthening of Soviet armed forces.

  • June 09, 1940

    Concerning Funding for the Red Army

    The Soviet Politburo directs the NKO to approve over 9 million rubles in hard currency expenses for the 5th Directorate of the Red Army for 1940.

  • October, 1940

    Technical Proposal of F. Lange, V. Maslov, and V. Shpinel, 'Fission of Uranium Isotopes by Using Method of Coriolis Acceleration'

    Kharkov Institute scientists proposed in this document the concrete steps to build a nuclear weapon. The document demonstrates that Ukrainian physicists understood how to receive weapons grade uranium and elaborated concrete technical proposals to achieve this goal through uranium enrichment in centrifuge.

  • October 17, 1940

    Claim for an Invention from V. Maslov and V. Shpinel, 'About Using of Uranium as an Explosive and Toxic Agent'

    In this letter two nuclear scientists from UIPhT described the construction of the nuclear bomb and proposed to start activities in producing of the nuclear arsenal and make these activities secret. Two Ukrainian physicists were first Soviet scientists who revealed the method of producing a nuclear weapon (of course they did not know about the similar inventions of western scientists which were made at the same time under great secrecy).

  • October 26, 1940

    Excerpt on Xinjiang from Minutes No. 21 of the VKP(b) CC Politburo Meetings

    The Soviet Politburo charges Narkomtsvetmet with concluding a 50 year concession agreement for the right to explore and exploit mineral deposits in Xinjiang and establishes a Directorate of Concessions for Exploration, Prospecting, and Exploitation of the Deposits of Tin in Xinjiang.

  • January, 1941

    Claim for an Invention from F. Lange and V. Maslov, 'Thermocirculation centrifuge'

    This document’s proposal about centrifuge received positive assessments from the leading Soviet academicians in Moscow.

  • January 29, 1941

    Notes from the Meeting between Comrade Stalin and Economists Concerning Questions in Political Economy, 29 January 1941

    Notes from L.A. Leont’ev's January 1941 meeting with Stalin, regarding drafts of two commissioned textbooks on political economy. Stalin gives his views on "planning", "wages", "fascism", and other issues.

  • February, 1941

    Conclusion of National Institute of Chemical Studies of Soviet National Committee of Defence on Invention of UIPhT Fellows Which Was Sent to Agency of Military Chemical Defense

    In this document, leading Soviet scientists criticize the idea of Kharkov physicists to use Uranium in military goals, because they do not believe it is possible to realize nuclear fission in the current practical conditions faced. The Soviet National Committee of Defence received these skeptical assessments in 1941 and decided not to develop the military nuclear program.