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Opening of the soviet archives

Opening of the Soviet Archives:

The freeing up of Soviet academic life in the late 1980s and then western access to increasing amounts of Soviet archival material since 1991 means it is now possible to re-examine the origins of the Cold War using former Soviet sources. It should be noted that there are at present real limitations on these sources. Only a very small amount of the archival material has been released. There are large amounts of KGB, foreign office, military and Politburo documents that remain highly classified. Also, access has not always been consistent: there have been cases in which material has been released but then closed again on the grounds that it is too controversial or that it threatens the interests of the Russian political elite. The material certainly helps to fill in details on key events but it does not necessarily resolve everything and in some cases it has been used to fuel further controversy. Indeed, some post revisionist historians such as Gaddis appear to have used selected Soviet material to revert to a Cold War interpretation from the nineteen fifties that blames the Russians for everything. See Peter Bastian, “

Interpreting the Cold War from Soviet Sources”, Teaching History, Vol. 35, No 4. December, 2001, pp.5-10.