First batch of Latvia's KGB archives published online

The Latvian National Archives have published the first part of a document trove of the former Soviet secret police - the KGB - that was discovered at the time when the USSR collapsed.

Available at https://kgb.arhivi.lv/, the archive includes alphabetic and statistical card indexes, the dossiers of recruited KGB agents, the KGB employees' phonebooks, as well as materials on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Latvia.

Accessible by providing the Latvian equivalent of a social security number, it seems that in reality only the email address has to be a valid one to register for access as LSM was able to register with fake credentials. 

According to Latvia's state bulletin, the index spans some 4,300 out of about 25,000 KGB agents active in the period from 1953 to 1991, but it mostly concerns agents active in the late 1980s.

It's clear that the archive is incomplete. For days, black smoke was seen rising from the chimneys of the KGB building before it was overtaken by pro-independence forces as the USSR fell. 

The index cards have the name, surname, year and location of birth, address, workplace, nationality, education, code name and other information on KGB recruits.

Archives related to communist party management are to be published next year. 

Read more about the KGB archives here. A complementary piece discusses a couple of problems with the reliability of the files

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