US Government documents on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe

Original documents are held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Series were microfilmed by the University Publications of America (UPA). Purchased by the Research Institute of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Some documents were digitized and uploaded onto the Parallel Archive; see details below.

I. Confidential U.S. State Department Central Files

These are microfilm copies of the US Department of State’s “Central Files,” made up of instructions and correspondence received from and sent to US diplomatic posts abroad. They provide significant information on political, military, social, and economic developments concerning the Soviet Union and include minutes of meetings, interviews, letters, and translations of foreign documents.

The Soviet Union : Internal Affairs

1945-1949: 39 reels

1950-1954: 38 reels

1955-1959: 46 reels

The Soviet Union : Foreign Affairs

1945-1949: 10 reels

1950-1954: 12 reels

1955-1959: 15 reels

II. Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post Records; Russia and the Soviet Union

Part 1: Russia. From Czars to Commissars, 1914-1918:  10 reels

This collection contains American diplomatic reports from Russia. The reports deal with numerous subjects: the political and economic consequences of World War I; the military situation; the collapse of the Czarist regime and the establishment of the Provisional Government in the February 1917 Revolution; conflict between the Provisional Government and General Kornilov; the Russo-Japanese Entente; the Bolshevik coup d'état of the October Revolution; activities of the Polish Provisional Government; the political situation in Romania, the Caucasus, Estonia, Latvia, and the Ukraine; the question of the Allies’ recognition of the Soviet government; the first meeting of the Soviet Congress; Soviet foreign policy; Leon Trotsky; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk; the arrival of Allied forces in Russia and the Russian response; the YMCA and Red Cross relief activities; and the beginnings of the Soviet Political Police (the Cheka).

Part 2: The Soviet Union, 1919-1933:   75 reels

This collection includes official reports filed by American diplomats based on eyewitness accounts, interviews with political leaders, and translated government reports. Selected titles include: - Trotsky's Report on Economic Problems (1920) - Treaty of Rapallo between Soviet Russia and Germany (1922) - The Death of Lenin (1924) - Communist Work among the Negroes in the United States (1930) - Correspondence with the Chinese Communist Party (1930) - Russian Peasant Policy, 1932-1934.

Part 3: The Soviet Union, 1934-1941 :   60 reels

This collection includes official reports filed by American diplomats based on eyewitness accounts, interviews with political leaders, and translated government reports. Selected titles include: - Purging of Officials and other Prominent Persons (1937) - Outbreak of Fighting between Japan and the Soviet Union (1938) - The First Soviet Protocol, Signed by USSR, United States, and Great Britain, regarding the Supplying of Materials for the War Effort (1941) - Evacuation of the Government from Moscow (1941).

III. OSS/State Department Intelligence and Research Reports: 14 reels

The Office of Strategic Services and the State Department assigned leading scholars in international affairs and a variety of area studies to write special classified reports during World War II and the Cold War. These reports helped shape US foreign policy decisions, and they now provide an excellent, previously untapped source for the study of the recent history and the politics of major nations and areas of the world. Parts VI and XI focus on Soviet internal affairs and international relations from 1941 through 1961.

Part 6: The Soviet Union, 1941-1945

Russia and Germany in Winter and Spring (1941)

Political Orientation and Morale in the USSR (1943)

Russian National Income and Defense Expenditures (1943)

Trends in the Status of the Russian Worker (1943)

Standards of Living in the USSR (1945)

Please note that 99 large reports of this series were digitized and uploaded onto the Parallel Archive  and are available for online research and comments.

Part 11: The Soviet Union, 1950-1961 + Supplements

Extent and Stability of Soviet Control over European Satellites (1951)

Forced Labor in the Soviet Union (1952)

The Position of Jews in the USSR (1953)

Soviet Adjustments to Stalin's Death (1953)

Urban Housing in the USSR (1956)

Soviet Mass Media Propaganda (1959)

The Soviet Account of the U-2 Incident (1960)

Moscow Hesitant on Cuba's "Socialist" State (1961)

IV. CIA Research Reports: The Soviet Union, 1946-1976: 10 reels

Authorized by the 1947 National Security Act, the CIA's mandate has been to "produce and disseminate foreign intelligence relating to the national security, including foreign political, economic, scientific, technical, military, geographic, and sociological intelligence to meet the needs of the President, the National Security Council, and other elements of the US Government." As the CIA Research Reports show, this mandate has resulted in a diverse body of documentation that holds rich potential for historians and political scientists. Beginning in 1946 with reports of the CIA's predecessor, the Central Intelligence Group, the collection reflects key points of US interest during the first three decades following World War II.

V. U.S. Government Documents: Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS)

Daily Reports on Microfiche

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was a United States government agency run by the US Central Intelligence Agency from 1941-2004. FBIS monitored, translated, and republished selected news and commentary from foreign political speeches, radio and television broadcasts, news agency transmissions, newspapers, and periodicals. These translations, or transcriptions in the case of English language materials, make up the Daily Reports. Since FBIS primary users - US government officials - determined which stories were included, the material is wide-reaching, with an emphasis on political, socioeconomic, scientific, technical, and environmental information. The translations were published as quickly as possible - usually within a few days of original publication - in a series of daily reports.

Please note that gaps in numbering sequence may indicate unpublished issues. Indices to Daily Reports are included in the series.

Western Europe 1977-1994: 3307 microfiches


1980 with gaps;


1986-1987 with gaps;


1994 with gaps

Soviet Union 1977-1990: 3998 microfiches

1977-1984 with gaps;


1987-1988 with gaps;


Eastern Europe 1977-1994: 4350 microfiches

1977 with gaps;


1979-1980 with gaps;


1982-1988 with gaps;


1994 with gaps

Central Eurasia 1992-1994: 767 microfiches

1992 with gaps,


1994 with gaps

China 1992: 27 microfiches

Oct. 1992


For more information on the scope, history, and use of open source intelligence by the US and UK, see K. Leetaru, " The Scope of FBIS and BBC Open-Source Media Coverage, 1979-2008 ," Studies in Intelligence, 54(1): 17-37.