The Smolensk Archive kept in the US National Archive in Washington for more 50 years has been officially handed over to Russia in Smolensk (the administrative centre of the Smolensk region, 300 km west of Moscow, that borders on Belarus).
Representatives of the US Embassy in Russia, officials of the Russian Foreign and Cultural Ministries, heads of the regional executives bodies, and scholars took part in the ceremony.
Head of the Russian Archive Service Vladimir Kozlov said that the documents carried facts and historical events of both the Smolensk region and the entire country.
The Smolensk Archive including 541 cases of more than 70,000 pages has been brought back to its historical homeland. Soon it will become available for scientists.
The Smolensk Archive was captured and brought to Germany during World War II. After the German defeat the archive found in the American occupation sector was taken to the U.S.