Anyone watching the news on the Russian war against Ukraine can’t believe the amount of destruction taking place on a daily basis. But Ukrainian archive officials know the importance of the records in their possession.
That’s why the Ukrainian National Guard is protecting the archives.
“The practice of war has shown that there are no safe regions in Ukraine,” said Anatoly Khromov, head of Ukrainian archives on the State Archival Service of Ukraine portal. “Each area is under fire, so we have very carefully decided when and what can be taken out. … Evacuation does not always save.”
It has been amazing that the Kyiv Regional Archives has posted scanned records six times since the war started in late February. Those updates have included additional filtration files of Kyiv Region residents who were taken as forced laborers by Germany during World War II and more than 100,000 registrations of births, deaths and marriages.
Sadly, Ukrainian archives announced the Soviet-era persecution records located in Chernihiv were destroyed. It is believe that the archives in the Crimea and Donetsk and Luhansk regions were relocated by the Russians, according to an announcement made this month.
“The decision to impose sanctions on 15 individuals and 7 legal entities of Russia for actual actions or attempts to steal or illegally use archival documents concerning Crimea and certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions is in the final stages,” Khromov announced this week.
He plans to address the return of those archive records after the country wins the war against Russia, according to this week’s announcement.
Khromov admitted this week that only 5 percent of archive records have been digitized.
But State Archival Service of Ukraine is ready for modernization with a newly launched central portal that is expected to grow with scanned records from throughout the country.
“We have not given up on our plans, and today we can present a pilot version of an important resource that simplifies the lives of archivists and users in real time to millions of users, even during the war” Khromov said. “The digital resources of the three central state archives of Ukraine are presented on a single platform with access through a single window, together with almost 1.5 million full-text scanned copies of archival documents, to which a full-fledged search engine has been created. These are the Central State Archive of the highest authorities and administration of Ukraine, the Central State Archive of Public Associations of Ukraine, the Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art of Ukraine.”
That portal with scanned records can be found at here. Kyiv Regional Archives is considering to join this portal. Due to the war, it is not possible to connect other Ukrainian archives to the portal at this time, according to last week’s announcement.
Those who prefer to see scanned records by area from Ukrainian archives should take a look at the Scanned Russian and Ukrainian Archive Records page. It will be regularly updated with links to scanned records. Patience with links to Ukrainian archives is needed as the war has been interfering with Internet connections.
The Scanned Russian and Ukrainian Archive Records page includes links to scanned records of FamilySearch, which began scanning records at Ukrainian archives last summer. The work is expected to continue once it is safe to continue the project.
The page for Ukraine on FamilySearch has been updated several times with scanned records since the war started.
Before FamilySearch began its project of scanning Ukrainian archive records, Alex Krakovsky was busy scanning millions of records. His scanned records can be found here. It took quite the fight with the Ukrainian court system for Krakovsky to scan the records.
Another person posting scanned archive records is Marcin Stręciwilk-Kowal. His collection of scans can be found here.
The future is bright for Ukrainian genealogy as long as Ukrainian archives stays successful in securing the safety of their records. Let’s all pray for an end of this war very soon so Ukraine can have the peace it deserves.
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