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US diplomats hand over to Russia 28 historical documents stolen from archives

March 03, 17:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The documents were discovered during the investigations conducted in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco from 2006 to 2012
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© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, March 3. /TASS/. Diplomats of the US Embassy in Moscow have handed over to Russia’s representatives on Thursday 28 historical documents stolen from the Russian archives in the 1980s-2000s. Taking part in a ceremony at Spaso House, the residence of the US ambassador in Moscow, were Ambassador John Tefft, officials of the US National Security Agency, the Russian Ministry of Culture, historians and archival experts.

Among the returned documents are imperial decrees dating back to 1703-1894, including those issued by Empresses Anna and Elizabeth, Emperor Paul I and imperial decrees to the Chapter of Imperial Orders from 1797 to 1917. The American side also passed over to Russia 17 drawings from the private collection of Soviet painter, architect and theoretician of the first half of the 20th century Yakov Chernikhov. The documents also include Order No.23 issued by Soviet People’s Defense Commissar Joseph Stalin on March 14, 1944, "On Transforming the 1st Aviation Regiment of the Civil Air Fleet into the 120th Guards Aviation Regiment of the Civil Air Fleet."

The documents were discovered during the investigations conducted in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco from 2006 to 2012 and were put up for sale by auction houses, art galleries and private collectors.

Events to transfer cultural valuables returned by the United States are held every 1-2 years. The last such ceremony took place on June 13, 2013.

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