History Declassified: The KGB and the Religious Underground in Soviet Ukraine [HIDE] 

 SFI-IRC Pathway Project 

HIDE offers the first concentrated study of the process of transitional justice based on an innovative, in-depth reconsideration of recently declassified Soviet-era political police archives in Ukraine focusing on the Soviet repression of religious minorities. The approach is explicitly interdisciplinary, combining methodologies drawn from anthropology of religion, intelligence history, oral history, and digital humanities. HIDE focuses on sensitive issues in Cold war Europe: state control, the role of secret police surveillance and collaboration in shaping cultures of dissent, marginalization of minority communities and creative responses to power and domination of non-conformist groups. These issues are addressed through the re-contextualization of one of the most controversial historical sources in 20th century Europe – the secret archives of the political police. 

Europe rests on the legacy of totalitarian regimes. Ukraine’s European integration has highlighted the significance of the historical experience of Soviet-era repression and violence for processes of democratization and pluralism in society today. The turmoil of the last decade, including Russian aggression against Ukraine, have led Ukraine to a profound reckoning with its recent traumatic past, which has included the opening of previously classified archives. What we are witnessing in the ongoing war is the forceful drive to control the pen of Soviet history. This history preserved in Soviet-era archives, is one of the underlying causes of the current war in Europe and peace cannot be achieved without understanding and coming to terms with this past. 



HIDE awarded British Library grant for endangered archives

Our project Religious Minorities Archives and the War in Ukraine has been supported by the British Library
Endangered Archives Programme.

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History Declassified

The KGB and the Religious Underground in Soviet Ukraine

Room ORB 2.20,