The Red Army archival office was established in the days of the civil war, with the effort starting to be regulated by the government within a very short order. Under the regulations approved by the Commander-in-Chief of the Republic’s Armed Forces, archives and records-keeping divisions were set up to support documents aggregation and archiving tasks.
In 1918, pursuant to the Republic’s Revolutionary War Council’s directive, all archives from the War Commissariat’s staff divisions and activities were supposed to be handed over to the main directorate for archives, RSFSR People’s Commissariat for Public Education.
In 1936, the USSR People’s Commissariat for Defense ruled to set up an archival division supervised by the executive office director, USSR People’s Commissariat of Defense. Within seven years it was renamed into the historical archives division ruled by the aforementioned authority. And in 1944, it received a new title – the archives division of the executive office, USSR People’s Commissariat of Defense.
To provide for application of federal regulatory powers in the realm of archives pertaining to defense matters, in 1999 the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation issued an order to establish the Archives Service as part of the Central Archives, MOD of the Russian Federation. September 15 of the same year, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff issued a directive to have the Archives Service operating on a stand-alone basis, the overriding purpose being to assure commonality of policies and practices in the area of archives.
In 2004, MOD of the Russian Federation issued an order to confirm the Regulations on Archives Service, Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the Service being run by the executive office director, MOD of the Russian Federation.
The executive office of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation exercises its archives-related functions in keeping with the applicable federal legislation, presidential decrees and government resolutions. By way of example, it would suffice to mention the October 22, 2004, federal law (№125-FZ) On Archival Matters in the Russian Federations.
The Central Archives, MOD of the Russian Federation, play a meaningful role in helping tackle assorted social-legal problems, while running focused efforts to aggregate documents from the field and developing new archives management rules and procedures.
Notably, the Archives-held documents have been researched to produce military history books, encyclopedia, All-Russian Memory Book, bio stories, military command histories, reminiscences and memoirs.