08:13 GMT15 April 2021
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    The United States has returned 28 significant historic documents stolen from Russian archives in the early 1990s.

    Speaking before the official ceremony of the documents handover to the Russian side on Thursday, US Ambassador John Tefft said that political differences should not be allowed to stay in the way of cultural exchanges with Russia whose history enjoys the well-deserved respect of the American people.

    ​The documents pinched from the Russian State Historical Archive, the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art and the Russian State Military Archive were returned by Ambassador Tefft at his residence in Moscow.

    ​The 28 artifacts reportedly date back to the 18th to 20th centuries.

    ​These include 10 authentic imperial orders of the 1703-1894 court departments, including edicts signed by emperors and empresses Peter the Great, Anna Ioannovna, Elizaveta Petrovna and Paul I.

    One of the documents includes Joseph Stalin’s March 14, 1944, order to transform an aviation regiment into a separate fleet, deemed highly valuable by the Russian State Military Archive.

    ​A third batch of returned artifacts includes 17 illustrations from early 20th-century Russian architect and graphic designer Yakov Chernikhov’s personal archives.

    The majority of the images stolen from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art are architectural projects used in the construction of industrial buildings and railways.

    ​The 28 documents were reportedly discovered by the US Department of Homeland Security in its 2006-2012 investigations. Washington has repatriated over 150 valuable historical documents smuggled from Russia since 2007.

    The United States has been working closely with Russia in its effort to return historical documents once taken out of the country.

    Jason Cassidy, an attaché at the US Department of Homeland Security, told RIA Novosti that about a dozen investigations were in the process of locating the documents and sending them back to Russia.


    US to Return 28 Valuable Historic Documents Stolen From Russia on March 3
    U.S. returns to Russia rare historic documents stolen from archives
    cultural exchanges, historic documents, return, ambassador, Russia State Military Archive, Russia State Historical Archive, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), US Embassy, Paul I, John Tefft, Josef Stalin, Peter the Great, US, Russia
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