Turns out the Russian government’s fight against historical falsification has some good sides as well. The site runivers.ru (all material in Russian) has a truly amazing collection of scanned historical works. Interlibrary loan offices throughout the country will give thanks for everything that’s now available digitally. It starts with the standard great works of Russian-language historiography (Karamzin, Soloviev, Kliuchevskii), extends to three major pre-revolutionary military encyclopedias, and includes a host of 19th century military histories.
My only quibble is that the works are overwhelmingly pre-1917, which reduces the site’s usefulness to me personally. Nonetheless, there are a few post-revolutionary publications. I was delighted to see, for example, the Red Army’s seven-volume Strategicheskii ocherk of World War I. I weep for the trees I killed a couple of years ago making copies of what’s now available online. Likewise, there’s A. A. Svechin’s Evoliutsiia voennogo iskusstva, which will immediately handy.
For a site that seems inspired by the anti-falsification campaign, there’s remarkably little on the things that have preoccupied the Putin-Medvedev regime. Those fall under the site’s category “historical themes.” The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact page, say, has some standard documents (text of the Pact and the secret protocol) but nothing at first glance that seeks to whitewash Stalin. The Katyn section likewise recognizes Soviet responsibility for the massacre and the clear evidentiary trail.
A couple of drawbacks from a technical point of view–the site loads slowly. Full functionality seems to require the use of a DejaVu plugin, which I could not make function on my Mac system. Nonetheless, I was still able to get to everything I wanted to see.
My imperial Russian comrades should bookmark this site and visit often.