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The Papers of Vasiliy Mitrokhin

Reference Code: GBR/0014/MITN

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises the redacted and edited typescript copies of Mitrokhin's original manuscript notes of documents from the KGB archive. All documents are in Russian.


  • Creation: 1972 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

Some files in sections 1-3 are closed (see catalogue for more details). Please note that Archives Centre staff are not able to make copies on behalf of researchers, though researchers are welcome to bring their own cameras and make images from the files.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holder and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Vasiliy Mitrokhin was born in central Russia on 3 March 1922 and began training as an archivist before transferring to the Kharkov Higher Juridical Institute from which he graduated in 1944. After serving briefly as a police lawyer he was nominated for a three year course at the Higher Diplomatic School in Moscow. From 1948 he worked in foreign intelligence for the Committee of Information, undertaking several short term foreign assignments, before being assigned to the foreign intelligence archives in the KGB First Chief Directorate. From 1972 onwards, until his retirement in 1984, he took extensive manuscript notes of many of the papers passing through his hands. Following his retirement he organised this material geographically and typed out systematic studies of KGB operations in different parts of the world in 10 volumes. He and his family and his archive were exfiltrated from the Soviet Union by the Secret Intelligence Service in 1992. Once in London, Mitrokhin continued to work on transcribing and typing his manuscript notes, producing a further 26 typed volumes, which provided the basis for the two volume book with Professor Christopher Andrew, "The Mitrokhin Archive" (Penguin, 1999). Vasiliy Mitrokhin died in January 2004.


25 archive box(es) : paper

Language of Materials



Sections 6-7 were deaccessioned in October 2019.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Manuscript notes and notebooks, typescript volumes.

Other Finding Aids

Copies of this collection level description and catalogue are available at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Readers may find it helpful to use Mitrokhin's and Professor Christopher Andrew's published guides to the archive, available in the Archives Centre reading room. Use the index to find the text you need and look at the footnotes. If these give the citation "vol 9, ch 6" for instance, it means that the relevant entry should be found in MITN 1/9; if "vol 7", you need MITN 1/7. The volumes referred to are MITN series 1, the first volumes that Mitrokhin produced while in Russia and arranged by place. Unfortunately it is not always easy to match the item numbers to the page numbers in these volumes, but the chapters should match up.

If the relevant footnote gives a K file number and then an item number (eg: K5-22) it means that the relevant entry will be in MITN 2 and the Archives Centre list gives the old K number for each of the volumes (eg: MITN 2/1 on "The Church" was formerly K1). These volumes are then arranged numerically by item.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Vladimir Mitrokhin (son), 2012-13.

Related Materials

See also Mitrokhin Associated, GBR/0014/MITN AS.


"The Mitrokhin Archive", by Vasiliy Mitrokhin and Professor Christopher Andrew, 2 vols (Penguin, 1999).


The collection was catalogued by Allen Packwood in April 2014. Biographical information was obtained from Mitrokhin's book "Chekisms - A KGB Anthology" (Urasov Press, 2008).


Mitrokhin, Vasiliy, 1922-2004, Archivist, First Chief Directorate (foreign intelligence), KGB

2014-05-12 11:53:43.523000+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087