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Boris Yeltsin's new secrecy measures on nuclear material issues

President Yeltsin signed a presidential order [ukaz] in the fall 1995 redefining and expanding the areas of governmental activity which were to be regarded as secret. In effect this order banned discussions of nuclear crimes and theft. As a result, FRONTLINE's investigation encountered resistance from officials who dodged or denied interviews.

The following excerpts from Yeltsin's order illustrate the extent to which the activity of the Ministry of Atomic Energy is still regarded as secret.


Ukaz of the President on the ratification of list of information considered among state secrets. [Published in Rossiskaya Gazeta 12/27/95]

In accordance with Article 4 of Russian Federation Law "On State Secrets" decree:

1. To ratify the proposed list of information considered among state secrets.

2. For the Russian Federation Government to organize work regarding the introduction of the normative acts that will be in effect in correspondence with the list of information considered among state secrets.

3. This ukaz will take effect from the day that it is signed.

President of the Russian Federation B. Yeltsin
Moscow, Kremlin, 30 November 1995, No 1203

List of Information Considered Among State Secrets

I. General Provisions

1. The list of information considered among state secrets (hereafter "the List") contains information in the areas of military, foreign affairs, economic, espionage, counter-espionage and operative retail activities of the state, the proliferation of which could bring about damage to the security of the Russian Federation; and it also contains the names of the Federal organs of the Executive Powers and other organizations (hereafter called "the State Organs") on which the authority regarding the proliferation of this information has been bestowed.

Each of the State Organs indicated in the List is endowed with the authority regarding the proliferation of information in the spheres which fall within the bounds of its competency, as determined by the provisions about each concrete State Organ, and also information of other parties corresponding to the thematic direction laid out in its representation.

The List will be reviewed as necessary.

2. The following concepts are used in the List:

"Special Object" - Control Points of the government or Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and other objects which provide for the functioning of Federal Organs of Governmental Power and Organs of the Governmental Power of the Subjects of the Russian Federation in time of war;

"Military Object" - Battle positions of troops, control points, firing range, communication nodes, bases, depots and other facilities of military significance;

"Classified Object" - Military and special objects, military units, enterprises, organizations and installations for providing for functions, which require additional security measures;

"Enterprises and organizations" - legal entities irrespective of the type of property, created in conformance with the laws of the Russian Federation, and also their filials and representatives;

"Troops" - Formations, divisions, and military units of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and other military formations, as envisaged by the laws of the Russian Federation;

"Armament" - means designed to damage or destroy live forces, technology, installations and other enemy objects, the component parts of these means and the sets of manufactured components;

"Military technology" - technical means designed for combat, technical and rear services for the activities of the troops, and also equipment and apparatus for the control and testing of these means, the component parts of these means and the sets of manufactured components.

The following abbreviations are used in the list:

FAPSI -
FPS -
FSB - Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation.
GUO -
GUSP - The Main Directorate of Special Programs of the President of the
Russian Federation.
MID - Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
MOD - Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.
MPS -
MVD - Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.
MVES - Ministry of Foreign Economic Relations.
RKA - Russian Space Agency.
SBP - Presidential Security Services of the Russian Federation.
SVR - Foreign Counter-intelligence Service.


4. In points 59, 60, 68 and 69 of the list, the federal administrative organs are listed whose directors have the authority regarding information relating to state secrets.


Information Relating to State Secrets {Government Organs Endowed with Authority Regarding the Proliferation of Information Relating to State Secrets}

II. Information in the Military Sphere

6. Information which reveals the direction, long-term forecasts or plans for the development of armaments and military technology, the contents or results of completed programs of scientific research or prototype-construction work on the creation or modernization of types of weapons and military technology, and their tactical characteristics. {Minatom, MVD, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, MOD, Ministry of Fuel and Energy, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Higher Education, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committee of Machine Building, Russian Hydro Office, FAPSI, FPS, FSB, RKA, GUO, SBP, MPS}

7. Information which reveals the direction of work, instruction, the technology of preparation, the isotope composition, combat, physical, chemical, or nuclear properties, the procedure of use or operation of armaments or military technology. {Minatom, MVD, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, MOD, Ministry of Fuel and Energy, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Higher Education, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committe of Machine Building, Russian Hydro Office, FPS, FSB, RKA}

9. Information which reveals the direction of work, technology, production, quantity being produced, storage or usage of nuclear warheads or their component parts, nuclear power installations, active nuclear materials, special physical installations of military significance, technical means or methods of defense of nuclear warheads from unsanctioned use. {Minatom, MOD, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Military Industry, SBP}

10. Information about schematics, installations, operations or security measures of objects of the nuclear complex. {Minatom, MVD, MOD, Ministry of Economy, SBP}

11. Information which reveals the achievements of atomic science and technology, which have important military and economic significance or signify a qualitative new level of possibilities for the creation of weapons and military technology and/or principally new models or technology. {Minatom, MOD, Ministry of Economy}

15. Information about the dislocation, purpose, degree of preparedness or defence of regimen objects that do not fall within the requirements of international agreements, about the choice, allocation of land, below-ground or aquatic zones for the construction of such objects, and also about the planning or exploration of projected or other works for the creation of these objects. {Minatom, MVD, MOD, Ministry of Nature, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Military Industry, SBP}

20. Information which reveals the direction of development of dual-use substances or technology, the contents, results of completed programs, scientific-research and/or prototype-construction work for the creation or modernization of these means and technologies. Information about the use of these dual-use substances or technologies for military ends. {Minatom, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, MOD, Ministry of Communication, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Higher Education, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committee of Machine Building, Russian Committee on Metalurgy, Russian Committee on Chemical and Oil Industry, FAPSI, FPS, RKA, GUO, SBP}

III. Information about Foreign Policy and Foreign Economic Activity.

24. Information about political, military, scientific or economic issues in regards to one or several foreign states, received from a trustworthy source, if its distribution could bring to light the source of the information. {Minatom, MVES, MID, Ministry of Science, MOD, MPS, State Committee on Military Industry, FPS, SBP}

26. Information about preparation, conclusion, ratification, preparations of denounces, contents or completions of agreements, conversions, or treaties with foreign states, the premature proliferation of which could damage the military preparedness, security, or political or economical interests of the Russian Federation. {Minatom, MVES, MID, MOD, State Committee on Military Industry, SVR, FPS, GUO, SBP}

IV. Information in the Sphere of Economics, Science, and Technology. 31. Information about indicators which would determine the level of preparedness of the Russian Federation for conversion to functioning in a time of war. {Minatom, MVD, MOD, Ministry of Fuel and Energy, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Higher Education, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committee on Precious Metals, Russian Committee of Machine Building, Russian Committee on Chemical and Oil Industry, FSB, SBP}

33. Information revealing the contents and/or direction of scientific-technical, prototype-construction or blue-print work carried out in the interests of the defense or security of the state. {Minatom, Ministry of Sciences, MOD, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Higher Education, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committee on Information, Russian Committee of Machine Building, Russian Committee on the Underground, Russian Committee on Chemical and Oil Industry, SVR, FAPSI, FPS, FSB, RKA, SBP, GUSP}

36. Information revealing plans (tasks) ordered for state defense, size of emplacements of armaments and military technology, the production capacity required. Information about enterprise links of cooperation, about planned or prepared armaments and military technology if this information reveals data about the production capacity and/or the fundamental tactical/technical characteristics of weapons and military technology. {Minatom, MVD, MOD, Ministry of Fuel and Energy, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committee on Metallurgy, Russian Committee of Chemical and Oil Industry, FAPSI, FSB, RKA, SBP}

50. Information which reveals expenditures on scientific-experimental or prototype-construction work for the creation of weapons and military technology. {Minatom, MVD, MOD, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Military Industry, FAPSI, FPS, FSB, RKA, SBP} Also, information pertaining to the work carried out in the interests of special objects. {GUSP}

51. Information which reveals the appropriations or actual expenditures on order, prototypes, construction or repair of armaments or military technology of classified objects. {Minatom, MOD, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Military Industry, SVR, FAPSI, FPS, RKA, SBP}

71. Information characterizing the condition of the insurance fund of documentation on armaments or military technology, the fundamental types of civil production included in the mobilization plan, objects of increased risk and/or systems of life-support for the population, of objects which have national property, and also information about the dislocation of objects (bases) of storage of the insurance fund of documentation as a whole around the Russian Federation. {Minatom, MOD, MPS, Ministry of Emergency Situations, Ministry of Economy, State Committee on Military Industry}

75. Information about the physical-chemical manifestations (fields), dedicated to the creation, production, and/or use of armaments, military technology, which reveals their storage parameters. {Minatom, MVD, Ministry of Health and Medicine, MOD, Ministry of Fuel and Energy, Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Emergency Situations, State Committee on Higher Education, State Committee on Military Industry, Russian Committee on Machine Building, Russian Committee of Hydrology, FAPSI, FPS, FSB, RKA, State Technology Commission}

V. Information in the Sphere of Espionage, Counter-Espionage, and Operative Intelligence Activities. [Nothing relating to Minatom]

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