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Not sure if this is the appropriate place to post this but perhaps Paul can move it if required.

So there we were a few years ago, possessing all kinds of awards but no research available. Then the archives opened up. Suddenly a great joy as we could now research awards. The cost was sky high though but we paid it anyway. Over time, the cost dropped dramtically. Ultimately, middlemen in Russia/Ukraine, were making a huge profit from us dumb westerners. This is a fact and cannot be refuted.

Now the cost of research in the Central Archives is less than half of that from years ago. Many thanks to Ferdinand for being the most honest of those who ever offered the service-best prices also.

I have had extensive experience in conducting research. It appears that whether army, navy, partisan or KGB, there exists sub archives within all of the archives mentioned. New doors are opening up as time progresses. Good luck though on KGB and labour. : (

I have a question for JapanX and perhaps others who might know. For years in Podolsk, was/is the going rate there $30 or $40 for record card and citation (ie., for those living there)?

Anybody else have any research lamantations or experiences that they want to share?

A

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It should be noted that for every 5 research conducted, Ferdinand will provide a CD of him singing Katyusha while playing the banjo. I'm not sure if this was a limited time offer or not. Perhaps he can confirm?

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When I was in Padolsk in 1996, the prices for research available were listed in the front froom. It was nothing compared to what I was actually paying. But that was many years ago and so much has changed since then...

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It should be noted that for every 5 research conducted, Ferdinand will provide a CD of him singing Katyusha while playing the banjo. I'm not sure if this was a limited time offer or not. Perhaps he can confirm?

I stopped doing that, it scared away clients instead of attracting them :whistle:

In either case, I heard some rumours of Russians paying just $20 or something like that. I find that hard to believe though, seeing as how much time it costs to find the documents for just one award. No Russian would be willing to work for such a price. But I would love to hear what some of the natives can say on this subject.

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I know that business is real good in all the archives resulting in delays and, unfortunately, complacency. Having said this, it is real nice to get back the stories behind the heros.

Agreed, it would be great to hear from the natives. Regardless of how low their cost may be in comparision you what we pay, we will never see those prices here in the west. Plus, the cost of sending the money to Russia is sky high.

Ya mean I lost out on your CD? : (

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  • 2 weeks later...

Good rates seem to be:

$20 for record card by recipient name

$40 for record card by award serial number

$20 for citation

$35 for "classified" citation (Afghanistan, etc.)

$20 for service record

KGB/MVD and even labor record cards are available if you ask the right people. I was told $60 for a record card. Unfortunately, I found that channel after paying significantly more to a lousy researcher.

KGB/MVD citations are not available. Neither are labor award citations. Personal experience with the labor citations - I went to an archive in Moscow, submitted a request for the documents, and was subsequently told they are actually stored in a facility 2500km away.

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Thank you for the input.

I was informed last week that KGB/Labour are "shutdown" now. From the onset of the records being available, we were told not to post the research online because it was not sanctioned by the higher ups in these archives. I knew it wouldn't last. The wrong somebody found out resulting in the closure.

Don't feel bad if your lousy researcher for the above was located in eastern Europe. Many of us got burned by him, his prices and his bs.

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When I was in Padolsk in 1996, the prices for research available were listed in the front froom. It was nothing compared to what I was actually paying. But that was many years ago and so much has changed since then...

Dave,

Do you mean that you could actually ask for research up front. I've hovered around Padolsk archives a few times but was advised not to try to approach the archives themselves inquiring about reseach! I chose to do as I was told! I'll be back in Moscow in May/June so if it still possible to knock on their door, I could try to pluck up the courage to actually go to one of the guard booths!!

Jim :cheers:

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Cool pics Jim. However, for non citizens of Russia, I have just found out that it is a difficult process involving a great deal of red tape.

It is very evident that people who live there know people at the archives thus the greasing of palms commences. I'd just like to know what average Ivan is paying.

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It was people who live there who told me to keep away :)

I remember when visiting the CAF museum in Moscow I was discussing with my wife some very evident 'replacements' that were exhibited. Sure enough I was accosted by a younger museum attendent who asked how he could help me. I decided to refrain from passing other comments comments to avoid offending any one, or even worse drawing any negative attentions. Of course we all know what happened to Russian museums and how various items slipped through the doors to be 'replaced' with fakes, as the market for orders and medals opened up and became more lucrative!

My point being that although it seems acceptable to collect Soviet ODMs in Russia (and the prices I came across in Russia were even higher than equivalent pieces acquired from the US or Europe), the fact that such ODMs cross the Federation Border is frowned on. Frowned on is actually a misstatement as the export of ODMs is specifically prohibited (thank Mr. P for that one - although I can understand him).

So for an average Joe (Jim) to walk up to the Guard's Booth and start asking about research, or even worse, attempt to bribe the Guard did not seem like the brightest idea I ever had, to my Russian companians.

Jim :cheers:

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Dave,

Do you mean that you could actually ask for research up front. I've hovered around Padolsk archives a few times but was advised not to try to approach the archives themselves inquiring about reseach! I chose to do as I was told! I'll be back in Moscow in May/June so if it still possible to knock on their door, I could try to pluck up the courage to actually go to one of the guard booths!!

Jim :cheers:

Yep, I just walked in. In fact, it's the door on the small building to the right in your photo. No one said I couldn't...

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It was people who live there who told me to keep away :)

I remember when visiting the CAF museum in Moscow I was discussing with my wife some very evident 'replacements' that were exhibited. Sure enough I was accosted by a younger museum attendent who asked how he could help me. I decided to refrain from passing other comments comments to avoid offending any one, or even worse drawing any negative attentions. Of course we all know what happened to Russian museums and how various items slipped through the doors to be 'replaced' with fakes, as the market for orders and medals opened up and became more lucrative!

My point being that although it seems acceptable to collect Soviet ODMs in Russia (and the prices I came across in Russia were even higher than equivalent pieces acquired from the US or Europe), the fact that such ODMs cross the Federation Border is frowned on. Frowned on is actually a misstatement as the export of ODMs is specifically prohibited (thank Mr. P for that one - although I can understand him).

So for an average Joe (Jim) to walk up to the Guard's Booth and start asking about research, or even worse, attempt to bribe the Guard did not seem like the brightest idea I ever had, to my Russian companians.

Jim :cheers:

100% correct on many of them (not all) frowning upon us collecting the awards and, for that matter, knowing more about the war than they do. I've experienced this many times.

As for awards leaving Russia, etc., I have heard many times from reputable people who receive bundles of awards regularly from the former Soviet bloc.

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Yep, I just walked in. In fact, it's the door on the small building to the right in your photo. No one said I couldn't...

So close and yet so far ... Will be back in June. Perhaps its worth the try!

Was it possible to order the research there and then? I am there for two weeks.... Should be some 20 mins away by car (although I do not dare drive in Russia!)

Regards

Jim :cheers:

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100% correct on many of them (not all) frowning upon us collecting the awards and, for that matter, knowing more about the war than they do. I've experienced this many times.

As for awards leaving Russia, etc., I have heard many times from reputable people who receive bundles of awards regularly from the former Soviet bloc.

A story some years ago about a tourist being held for trying to export an anniversary medal was enough to make sure that I always left Russia empty handed. And in any case, the dealer prices were prohibitive too, compared to what was more easiy accessible from outside Russia itself. As far as I know, the law prohibiting the exportation of soviet ODMs applies only to the Russian Federation and not to the whole of the former Soviet Bloc.

Jim :cheers:

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Hi Jim, I reckon it is worth a try but would not hold my breath. The worst they could say is no.

I think the vast majoirty of research that we see is being condcuted by people there during their breaks or after hours to make some extra money. They do it but it is likely a no no for them to do it offically. I think that if you lived there and knew someone there, the process would be much easier (as well as the price). But for outsiders, it is likely a different story to show up there.

I knew/dealt with someone who worked there-a pleasant enough fella but discussing what Russians are paying was a no no and I never got a definitive answer.

Due to the fact that my Russian is poor and the cost of sending money over there is a pain in the butt, I have just dealt directly with a forum member here to get research done.

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