Special Report of NKVD of Karelian-Finnish SSR

July 1941
Strictly Confidential

On July 24, 1941 at 8 p.m. the Colonel Bondarev, Commander of 168-th Infantry Division has declared the immediate evacuation for City of Sortavala.

The City Leaders (Comrades Bogdanov, Kadzhiev, Secretaries of GK and RK KP(b), and Lezin, Acting Chairman of the City Soviet) have announced the 2 hour evacuation time, and the evacuation proceedings went with the slogans, such as: "Hurry up"; "Time is Running Out", "The City Will Soon Be Burned".

Due to the unduly created haste, the City was set in panic, which led to significant material loss to our Government. Also many office documents were left in office desks and bookcases by management personal of the city government. Comrade Lezin, Chairman of City Soviet, even left in his desk the City Stamp and the Seal. The city and local party employees left behind all their office typewriters. It turned out, that after all city leaders and employees of Voentorg, Kareltorg, Lespromtorg, Karelpotrebsoyz and other city shops left the city, hundreds of tons of wheat flour, tens of tons of groats, confectionary, large amounts of butter, sugar, canned foods, tobacco, cigarettes, non-food products, wine, vodka, etc. were left behind in the city.

In spite of numerous warnings issued by the City NKVD Department, the inventory of the remaining food supplies in the city was never performed, and NKVD Organs were told that majority of food and non-food supplies were evacuated.

For now the City NKVD Department has collected and disposed of all office stamps, seals, and office documents that left behind by the city employees. It set up the warehouses for remaining in the city food and non-food supplies and their protection and subsequent distribution to the local Red Army divisions. All left behind typewriters are collected and transferred to the staffs of local Red Army divisions. Per agreement with the higher command, the wine and vodka supplies were destroyed.

At the present moment the large flour supplies still remain in the City.

Due to this fact it is necessary to take immediate measures to remove from the city all remaining food and non-food supplies.

People's Commissar of Internal Affairs for Karelian-Finnish SSR

Karelian state archive of social and political movements and organisations