Nikita Petrov is an historian at Memorial in Russia. He holds a PhD from the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam. He is the author of 20 books and more than 160 articles. Petrov was born in Kiev and has lived in Moscow since 1960. In 1976, he began to independently study the history of the Soviet Union, in particular the history of its punitive organs. In 1990, Petrov gained access to state archives in order to work on Soviet state security, and in the same year became vice-chairman of the Board of Memorial’s Scientific Research Centre. The following year, he was named an expert to the Commission of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation on Archives of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the KGB. In 1997, Petrov worked in the periodical room of the Lenin library, where he studied the entire 1925–1982 perio, and uncovered a great amount of information on Soviet state security just seven years after first gaining access to the state archives studying the same theme. Petrov was named an expert to the Constitutional Court on the "CPSU Affair” in 1997, and has prepared a number of publications on the history of Soviet terror. From 1992–1993, he taught a course on the history of the KGB at the Russian State Humanitarian University. Petrov has presented numerous papers at international conferences on the history of state security and terror, and on the history of trials of German war captives in the USSR.