Cheka

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Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 state security
State Security
State Security can refer to:* general concepts of security agency or national security* Committee for State Security * State Security * State Security...

 organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 and subsequently led by aristocrat
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky. After 1922, the Cheka underwent a series of reorganization
Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies
There was a succession of Soviet secret police agencies over time. The first secret police after the Russian Revolution, created by Vladimir Lenin's decree on December 20, 1917, was called "Cheka"...

s into bodies whose members continued to be referred to as "Chekisty" (Chekists) into the late 1980s.

From its founding, the Cheka was an important military and security arm of the Bolshevik communist government. In 1921 the Troops for the Internal Defense of the Republic
Internal Troops
The Internal Troops, full name Internal Troops of the Ministry for Internal Affairs ; alternatively translated as "Interior " is a paramilitary gendarmerie-like force in the now-defunct Soviet Union and its successor countries, particularly, in Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan...

(a branch of the Cheka) numbered 200,000. These troops policed labor camps; ran the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 system; conducted requisitions of food
Prodrazvyorstka
Prodrazvyorstka , translated as food apportionment or surplus appropriation system, was a governmental program in Russia which obliged peasantry to surrender the surpluses of almost any kind of agricultural produce for a fixed price...

; subjected political opponents (on both the right and the left) to torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

 and summary execution
Summary execution
A summary execution is a variety of execution in which a person is killed on the spot without trial or after a show trial. Summary executions have been practiced by the police, military, and paramilitary organizations and are associated with guerrilla warfare, counter-insurgency, terrorism, and...

; and put down rebellions and riots by workers and peasants, and mutinies in the desertion-plagued Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

.

Name


The name of the agency was originally The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage
Sabotage
Sabotage is a deliberate action aimed at weakening another entity through subversion, obstruction, disruption, or destruction. In a workplace setting, sabotage is the conscious withdrawal of efficiency generally directed at causing some change in workplace conditions. One who engages in sabotage is...


, but was often shortened to Cheka or VCheka. In 1918 its name was changed, becoming All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution, Profiteering and Corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

.


A member of Cheka was called a chekist. Also, the term "chekist" often referred to Soviet secret police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

 throughout the Soviet period, despite official name changes over time. In The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago
The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a narrative relying on eyewitness testimony and primary research material, as well as the author's own experiences as a prisoner in a gulag labor camp...

, Alexander Solzhenitsyn recalls that zeks in the labor camps
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

 used "old 'Chekist'" as "a mark of special esteem" for particularly experienced camp administrators. The term is still found in use in Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 today (for example, President Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin served as the second President of the Russian Federation and is the current Prime Minister of Russia, as well as chairman of United Russia and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Union of Russia and Belarus. He became acting President on 31 December 1999, when...

 has been referred to in the Russian media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

 as a "chekist" due to his career in the KGB
KGB
The KGB was the commonly used acronym for the . It was the national security agency of the Soviet Union from 1954 until 1991, and was the premier internal security, intelligence, and secret police organization during that time.The State Security Agency of the Republic of Belarus currently uses the...

).

The Chekists commonly dressed in long leather coats, reportedly after being issued such distinctive coats early in their existence. (Khvostov, the Red Army, 1996) Western communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

s adopted this clothing fashion.

Creation


In the first month and half after the October Revolution
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

, the duty of "extinguishing the resistance of exploiters," was assigned to the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee
Military Revolutionary Committee
The Military Revolutionary Committee also known as the Milrevcom was the name for military organs under the soviets during the period of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War. The most notable ones were those of the Petrograd Soviet, the Moscow Soviet, and at Stavka.These committees were...

 (or VRK). It represented a temporary body working under directives of the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom) and Central Committee
Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union , abbreviated in Russian as ЦК, "Tse-ka", earlier was also called as the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party ...

 of RDSRP
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party , also known as Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party or Russian Social Democratic Party, was a revolutionary socialist Russian political party formed in 1898 in Minsk to unite the various revolutionary organizations into one party...

(b
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

). The VRK created new bodies of government, organized food delivery to cities and the Army, requisitioned products from bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

, and sent its emissaries and agitators to provinces. One of its most important functions was the security of revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

 order
, and the fight against counterrevolutionary
Counterrevolutionary
A counter-revolutionary is anyone who opposes a revolution, particularly those who act after a revolution to try to overturn or reverse it, in full or in part...

activity (see Anti-Soviet agitation).

On December 1, 1917 the All-Russian Central Executive Committee
All-Russian Central Executive Committee
All-Russian Central Executive Committee , was the highest legislative, administrative, and revising body of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Although the All-Russian Congress of Soviets had supreme authority, in periods between its sessions its powers were passed to VTsIK...

 (VTsIK or TsIK) reviewed a proposed reorganization of the VRK, and possible replacement of it. On December 5, the Petrograd VRK published an announcement of dissolution and transfer the functions to the department of TsIK to the fight against "counterrevolutionaries." On December 6, the Council of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom) strategized how to persuade government workers to strike across Russia. They decided that a special commission was needed to implement the "most energetically revolutionary" measures. Felix Dzerzhinsky (the Iron Felix) was appointed as Director and invited the participation of the following individuals: V. K. Averin, V. N. Vasilevsky, D. G. Yevseyev, N. A. Zhydelev, I. K. Ksenofontov, G. K. Ordjonikidze
Grigoriy Ordzhonikidze
Grigol Ordzhonikidze ორჯონიკიძე - Grigol Orjonikidze, , generally known as Sergo Ordzhonikidze ; – February 18, 1937) was a Georgian Bolshevik, later member of the CPSU Politburo and close friend to Joseph Stalin...

, Ya. Kh. Peters
Yakov Peters
Jēkabs Peterss or Yakov Khristoforovich Peters was a Latvian Communist revolutionary, Soviet politician, chekist, and terrorist. Together with Feliks Dzerzhinsky, he was one of the founders and chiefs of the VChK...

, K. A. Peterson, V. A. Trifonov
Valentin Trifonov
Valentin Andreyevich Trifonov was one of the leaders of Cossack revolutionary forces who played a major role in establishment of Soviet rule in the Don Voisko Province...

.
On December 7, all invited except Zhydelev and Vasilevsky gathered in Smolny to discuss the competence and structure of the commission to combat counterrevolution and sabotage. The obligations of the commission were, "to liquidate to the root all of the counterrevolutionary and sabotage activities and all attempts to them in all of Russia, to hand over counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs to the revolutionary tribunal
Revolutionary tribunal (Russia)
Revolutionary tribunals in Soviet Russia were established soon after the October Revolution by the Soviet "Decree of the Soviet of Peoples' Commissars Concerning the Courts No. 1" of November 22 , 1917...

s, develop measures to combat them and relentlessly apply them in real world applications. The commission should only conduct a preliminary investigation ". The commission should also observe the press and counterrevolutionary parties, sabotaging officials and other criminals. It was decided to create three sections: informational, organizational, and a unit to combat counter-revolution and sabotage. Upon the end of the meeting, Dzerzhinsky reported to the Sovnarkom with the requested information. The commission was allowed to apply such measures of repression as 'confiscation, deprivation of ration cards, publication of lists of enemies of the people etc.'". That day, Sovnarkom officially confirmed the creation of VCheKa. The commission was created not under the VTsIK as was previously anticipated, but rather under the Council of the People's Commissars.

On December 8, some of the original members of the VCheka were replaced. Averin, Ordzhonikidze, and Trifonov were replaced by V. V. Fomin, S. E. Shchukin, Ilyin, and Chernov. On the meeting of December 8, the presidium of VChK was elected of five members, and chaired by Dzerzhinsky. The issue of "speculation
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

" was raised at the same meeting, which was assigned to Peters to address and report with results to one of the next meetings of the commission. A circular published on , gave the address of VCheka's first headquarters as "Petrograd, Gorokhovaya 2, 4th floor". On December 11, Fomin was ordered to organize a section to suppress "speculation." And in the same day VCheKa offered Shchukin to conduct arrests of counterfeiters.

In January 1918, a subsection of the anti-counterrevolutionary effort was created to police bank officials. The structure of VCheKa was changing repeatedly. By March 1918, when the organization came to Moscow, it contained the following sections: against counterrevolution, speculation, non-residents, and information gathering. By the end of 1918-1919 secretly operative, investigatory, of transportation, military (special), operative, and instructional units were created. By 1921, it changed once again forming the following sections: directory of affairs, administrative-organizational, secretly operative, economical, and foreign affairs.

First months



In the first months of its existence, VCheKa consisted of only 40 officials. It commanded a team of soldiers, the Sveaborgesky regiment, as well as a group of Red Guardsmen. On January 14, 1918 Sovnarkom ordered Dzerzhinsky to organize teams of energetic and ideological sailors to combat speculation. By the spring of 1918, the commission had several teams. In addition to the Sveaborge team, it had an intelligence team, a team of sailors, and a strike team. Through the winter of 1917-1918, all the activities of VCheKa were centralized mainly the city of Petrograd, and was one of the several other commissions in the country that fought against counterrevolution, speculation, banditry, and other activities perceived as crimes. Other organizations included the Bureau of Military Commissars, and an Army-Navy investigatory commission to attack the counterrevolutionary element in the Army; Central Requisite and Unloading Commission to fight speculation; investigation of counterrevolutionary and major criminal offenses was conducting by the Investigatory Commission of Revtribunal. The functions of VCheKa were closely intertwined with the Commission of V. D. Bonch-Bruyevich which beside the fight against wine pogroms was engaged in the investigation of most major political offenses (see Bonch-Bruyevich Commission).


All results of its activities, VCheKa had either transfer to the Investigatory Commission of Revtribunal or dismiss a case. The control of the commission's activity was provided by the People's Commissariat for Justice
Ministry of Justice (Soviet Union)
The Ministry of Justice of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , formed on 15 March 1946, was one of the most important government offices in the Soviet Union. It was formerly known as the People's Commissariat for Justice...

 (Narkomjust, at that time headed by Isidor Steinberg) and Internal Affairs (NKVD, at that time headed by Hryhoriy Petrovsky). Although the VCheKa was officially an independent organization from the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

, its main members such as Dzerzhinsky, Latsis
Martin Latsis
Martin Ivanovich Latsis was a Latvian-born Soviet politician, revolutionary and state security high officer...

, Unszlicht
Józef Unszlicht
Józef Unszlicht or Iosif Unshlikht , a Bolshevik revolutionary activist, chekist, and Soviet government official of Polish-Jewish extraction from the Masovian region....

, and Uritsky
Moisei Uritsky
Moisei Solomonovich Uritsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary leader in Russia.He was born in the city of Cherkasy, Kiev Governorate, to a Jewish family. His father, a merchant, died when Moisei was little and his mother raised her son by herself.Moisei studied law at the University of Kiev...

 (all main chekists), since November 1917 composed the collegiate of NKVD headed by Petrovsky. In November 1918, Petrovsky was appointed as the head of the All-Ukrainian Central Military Revolutionary Committee
Military Revolutionary Committee
The Military Revolutionary Committee also known as the Milrevcom was the name for military organs under the soviets during the period of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War. The most notable ones were those of the Petrograd Soviet, the Moscow Soviet, and at Stavka.These committees were...

 during VCheKa's expansion to provinces and front-lines. At the time of political competition between Bolsheviks and SRs (January 1918), Left SRs
Left Socialist-Revolutionaries
In 1917, Russia the Socialist-Revolutionary Party split between those who supported the Provisional Government, established after the February Revolution, and those who supported the Bolsheviks who favoured a communist insurrection....

 attempted to curb the rights of VCheKa and establish through the Narkomiust
Ministry of Justice (Soviet Union)
The Ministry of Justice of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , formed on 15 March 1946, was one of the most important government offices in the Soviet Union. It was formerly known as the People's Commissariat for Justice...

 its control over its work. Having failed in attempts to subordinate the VCheKa to Narkomiust, the Left SRs were to seek control of the Extraordinary Commission in a different way. They requested that to the Central Committee of they party was granted the right to directly enter their representatives into the VCheKa. Sovnarkom recognized the desirability of including five representatives of Left Socialist-Revolutionary faction of VTsIK. Left SRs were granted the post of a companion (deputy) chairman of VCheKa. However, Sovnarkom, in which the majority belonged to the representatives of RSDLP(b) retained the right to approve members of the collegium of the VCheKa.

Originally, the members of the Cheka were exclusively Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

; however, in January 1918, left SRs
Left Socialist-Revolutionaries
In 1917, Russia the Socialist-Revolutionary Party split between those who supported the Provisional Government, established after the February Revolution, and those who supported the Bolsheviks who favoured a communist insurrection....

 also joined the organization The Left SRs were expelled or arrested later in 1918, following the attempted assassination of Lenin by an SR, Fanni Kaplan.

Consolidation of VCheKa and National Establishment


By the end of January 1918, the Investigatory Commission of Petrograd Soviet
Petrograd Soviet
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies , usually called the Petrograd Soviet , was the soviet in Petrograd , Russia, established in March 1917 after the February Revolution as the representative body of the city's workers.The Petrograd Soviet became important during the Russian...

 (probably same as of Revtribunal) petitioned Sovnarkom to delineate the role of detection and judicial-investigatory organs. It offered to leave for the VCheKa and the Commission of Bonch-Bruyevich only the functions of detection and suppression while investigative functions entirely transfer to it. The Investigatory Commission prevailed. On January 31, 1918 Sovnarkom ordered to relieve VCheKa of the investigative functions, leaving for the commission only the functions of detection, suppression, and prevention of so-called crimes. At the meeting of the Council of People's Commissars on January 31, 1918, a merger of VCheKa and the Commission of Bonch-Bruyevich was proposed. The existence of both commissions VCheKa of Sovnarkom and the Commission of Bonch-Bruyevich of VTsIK with almost the same functions and equal rights became impractical. A decision followed two weeks later.

On February 23, 1918 VCheKa sent a radio telegram to all Soviets with a petition to immediately organize emergency commissions to combat counter-revolution, sabotage and speculation, if such commissions had not been yet organized. February 1918 saw the creation of local Extraordinary Commissions. One of the first founded was the Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 Cheka. Sections and commissariats to combat counterrevolution were established in other cities. The Extraordinary Commissions arose, usually in the areas during the moments of the greatest aggravation of political situation. On February 25, 1918 as the counterrevolutionary organization Union of front-liners was making advances, the executive committee of the Saratov
Saratov
-Modern Saratov:The Saratov region is highly industrialized, due in part to the rich in natural and industrial resources of the area. The region is also one of the more important and largest cultural and scientific centres in Russia...

 Soviet formed a counter-revolutionary section. On March 7, 1918, because of the move from Petrograd to Moscow, the Petrograd Cheka was created. On March 9, a section for combating counterrevolution was created under the Omsk
Omsk
-History:The wooden fort of Omsk was erected in 1716 to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz nomads of the Steppes...

 Soviet. Extraordinary commissions were also created in Penza
Penza
-Honors:A minor planet, 3189 Penza, discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh in 1978, is named after the city.-Notable residents:...

, Perm
Perm
Perm is a city and the administrative center of Perm Krai, Russia, located on the banks of the Kama River, in the European part of Russia near the Ural Mountains. From 1940 to 1957 it was named Molotov ....

, Novgorod, Cherepovets
Cherepovets
Cherepovets is the largest city in Vologda Oblast, Russia, located on the bank of the Rybinsk Reservoir of the Sheksna River, a tributary of the Volga River. Population: 311,869 ; It is served by Cherepovets Airport.-Location:...

, Rostov
Rostov
Rostov is a town in Yaroslavl Oblast, Russia, one of the oldest in the country and a tourist center of the Golden Ring. It is located on the shores of Lake Nero, northeast of Moscow. Population:...

, Taganrog
Taganrog
Taganrog is a seaport city in Rostov Oblast, Russia, located on the north shore of Taganrog Bay , several kilometers west of the mouth of the Don River. Population: -History of Taganrog:...

. On March 18, VCheKa adopted a resolution The Work of VCheKa on the All-Russian Scale foreseeing the formation everywhere of Extraordinary Commissions after the same model, and sent a letter that called for the widespread establishment of the Cheka in combating counterrevolution, speculation, and sabotage. Establishment of provincial Extraordinary Commissions was largely completed by August 1918. In the Soviet Republic, there were 38 gubernatorial
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

 Chekas (Gubcheks) by this time.

On June 12, 1918, the All-Russian Conference of Cheka adopted the Basic Provisions on the Organization of Extraordinary Commissions. They set out to form Extraordinary Commissions not only at Oblast
Oblast
Oblast is a type of administrative division in Slavic countries, including some countries of the former Soviet Union. The word "oblast" is a loanword in English, but it is nevertheless often translated as "area", "zone", "province", or "region"...

 and Guberniya
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

 levels, but also at the large Uyezd
Uyezd
Uyezd or uezd was an administrative subdivision of Rus', Muscovy, Russian Empire, and the early Russian SFSR which was in use from the 13th century. Uyezds for most of the history in Russia were a secondary-level of administrative division...

 Soviets. In August 1918, in the Soviet Republic had accounted for some 75 Uyezd-level Extraordinary Commissions. By the end of the year, 365 Uyezd-level Chekas were established. In 1918, the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission and the Soviets managed to establish a local Cheka apparatus. It included Oblast, Guberniya, Raion
Raion
A raion is a type of administrative unit of several post-Soviet countries. The term, which is from French rayon 'honeycomb, department,' describes both a type of a subnational entity and a division of a city, and is commonly translated in English as "district"...

, Uyezd
Uyezd
Uyezd or uezd was an administrative subdivision of Rus', Muscovy, Russian Empire, and the early Russian SFSR which was in use from the 13th century. Uyezds for most of the history in Russia were a secondary-level of administrative division...

, and Volost
Volost
Volost was a traditional administrative subdivision in Eastern Europe.In earlier East Slavic history, volost was a name for the territory ruled by the knyaz, a principality; either as an absolute ruler or with varying degree of autonomy from the Velikiy Knyaz...

 Chekas, with Raion and Volost Extraordinary Commissioners. In addition, border security Chekas were included in the system of local Cheka bodies.

In the autumn of 1918, as consolidation of the political situation of the republic continued, a move toward elimination of Uyezd-, Raion-, and Volost-level Chekas, as well as the institution of Extraordinary Commissions was considered. On January 20, 1919, VTsIK adopted a resolution prepared by VCheKa, On the abolition of Uyezd Extraordinary Commissions. On January 16 the presidium of VCheKa approved the draft on the establishment of the Politburo at Uyezd militsiya
Militsiya
Militsiya or militia is used as an official name of the civilian police in several former communist states, despite its original military connotation...

. This decision was approved by the Conference of the Extraordinary Commission IV, held in early February 1920.

Other types of Cheka


On August 3, a VCheKa section for combating counterrevolution, speculation and sabotage on railways was created. On August 7, 1918 Sovnarkom adopted a decree on the organization of the railway section at VCheKa. Combating counterrevolution, speculation, and malfeasance
Malfeasance
The expressions misfeasance and nonfeasance, and occasionally malfeasance, are used in English law with reference to the discharge of public obligations existing by common law, custom or statute.-Definition and relevant rules of law:...

 on railroads was passed under the jurisdiction of the railway section of VCheKa and local Cheka. In August 1918, railway sections were formed under the Gubcheks. Formally, they were part of the non-resident sections, but in fact constituted a separate division, largely autonomous in their activities. The gubernatorial and oblast-type Chekas retained in relationship to the transportation sections only control and investigative functions.

The beginning of a systematic work of organs of VCheKa in RKKA refers to July 1918, the period of extreme tension of the civil war
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 and class struggle in the country. On July 16, 1918, the Council of People's Commissars formed the Extraordinary Commission for combating counterrevolution at the Czechoslovak (Eastern) Front led by M. I. Latsis
Martin Latsis
Martin Ivanovich Latsis was a Latvian-born Soviet politician, revolutionary and state security high officer...

. In the fall of 1918 Extraordinary Commissions to combat counterrevolution on the Southern (Ukraine) Front were formed. In late November, the Second All-Russian Conference of the Extraordinary Commissions accepted a decision after the report of I. N. Polukarov to establish at all frontlines and army sections of the Cheka and granted them right to appoint their commissioners in military units. On December 9, 1918, the collegiate (or presidium) of VCheKa had decided to form a military section, headed by M. S. Kedrov to combat counterrevolution in the Army. In early 1919, the military control and the military section of VCheKa were merged into one body, the Special Section of the Republic. Kedrov was appointed as head. On January 1, he issued an order to establish the Special Section. The order instructed agencies everywhere to unite the Military control and the military sections of Chekas and to form special sections of frontlines, armies, military districts, and guberniya
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

s.

In November 1920 the Soviet of Labor and Defense created a Special Section of VCheKa for the security of the state border.

On February 6, 1922 after the Ninth All-Russian Soviet Congress, the Cheka was dissolved by VTsIK, "with expressions of gratitude for heroic work." It was replaced by the State Political Administration or GPU, a section of the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 (RSFSR).

Suppression of political opposition


Initially formed to fight against counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs as well as financial speculators, Cheka had its own classifications. Those counter-revolutionaries fell under these categories:
  1. Any civil or military servicemen suspected of working for Imperial Russia
  2. Families of officers-volunteers (including children)
  3. All clergy
  4. Workers and peasants who are under suspicion of not supporting the Soviet government
  5. Any other person whose private property was valued at over 10,000 rubles


As its name implied, the Extraordinary Commission had virtually unlimited powers and could interpret them in any way it wished. No standard procedures were ever set up, except that the Commission was supposed to send the arrested to the Military-Revolutionary tribunals if outside of a war zone—this left an opportunity for wide range of interpretations, as the whole country was in total chaos. At the direction of Lenin, the Cheka performed mass arrests, imprisonments, and executions of "enemies of the people". In this, the Cheka said that they targeted "class enemies" such as the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

, and members of the clergy
Clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

; the first organized mass repression began against the libertarians
Libertarianism
Libertarianism, in the strictest sense, is the political philosophy that holds individual liberty as the basic moral principle of society. In the broadest sense, it is any political philosophy which approximates this view...

 and Socialists of Petrograd in April of 1918. Over the next few months, 800 were arrested and shot without trial.

However, within a month, the Cheka had extended its repression to all political opponents of the communist government, including anarchists
Anarchism
Anarchism is generally defined as the political philosophy which holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful, or alternatively as opposing authority in the conduct of human relations...

 and others on the left. On April 11–12, 1918, 26 anarchist political centres in Moscow were attacked. 40 anarchists were killed by Cheka forces, and about 500 were arrested and jailed after a pitched battle took place between the two groups. (P. Avrich. G. Maximoff) In response to the anarchists' resistance, the Cheka orchestrated a massive retaliatory campaign of repression, executions, and arrests against all opponents of the Bolshevik government in what came to be known as, Red Terror
Red Terror
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as having been officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended about October 1918...

. The Red Terror, implemented by Dzerzhinsky on September 5, 1918, was vividly described by the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 journal Krasnaya Gazeta:

On September 3, 1918, the newspaper Izvestiya published Dzerzhynsky's own quote:

In the autumn of 1918, the Cheka openly and proudly announced itself to be a terrorist organization in the name of the working class. At the direction of Lenin and Trotsky, the Cheka and Red Army state security forces (later renamed the OGPU), shot, arrested, imprisoned, and executed thousands of people, regardless of whether or not they had actually planned rebellion against the Bolshevik government. Most of the survivors were later deported to Siberian labor camps.

An early Bolshevik Victor Serge
Victor Serge
Victor Serge , born Victor Lvovich Kibalchich , was a Russian revolutionary and writer. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Bolsheviks five months after arriving in Petrograd in January 1919 and later worked for the Comintern as a journalist, editor and translator...

 described in his book Memoirs of a Revolutionary:

The Cheka was also used against the armed anarchist Black Army
Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine
The Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine , popularly called Makhnovshchina, less correctly Makhnovchina, and also known as the Black Army, was an anarchist army formed largely of Ukrainian and Crimean peasants and workers under the command of the famous anarchist Nestor Makhno during the...

 of Nestor Makhno
Nestor Makhno
Nestor Ivanovych Makhno or simply Daddy Makhno was a Ukrainian anarcho-communist guerrilla leader turned army commander who led an independent anarchist army in Ukraine during the Russian Civil War....

 in the Ukraine. After the Black Army had served its purpose in aiding the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 to stop the Whites under Denikin, the Soviet communist government decided to eliminate the anarchist forces. In May 1919, two Cheka agents sent to assassinate Makhno were caught and executed.

Many victims of Cheka repression were 'bourgeois hostages' rounded up and held in readiness for summary execution
Summary execution
A summary execution is a variety of execution in which a person is killed on the spot without trial or after a show trial. Summary executions have been practiced by the police, military, and paramilitary organizations and are associated with guerrilla warfare, counter-insurgency, terrorism, and...

 in reprisal for any alleged counter-revolutionary act. Lenin's dictum that it was better to arrest 100 innocent people than to risk one enemy going free ensured that wholesale, indiscriminate arrests became an integral part of the system.

It was during the Red Terror
Red Terror
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as having been officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended about October 1918...

 that the Cheka, hoping to avoid the bloody aftermath of having half-dead victims writhing on the floor, developed a technique for execution known later by the German words Nackenschuss or Genickschuss, a shot to the nape
Nape
The nape is the back of the neck. In technical anatomical/medical terminology, the nape is referred to by the word nucha, which also gives the adjective corresponding to "nape" in English, "nuchal"....

 of the neck, which caused minimal blood loss and instant death. The victim's head was bent forward and the executioner fired slightly downward at point blank range. This had become the standard method used later by the NKVD
NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 to liquidate Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

's purge
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 victims and others.

Persecution of deserters


It is believed that more than three million deserters escaped from the Red Army in 1919 and 1920. Approximately 500,000 deserters were arrested in 1919 and close to 800,000 in 1920 by troops of the dreaded 'Special Punitive Department' of the Cheka, created to punish desertions. These troops were used to forcibly repatriate
Repatriation
Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

 deserters, taking and shooting hostages to force compliance or to set an example. Throughout the course of the civil war, several thousand deserters were shot - a number comparable to that of belligerents during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

In September 1918, according to The Black Book of Communism
The Black Book of Communism
The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression is a book authored by several European academics and edited by Stéphane Courtois, which describes a history of repressions, both political and civilian, by Communist states, including genocides, extrajudicial executions, deportations, and...

in only twelve provinces of Russia, 48,735 deserters and 7,325 "bandits" were arrested, 1,826 were killed and 2,230 were executed. The exact identity of these individuals is confused by the fact that the Soviet Bolshevik government used the term 'bandit' to cover ordinary criminals as well as armed and unarmed political opponents, such as the anarchists.

Number of victims


Estimates on Cheka executions vary widely. The lowest figures are provided by Dzerzhinsky’s lieutenant Martyn Latsis
Martin Latsis
Martin Ivanovich Latsis was a Latvian-born Soviet politician, revolutionary and state security high officer...

, limited to RSFSR over the period 1918–1920:
  • For the period 1918-July 1919, covering only twenty provinces of central Russia:
1918: 6,300; 1919 (up to July): 2,089; Total: 8,389

  • For the whole period 1918-19:
1918: 6,185; 1919: 3,456; Total: 9,641

  • For the whole period 1918-20:
January–June 1918: 22; July–December 1918: more than 6,000; 1918-20: 12,733


Experts generally agree these semi-official figures are vastly understated. Pioneering historian of the Red Terror
Red Terror
The Red Terror in Soviet Russia was the campaign of mass arrests and executions conducted by the Bolshevik government. In Soviet historiography, the Red Terror is described as having been officially announced on September 2, 1918 by Yakov Sverdlov and ended about October 1918...

 Sergei Melgunov
Sergei Melgunov
Sergei Petrovich Melgunov was a Russian historian, publicist and politician best known for his opposition to the Soviet government and his numerous works on the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the Russian Civil War....

 claims that this was done deliberately in an attempt to demonstrate the government's humanity. For example, he refutes the claim made by Latsis that only 22 executions were carried out in the first six months of the Cheka's existence by providing evidence that the true number was 884 executions. W. H. Chamberlin claims “it is simply impossible to believe that the Cheka only put to death 12,733 people in all of Russia up to the end of the civil war.” Donald Rayfield
Donald Rayfield
Donald Rayfield is professor of Russian and Georgian at Queen Mary, University of London. He is an author of books about Russian and Georgian literature, and about Joseph Stalin and his secret police...

 concurs, noting that "plausible evidence reveals that the actual numbers . . . vastly exceeded the official figures." Chamberlin provides the "reasonable and probably moderate" estimate of 50,000, while others provide estimates ranging up to 500,000. Several scholars put the number of executions at about 250,000. Some believe it is possible more people were murdered by the Cheka than died in battle.

Lenin himself seemed unfazed by the killings. On 12 January 1920, while addressing trade union leaders, he said:


"We did not hesitate to shoot thousands of people, and we shall not hesitate, and we shall save the country."


On 14 May 1921, the Politburo
Politburo
Politburo , literally "Political Bureau [of the Central Committee]," is the executive committee for a number of communist political parties.-Marxist-Leninist states:...

, chaired by Lenin, passed a motion "broadening the rights of the [Cheka] in relation to the use of the [death penalty]."

Atrocities



The Cheka is reported to have practiced torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

. Victims were reportedly skinned alive, scalped, "crowned" with barbed wire, impaled, crucified, hanged, stoned to death, tied to planks and pushed slowly into furnaces or tanks of boiling water, and rolled around naked in internally nail-studded barrels. Chekists reportedly poured water on naked prisoners in the winter-bound streets until they became living ice statues. Others reportedly beheaded their victims by twisting their necks until their heads could be torn off. The Chinese Cheka detachments stationed in Kiev
Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 reportedly would attach an iron tube to the torso of a bound victim and insert a rat into the other end which was then closed off with wire netting. The tube was then held over a flame until the rat began gnawing through the victim's guts in an effort to escape. Anton Denikin's investigation discovered corpses whose lungs, throats, and mouths had been packed with earth.

Women and children were also victims of Cheka terror. Women would sometimes be tortured and raped before being shot. Children between the ages of 8 and 13 were imprisoned and occasionally executed.

All of these atrocities were published on numerous occasions in Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

 and Izvestiya: January 26, 1919 Izvestiya #18 articale Is it really a medieval imprisonment? («Неужели средневековый застенок?»); February 22, 1919 Pravda #12 publishes details of the Vladimir
Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

 Cheka's tortures, September 21, 1922 Socialist Herald publishes details of series of tortures conducted by the Stavropol
Stavropol
-International relations:-Twin towns/sister cities:Stavropol is twinned with: Des Moines, United States Béziers, France Pazardzhik, Bulgaria-External links:* **...

 Cheka (hot basement, cold basement, scull measuring etc.).

The Chekists were also supplemented by the militarized Units of Special Purpose (the Party's Spetsnaz or ).

Cheka was actively and openly utilizing kidnapping methods. With kidnapping methods Cheka was able to extinguish numerous cases of discontent especially among the rural population. Among the notorious ones was the Tambov rebellion
Tambov Rebellion
The Tambov Rebellion which occurred between 1920 and 1921 was one of the largest and best-organized peasant rebellions challenging the Bolshevik regime during the Russian Civil War. The uprising took place in the territories of the modern Tambov Oblast and part of the Voronezh Oblast, less than...

.

Villages were bombarded to complete annihilation like in the case of Tretyaki, Novokhopersk uyezd, Voronezh Governorate.

As a result of this relentless violence more than a few Chekists ended up with psychopathic disorders, which Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Bukharin
Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin , was a Russian Marxist, Bolshevik revolutionary, and Soviet politician. He was a member of the Politburo and Central Committee , chairman of the Communist International , and the editor in chief of Pravda , the journal Bolshevik , Izvestia , and the Great Soviet...

 said were "an occupational hazard of the Chekist profession." Many hardened themselves to the executions by heavy drinking and drug use. Some developed a gangster-like slang for the verb to kill in an attempt to distance themselves from the killings, such as 'shooting partridges', of 'sealing' a victim, or giving him a natsokal (onomatopoeia of the trigger action).

On November 30, 1992, by the initiative of the President of the Russian Federation
President of the Russian Federation
The President of the Russian Federation is the head of state, supreme commander-in-chief and holder of the highest office within the Russian Federation...

 the Constitutional Court of the Russian Federation recognized the Red Terror as unlawful, which in turn led to suspension of the Communist Party of the RSFSR.

Regional Chekas



Cheka departments were organized not only in big cities and guberniya
Guberniya
A guberniya was a major administrative subdivision of the Russian Empire usually translated as government, governorate, or province. Such administrative division was preserved for sometime upon the collapse of the empire in 1917. A guberniya was ruled by a governor , a word borrowed from Latin ,...

 seats, but also in each uyezd
Uyezd
Uyezd or uezd was an administrative subdivision of Rus', Muscovy, Russian Empire, and the early Russian SFSR which was in use from the 13th century. Uyezds for most of the history in Russia were a secondary-level of administrative division...

, at any front-lines and military formations. Nothing is known on what resources they were created. A lot who was hired to head those departments were so called nestlings of Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

, the former convicts (political and criminal) that released by the Kerensky amnesty.
Moscow Cheka (1918–1919)
Chairman - Felix Dzerzhynsky, Deputy - Yakov Peters
Yakov Peters
Jēkabs Peterss or Yakov Khristoforovich Peters was a Latvian Communist revolutionary, Soviet politician, chekist, and terrorist. Together with Feliks Dzerzhinsky, he was one of the founders and chiefs of the VChK...

 (initially heading the Petrograd Department), other members - Shklovsky, Kneyfis, Tseystin, Razmirovich, Kronberg, Khaikina, Karlson, Shauman, Lentovich, Rivkin, Antonov, Delafabr, Tsytkin, Yelena Rozmirovich (wife of Krylenko), G.Sverdlov, Bizensky, Yakov Blumkin
Yakov Blumkin
Yakov Grigoryevich Blumkin was a Left Socialist-Revolutionary, assassin, Bolshevik, Cheka agent, State Political Directorate spy, and adventurer, executed as Trotskyist.-Early life :...

, Aleksandrovich, Fines, Zaks, Yakov Goldin, Galpershtein, Kniggisen, Martin Latsis
Martin Latsis
Martin Ivanovich Latsis was a Latvian-born Soviet politician, revolutionary and state security high officer...

 (later transferred to Kyiv), Deybol, Seyzan, Deybkin, Libert (chief of jail), Fogel, Zakis, Shillenkus, Yanson.
Petrograd Cheka (1918–1919)
Chairman - Meinkman, Moisei Uritsky
Moisei Uritsky
Moisei Solomonovich Uritsky was a Bolshevik revolutionary leader in Russia.He was born in the city of Cherkasy, Kiev Governorate, to a Jewish family. His father, a merchant, died when Moisei was little and his mother raised her son by herself.Moisei studied law at the University of Kiev...

 (replaced Peters after his transfer), Giller, Kozlovsky, Model, Rozmirovich, I.Diesporov, Iselevich, Krassikov, Bukhan, Merbis, Paykis, Anvelt.
Kharkov Cheka
Comrade Eduard, Stepan Saenko, Mykola Khvylovy
Mykola Khvylovy
Mykola Khvylovy was a Ukrainian writer and poet of the early Communist era Ukrainian Renaissance .Born as Mykola Fitilyov in Trostyanets, Kharkov Governorate to a Russian laborer father and Ukrainian schoolteacher mother, Khvylovy joined the Communist Party in 1919. In the same year he became the...

 (Bohodukhiv uyezd).
Kiev Cheka
Chairman - Martin Latsis
Martin Latsis
Martin Ivanovich Latsis was a Latvian-born Soviet politician, revolutionary and state security high officer...

, other members - Avdokhin, Comrade Vera, Rosa Shvarts.
Odessa Cheka
Deych, Vikhman, Timofey, Vera (Dora) Grebenshchikova, Aleksandra (aged 17).
Simferopol Cheka
Ashykin.

In popular culture

  • The Cheka were popular staples in Soviet film and literature. This was partly due to a romanticization of the organisation in the post-Stalin period, and also because they provided a useful action/detection template. Films featuring the Cheka include Ostern
    Ostern
    The Ostern or Red Western was the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries' take on the Western.It generally took two forms:...

    s Miles of Fire
    Miles of Fire
    Miles of Fire/The Burning Miles is an early Red Western filmed by Samson Samsonov in 1957. Often considered the earliest of the 'Red Westerns' , it was made before the term was coined...

    , Nikita Mikhalkov
    Nikita Mikhalkov
    Nikita Sergeyevich Mikhalkov is a Soviet and Russian filmmaker, actor, and head of the Russian Cinematographers' Union.Mikhalkov was born in Moscow into the distinguished, artistic Mikhalkov family. His great grandfather was the imperial governor of Yaroslavl, whose mother was a Galitzine princess...

    's At Home among Strangers
    At Home Among Strangers
    At Home among Strangers is a 1974 Soviet film starring Yuri Bogatyryov and Anatoly Solonitsyn and directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. Some hail it as the most significant of osterns...

    , the miniseries The Adjutant of His Excellency
    The Adjutant of His Excellency
    The Adjutant of His Excellency is a Soviet television mini-series which was produced in 1969 and is set during the Russian civil war. The plot revolves around Captain Pavel Koltsov, an agent working for the Soviet secret police who is spying on the white Volunteer Army, posing as an adjutant to a...

    , and also Dead Season starring Donatas Banionis
    Donatas Banionis
    Donatas Banionis is a Lithuanian and Soviet actor. He is best known in the West for his performance in the lead role of Tarkovsky's Solaris as Kris Kelvin....

     and the 1992
    1992 in film
    The year 1992 in film involved many significant films. -Top grossing films:-Awards:Academy AwardsGolden Globe AwardsNational Film Awards...

     Russian
    Cinema of Russia
    The cinema of Russia began in the Russian Empire, widely developed under the Soviet and in the years following the fall of the Soviet system, the Russian film industry would remain internationally recognised...

     drama film
    Drama film
    A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

     The Chekist
    The Chekist
    The Chekist is a 1992 Russian drama film directed by Aleksandr Rogozhkin. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival...

    .
  • In Spain
    Spain
    Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

    , during the Spanish Civil War
    Spanish Civil War
    The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

    , the detention and torture centers operated by the Communists were named checas after the Soviet organization.

See also


  • Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies
    Chronology of Soviet secret police agencies
    There was a succession of Soviet secret police agencies over time. The first secret police after the Russian Revolution, created by Vladimir Lenin's decree on December 20, 1917, was called "Cheka"...

  • Ministry for State Security (Soviet Union)
  • Okhrana
  • People's Commissariat for State Security (Soviet Union)
  • Russian Revolution of 1917
    Russian Revolution of 1917
    The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

  • State Political Directorate
    State Political Directorate
    The State Political Directorate was the secret police of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Soviet Union from 1922 until 1934...



External links