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I've been looking at the history of the USSR and while the secret police were fairly straightforward under the Tsarist regime and the USSR under Lenin (Okhrana and the Cheka), for Stalin's rule of the USSR, I've seen OGPU and the NKVD pop up concurrently.
I've established that both are secret police and used by Stalin as the instrument for the Great Purges and establishing terror throughout the country, but what is the exact difference?
I've asked someone and he has said that they are essentially the same, but surely there must be some distinction between the two, for they have two different names.
Thanks in advance.
NKVD means Narodny Komissariat Vnutrennih Del, that is People's Comissariat of Internal Affairs. It was just a general internal affairs department. Although it included law enforcement agencies, it on the other hand included firefighters and civil registry services too.
Now GPU/OGPU was the secret police which sometimes was a part of NKVD, and sometimes was not. It is GPU which later became known as KGB.
There is a timeline for your convenience.
The OGPU succeeded the GPU as the state security force which in turn became the NKVD which in turn became the KGB. Therefore, the NKVD was secret police, and they are all the same thing just during different time periods. Reference: Bolshevik and Stalinist Russia 1918-56 (third edition) by Michael Lynch.
It is completely wrong if your source claims that NKVD was a "secret police", whatever it could mean. Sometimes I even spotted such claims in Wikipedia.
NKVD included normal police, traffic control, firefighters, border guards, passport issuing agency and prisons.
What is the difference between NKVD and OGPU (USSR) - History
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs ( Наро́дный комиссариа́т вну́тренних дел : Naródnyy komissariát vnútrennikh del Russian pronunciation: [nɐˈrod.nɨj kə.mʲɪ.sə.rʲɪˈat ˈvnut.rʲɪ.nʲɪx̬ dʲel] ), abbreviated NKVD ( НКВД listen ( help · info ) ), was the interior ministry of the Soviet Union.
- (GUGB) (Gulag)
- Main Directorate of Militsiya (GURKM)
- Main Directorate of Border and Internal Security (GUPiVO).
Established in 1917 as NKVD of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic,  the agency was originally tasked with conducting regular police work and overseeing the country's prisons and labor camps.  It was disbanded in 1930, with its functions being dispersed among other agencies, only to be reinstated as an all-union commissariat in 1934. 
The functions of the OGPU (the secret police organization) were transferred to the NKVD in 1934, giving it a monopoly over law enforcement activities that lasted until the end of World War II.  During this period, the NKVD included both ordinary public order activities, as well as secret police activities.  The NKVD is known for its role in political repression and for carrying out the Great Purge under Joseph Stalin. It was led by Genrikh Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov and Lavrentiy Beria.   
The NKVD undertook mass extrajudicial executions of untold numbers of citizens, and conceived, populated and administered the Gulag system of forced labour camps. Their agents were responsible for the repression of the wealthier peasantry, as well as the mass deportations of entire nationalities to uninhabited regions of the country.   They oversaw the protection of Soviet borders and espionage (which included political assassinations), and enforced Soviet policy in communist movements and puppet governments in other countries,  most notably the repression and massacres in Poland. 
In March 1946 all People's Commissariats were renamed to Ministries, and the NKVD became the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). 
The Main Directorate of State Security evolved from the Joint State Political Directorate (or. OGPU). On February 3, 1941, the Special Sections (or. OO) of the GUGB-NKVD (responsible for counter-intelligence in the military) became part of the Army and Navy (RKKA and RKKF, respectively). The GUGB was cancelled as organization within NKVD USSR. The units that operated in GUGB were reorganized and made the core of the newly made People's Commissariat of State Security or NKGB.
Following the outbreak of World War II, the NKVD and NKGB were reunited, but NOT as GUGB but as totally separate directorates. On July 20, 1941, Army and Airforce counter-intelligence was returned to the NKVD as Directorate of Special Departments under Anakumov, in January 1942 Navy CI followed. In April 1943, it was again transferred to the Narkomat of Defence and Narkomat of the Navy, becoming SMERSH (from Smert' Shpionam or "Death to Spies") at the same time, the GUGB was again separated from the NKVD as NKGB.
By the end of 1937, the GUGB was the most powerful and influential organ in the NKVD structure. GUGB departments (or Sections) dealt with - intelligence, internal security, counter-intelligence, protection of government and secret communications.
The first chief of the GUGB was Yakov Agranov, Commissioner 1st rank of State Security and first deputy of People's Commissar of Internal Affairs. The next chief of the GUGB from April 15, 1937, to September 8, 1938, was komkor Mikhail Frinovsky, he was succeeded by Lavrenty Beria, then just promoted to Commissioner 1st rank of State Security. When Beria became People's Commissar of Internal Affairs (head of NKVD), Commissioner 3rd rank of State Security Vsevolod Merkulov became his first deputy and the new and final head of GUGB.
Between 1934 and 1941, the Main Directorate of State Security went through several organizational changes. In January 1935, there were nine departments in the GUGB structure:
- Operational Department (headed by) – Karl Pauker
- Special Department – Gleb Bokii
- Department of Economics – (ЭКО/EKO) – Lev Mironov – Mark Gay
- Secret Political Department – (СПО/SPO) – Georgy Molchanov
- Foreign Department – (ИНО/INO) – Artur Artuzov
- Department of Transport – (ТО) – Vladimir Kichkin
- Department of Information and Statistic – (УСО/USO) – Yakov Genkin
- Staff Department – (OK) – Yakov Weynschtok
By the end of 1937 the People's Commissar of Internal Affairs Nikolai Yezhov, in his order #00362 had changed the number of departments from five to twelve.
- Department 1 [Protection of Government] – Israel Dagin
- Department 2 [Operative] – Ans Zalpeter
- Department 3 [counter-intelligence] (КРО/KRO) – Aleksandr Minayev-Cikanovich
- Department 4 [Secret Political] (СПО/SPO) – Mikhail Litvin – Nikolai Nikolaev-Zhuryd
- Department 6 [Transport] (TO) – Mikhail Volkov
- Department 7 [Foreign (Intelligence)] (ИНО/INO) – Abram Slutsky
- Department 8 [Records and Statistic] (УСО/USO) – Vladimir Cesarsky
- Department 9 [Special (codes)] (OO) – Isaak Shapiro
- Department 10 [Prison] – Yakov Weynschtok
- Department 11 [Maritime Transportation] (ВО/WO) – Victor Yrcev
- Department 12 [Technical and Operational] (OOT) – Semyen Zhukovsky
After Lavrenty Beria took over Frinovsky place as a GUGB head, in 29 of September 1938, GUGB underwent another organizational change -
- Department 1 – [Protection of Government] – Israel Dagin
- Department 2 – [Secret Political] – Bogdan Kobulov
- Department 3 – [counter-intelligence] – Nikolai Nikolaev-Zhuryd — Pyotr Fedotov
- Department 5 – [Foreign (Intelligence)] – Zelman Passov
- Department 6 – [Codes] – Alexander Balamutov
- GUGB Investigating Section —
- Department 1 – [Protection of Party and Soviet officials] –
- included Political department, 24 office divisions, a school, commandant's offices of the CC VKP(b) and NKVD of USSR
- Division 1 [trotskyists, zinovievists, leftists, rightists, miasnikovtsi, shlyapnikovtsi, banned from the party, foreign missions]
- Division 2 [Mensheviks, anarchists, members of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, bundists, zionists, clerics, provocateurs, gendarmes, counterintelligence agents, punishers, White Cossacks, monarchists]
- Division 3 [combating Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Ugro-Finnish national c-i ]
- Division 4 [agent studies on a/s political parties, dashnaks, Turkic-Tatar-Mongolian national c-i , gruzmeks, mussavatists, nationalists]
- Division 5 [literati, press, publishing, theatres, cinema, art]
- Division 6 [academies of sciences, science and research institutes, scientific societies]
- Division 7 [discovery and study of c-i formations among studying youth, system of the People's Commissariat of Enlightenment and children of repressed]
- Division 8 [People's Commissariat of Healthcare of USSR and RSFSR and its education institutions]
- Division 9 [People's Commissariat of Justice, Supreme Court, Prosecutor's Office, People's Commissariat of Social Security and their educational institutions]
- Division 10 [combating church and sect c-i ]
- Division 11 [physical culture organizations, volunteer societies, clubs, sports publishers]
- Division 12 [Special council, militsiya, fire guard, military commissariats, leadership of the reserves]
- Division 1 [Germany, Hungary]
- Division 2 [Japan, China]
- Division 3 [Great Britain]
- Division 4 [France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Spain]
- Division 5 [Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia]
- Division 6 [Poland]
- Division 7 [Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark]
- Division 8 [United States and countries of South America]
- Division 9 [Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan]
- Division 10 [ White movement c-i elements]
- Division 11 [Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania]
- Division 12 [People's Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, embassies and consulates]
- Division 13 [ ECCI, MOPR]
- Division 14 [ Foreign Trade, trade offices]
- Division 15 [ Intourist and VOKS]
- Diplomat security section
- Diplomat security political department
- Divisions 16, 17, 18, 19 Diplomat security
- Division 1 [headquarters]
- Division 2 [intelligence directorates]
- Division 3 [aviation]
- Division 4 [technical troops]
- Division 5 [motorized detachments]
- Division 6 [artillery, cavalry and artillery detachments]
- Division 7 [infantry, cavalry and artillery detachments]
- Division 8 [ politruk]
- Division 9 [medical service]
- Division 10 [Navy]
- Division 11 [NKVD troops]
- Division 12 [organizational and mobilizing]
- investigative section
- Division 1 [Germany, Hungary, Denmark]
- Division 2 [Poland]
- Division 3 [France, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands]
- Division 4 [Great Britain]
- Division 5 [Italy]
- Division 6 [Spain]
- Division 7 [Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Greece]
- Division 8 [Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spitzbergen]
- Division 9 [Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania]
- Division 10 [United States, Canada, South America, Mexico]
- Division 11 [Japan, Manchuria]
- Division 12 [China, Xinjiang]
- Division 12 [Mongolia, Tuva]
- Division 12 [Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan]
- Division 12 [technical intelligence]
- Division 12 [operational equipment]
- Division 12 [visas]
- Division 1, 2, 3 [safeguard of state secrecy, verification and recordkeeping of those admitted to secret work and documents]
- Division 4 [deciphering]
- Division 5 [research, development and recordkeeping of ciphers, drafting NKVD ciphers, preparation of ciphering specialists]
- Division 6 [NKVD encrypting process]
- Division 7 [organizational management of peripherals, development of instructions and regulations on secret ciphering and agent missions]
- Division 8 [ciphering]
GUGB Ranks Edit
The GUGB had a unique system of ranks, a blend of the position-rank system used in the Red Army and personal ranks used in the Militsiya the rank insignia was also very distinct. Even though insignia introduced in 1937 followed the Red Army collar patch patterns, it assigned them to very different ranks for GUGB and Internal Troops/political/specialist branches, with GUGB rank placed at least one grade higher than a similar army equivalent.    
When GUGB and Militsiya ranks were replaced with military ranks and insignia in February 1943, Major to Sergeant ranks were aligned with Colonel to Junior Lieutenant, and Senior Major and up were replaced with various degrees of Commissioner. In 1945, General Commissioner Lavrentiy Beria received the rank of the Marshal of the Soviet Union, and other GUGB Commissioners received ranks from Generals of the Army to Major General.
Soviet OGPU vs NKVD
Post by GFM2000 » 25 Mar 2002, 07:49
Re: Soviet OGPU vs NKVD
Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 25 Mar 2002, 08:12
Post by Schmauser » 26 Mar 2002, 03:16
The NKVD also ran the Gualgs and Execution squads that terrorized the Russian & Ukrainian populations. Just as the Gestapo & SD were the intelligence organs or the Third Reich, so too was the NKVD, Stalin's ever watchful eye.
Post by Rommel » 26 Mar 2002, 03:24
Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 26 Mar 2002, 03:36
Post by Rommel » 26 Mar 2002, 03:55
Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 26 Mar 2002, 04:20
Post by Rommel » 26 Mar 2002, 04:21
Post by Caldric » 26 Mar 2002, 10:41
SS or NKVD? Who scares you more?
Post by GFM2000 » 28 Mar 2002, 13:28
Post by Oleg Grigoryev » 28 Mar 2002, 23:10
Re: Soviet OGPU vs NKVD
Post by Starinov » 18 Apr 2002, 20:54
There are slight differences between the OGPU and the NKVD. The NKVD is the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs responsable for police forc3es, firemen, border guards, etc. THe OGPU is one of several KGB predecessors responsible to protect the Soviet Union from the inside against any not allowed behavior in the Soviet society. In 1934 the OGPU changed its name to GUGB was incorporated into the NKVD as one of its main offices and was also responsable for the Great Purges. It was not the NKVD like many people think. The KGB (and its predecessors) can be compared to the Gestapo in the Third Reich, not the SS.
NKGB 1941 february - july
There were two camp systems
After being an open secret for decades, the prison system overseen by the Gulag became synonymous with forced labor and dictatorship when it was publicized to the world by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn with 1973's The Gulag Archipelago. These days the word "gulag" is used as a generic term for a harsh political prison. But the system administered by the Gulag in the USSR wasn't the only network of prison camps maintained by Russia. There was actually a second system—the Glavnoje Upravlenyije po gyelam Vojennoplennih i Internyirovannih (GUPVI).
As historian Andrew H. Beattie writes, the Gupvi was almost identical to the Gulag system (many of its leaders came from the Gulag). The main difference was that the Gupvi handled prisoners of war used for slave labor, whereas the Gulag chiefly dealt with political prisoners and straight-up criminals. As Gulag-Online notes, the only real difference between the camp systems was the lack of criminals in Gupvi camps. The Gupvi system initially held soldiers captured during World War II, then later took on millions of civilians captured during the fighting.
Some of the prisoners initially sent to the Gupvi system were put on trial for political crimes, however, and were eventually transferred to Gulag-run camps. Either way, prisoners could expect back-breaking work, terrible conditions, and no guarantee of survival.
What is the difference between NKVD and OGPU (USSR) - History
First posted 981023
last minor change y10418
We offer a chronology and discussion of Cheka-NKVD-KGB history by guest contributor T.L. TL's perspective is more sympathetic to Stalin than many. Avidly interested in both the KGB and agronomist Trofim Lysenko, TL would be grateful to hear more information from others at this E-mail address:
---The NKVD existed from 1917. It is not that the CheKa changed names to GPU then OGPU and then NKVD, nor did the NKVD become the KGB as most people think. The NKGB, MGB-then-to-be -KGB existed along side the NKVD. The NKVD became the MVD when the NKGB became MGB.
---"N.K." stands for Narodnyi Komissariat, People's Commissariat, "M" stands for Ministry. A People's Commissar became a Minister. There were many NKs. The "V.D." stands for Vnutrennykh Del, meaning Internal Affairs. They are initials. References to Narkom____ is same as NK: NARodnyi KOMissariat. The "NarKoms" (plural) are referred to as Narkomats. SOVnarkom - Soviet NK, Council of People's Commissars. Therefore, a Narkom would be a contraction for a People's Commissar.
---The VeCheKa, CheKa for short, (initials standing for Vserossykaya Chrezvychainaya Komissiya or the short version: CheKa, came into being FROM the Voenno Revolyutsionnyi Komitet (Military Revolutionary Committee, some books on this call this organization MRC.) or the initials for that, VRK. In 10/26/17, VRK had supreme state power. (Che is a letter in Russian, Ka is like our "K," and Ve like our "V." Hence: Ve Che Ka. Short: CheKa or ChK.)
---12/5/17, STATE VRK was abolished with power going to the People's Commissariats, or NKs! There were many NKs, not just of Internal Affairs.
---12/24/17 The PROVINCIAL VRKs were abolished and given to the local Soviets. Soviet means Council. Council of Peoples Commissars would be "Sov Nar Kom" - Sovnarkom.
---APART from this, the embryonic NKVD and Militias existed in 1917. The NKVD was established 10/26/17 along with the other NKs. Their first Commissar was Rykov. He resigned 11/4/17. What this NKVD was, was a replacement for the Ministry of the Interior, though it was written of under that name (causing much confusion!) On 11/1917, G.I. Petrovsky headed it.
---On 12/1917, VeCheKa formed and they took over the function of the VRK which was originally an organization of the Executive Committee of Petrograd Soviet and Soldiers Deputies and from 10/29, affiliated with All Russian Central Executive Committee of 2nd Congress of Soviets or VTsIK. The VRK and VeCheKa are continuous and VRK was pro-Bolshevik. In 10/27/17 a Commissar's Bureau was created in the VRK, Latsis was in charge. Rykov was in charge of Internal Affairs. They also had the Red Guard with them.
---Dzerzhinsky was in the Collegium OF THE NKVD but due to being too busy, left it. Dzerzhinsky was the head of the VeCheKa or CheKa in 10/28/18.
---The NKVD was a PURELY Bolshevik organization. The VeCheKa was only partly under its control and was also a MULTI-party organization at that time, PRESUMABLY pro-Bolshevik, but it was ATTACHED TO the Sovnarkom (Council of People's Commissars).
---There was even a Collegium meeting on 11/14/18 where Petrovsky, Tikhomirnov and Unschlicht were there for the NKVD, Dzerzhinsky was there for the CheKa and Latsis was there for both. This meeting was to get cooperation between the two organizations, CheKa and NKVD, as there was a time when it was CheKa VERSUS the NKVD and NKYu (Narodnyi Komissariat Yustitsy - People's Commissariat for Justice). ---1/16/19, Dzerzhinsky succeeded Petrovsky as NKVD and CheKa coordinator and Commissar though they remained as two separate organizations.
---1/23/22 The CheKa was REORGANIZED (not just renamed) and became the GPU (State Political Administration) and was integrated into the NKVD, directed by the NKVD of which the GPU was a part. 2/6/22 decree was issued for this. This was a time after the Civil War. The GPU had new duties of which Dzerzhinsky was put in charge: set up all of the economic sector Narkomats (NK's) and the CheKa was directly involved in cooperating with the various Soviets (Councils) in these economic institutions.
---7/1923, Under new USSR Constitution, NKVD remained a republic level RSFSR Commissariat devoid of Union Status. 7/7/23 A.G. Beloborodov became People's Commissar.
- 1. All Union in Central Government, Sovnarkom USSR.
2. Unified Commissariats, USSR level and Union Republics.
3. Republic Commissariats, this was the NKVD level,
Please note this time period. OGPU was lisfted out of the NKVD.
---In reading anything about the time, one notices "People's Commissar" for - Agriculture, Education, etc. always the NK prefix on their title. This all related to Dzerzhinsky's organizational ability and tied to the NKVD and the CheKa.
---In 1926 Menzhinsky was the official head of the OGPU but it is known that he was in the background and that Yagoda was really the brains behind all that went on.
---In 1934, all of this was reorganized UNDER the NKVD, not renamed: reorganized. The central core of that OGPU reappeared in the NKVD as the Main Administration of State Security and was called the GUGB. Yagoda was the officially the head then in 1936, Yezhov then in 1938, Beria.
Note important time span of 10 years where the OGPU was detached from the NKVD - and now was put into the NKVD as the GUGB! The is important.
---In 1941 a SEPARATE NKGB (GB standing for State Security) was established using that GUGB central core while police duties not directly involving "state security" were left to the NKVD. In 1946, the NKVD name was changed to MVD and the NKGB name changed to the MGB. Under Khrushchev in 1954, the MGB was reorganized as the KGB under the Council of Ministers, i.e., reduced in status from a ministry to a committee while still remaining very powerful. The NKVD-MVD still existed though few ever heard about it: the Special Psychiatric Hospitals were under the MVD, e.g. This MVD, the former NKVD, is apparently so secretive that a famous man such as Dr. Snezhnevsky of the Pavlov school is not even mentioned in any Who's Who! (Lysenko can be found mentioned in there, however.) One can also find out the names of the successive KGB leaders after 1954 but not for the MVD!
First Additional: Specifically, 2/3/41 NKVD L.P. Beria and 2/3/41 NKGB V.N. Merkulov then again 7/30/41 both into NKVD, L.P. Beria.
Then: April 1943 NKVD L.P. Beria, April 1943 NKGB V. N. Merkulov and April 1943 SMERSH V.S. Abakumov.
Then: January 1946 NKVD into MVD S.N. Kruglov, and 10/18/46 NKGB and SMERSH into MGB V.S. Abakumov, and beginning of 1952, MGB S.D. Ignatiev (& Ryumin)*.
Then: 3/15/53 MVD and MGB both into MVD L.P. Beria from July 1953 S.N. Kruglov.
Then: 3/13/54 KGB I.A. Serov 12/9/58, A.N. Shelepin 11/13/61 V.Y. Semichastny 5/18/67 Y.V. Andropov.
And: 3/13/54 MVD S.N. Kruglov 2/1/56 N.P. Dudorov. But 1/13/60 dissolution of the MVD as a federal ministry. Reduced, 7/18/66, to a Federal Republican Ministry for the Maintenance of Public Order 9/18/66 N.A. Shchelokov.
Then: 11/28/68 MVD again, N.A. Shchelokov. KGB still headed by Andropov.
* Ignatiev (Khrushchev's favorite, by the way, was against Beria), was old and sick, Ryumin was the real person behind him similarly, from 7/1926 Menzhinsky was in charge of the OGPU but it is known that he also was only a figure head Yagoda was the real force behind the scenes and when he came to head the organization, he already had a large network of his people in place.
Source first additional info: The Soviet Secret Police, the Uses of Terror, Borys Lewytzkyj (Boris Levytsky). "Beria, Stalin's First Lieutenant" By: Amy Knight, for power struggles with Khrushchev against Beria.
Second Additional: A picture does form. The OGPU was very much, with Yagoda (not Menzhinsky who stayed in the background) on the side of the Right Opposition against peasant collectivization beginning not later than 1928.
Stalin knew this and it was an ongoing thing with Yagoda. In July 1934, the OGPU was abolished and its functions were transferred to a new All Union, NKVD. In May 1934, Yagoda was appointed head. However, the central core of that OGPU reappeared in the NKVD as the Main Administration of State Security, called the GUGB.
In addition, the NKVD controlled the militia (regular cops), border and internal troops, labor camps (GULAG), and fireguards. Further additions to its power made it an even more formidable concentration of power than the OGPU had been before. However, in February 1941, when the separate NKGB was formed, it was established from that same core of GUGB! In September of 1953, the special board Judicial Body of the NKVD-MVD was abolished by an unpublished decree. Most of the economic sections under NKVD control were stripped away and given to other agencies. These were institutions that Dzerzhinsky had set up, under Lenin's consultation, to ENSURE that the Soviet Union remained Socialist! More and more NKVD agents were executed, though not as publicly as Beria and his top people, and many NKVD agents fled abroad or were stuck abroad due to these moves. The NKVD-MVD became very small, hardly anyone knew it still existed. The KGB which was formed of those same OGPU - GUGB people that were NOT purged along with Yagoda, they became big and very powerful.
The NKVD had not been on totally friendly terms with the VeCheKa which was curbed after the Civil War by making it into the GPU and then the OGPU. Most of the OGPU was purged by Yezhov who was specifically given the job OF purging the Right Oppositionists in the OGPU group that were incorporated into the NKVD, but the remaining members who were not purged were that same GUGB that later became the NKGB -and later the KGB under Khrushchev! It was notably Khrushchev that declared a "Beria Gang" in 1953 when he went after Beria and his top people and castrated the NKVD (renamed MVD), removed them from their policing of ECONOMIC INSTITUTIONS, and gave the KGB total power after pulling a coup d 'etat and executing all the top NKVD men, including Beria. Later, more and more NKVD personnel were quietly executed and thousands of them fled the USSR due to this. This was the same GUGB group that SHOULD HAVE been executed with Yagoda for Right Opposition plotting, facts of which are ALL ABOUT economics! And with such men in power under Khrushchev, who later trashed Stalin openly, they put into effect exactly what the Right Opposition wanted to keep way back then which is what they were at odds with Stalin about, namely, state capitalism!
Who and what were the links between the Bukharinites of the right and the Trotskyites of the Left? YAGODA's group was the network link.
Source second additional info: The Soviet Secret Police (Simon Wolin and Robert M. Slusser).
Dzerzhinsky was with Stalin throughout, even when Lenin was alive. Menzhinsky, 1926-1934, was never a real head of the OGPU but just a figurehead: Yagoda was the man with the power during Menzhinsky's rule and he was definitely with Bukharin, some of his people with Trotsky. Yezhov was a newcomer, what one might call a New Stalinist NKVD Man, but he lacked experience. Beria was a Stalin man throughout. Ignatiev was not and he was also a figurehead with Ryumin having the real power. Both were enemies of Beria, friends of Khrushchev's faction and invented the Doctor's Plot, convincing Stalin. They also tended to try to turn Stalin against Lysenko, though there is only a HINT of this. It would not be too easy to turn Stalin against a man whose collective farm fields, visible to all, were full of wheat and other foods used to feed people! Yuri Zhdanov failed when he tried. The military would have many profits to gain if agriculture was using chemicals: which Lysenko opposed totally. With Khrushchev at the helm, he ordered Malenkov to direct Lysenko to use chemicals and plant corn, which Lysenko was also opposed to due to the Soviet lack of Corn Belt. Lysenko tried to get the peasants to mix the chemicals with natural dung, but it was too much work and Lysenko complained that his methods were NOT being used. Lysenko wrote Khrushchev and warned about this adventure. Lysenko was fired in 1956 and the corn adventure was taken up by Vavilov's old colleagues, Shmalthausen, Zavadovsky and Zukovsky! Both corn and chemicals ended up ruining the land, which necessitated the USSR buying wheat from the USA. Khrushchev also privatized the Machine and Tractor the privatization lead to profiteering and corruption as a norm. By the time Brezhnev got in, there were two economies in the USSR: one was State Capitalist and the other was black market underground. There was no turning back the system was ruined. Communism defeated itself. It was only a matter of time for Gorbechov and Yeltzen to finish the job. What analysts seem to forget, having amnesia, is that the capitalist West had the best land at its disposal (after removing the American Indians from it. ) and they had SLAVES that worked as slaves and earned the West those mega profits.
Next came sweat shops which, in the West, lead to socialist-like revolutions here and there, including the one in the USSR. Dzerzhinsky was superb. Even in the CIA archives (available from interlibrary loan in libraries in USA!) Dzerzhinsky is beyond reproach letters from his own diary are collected. Yezhov is a shadowy figure, but the otherwise slanderous Medvedev even has nice things to say about Yezhov. POOR Yezhov - he was inexperienced in a field of vultures. Beria was superb, he was NOT heading the NKGB or NKVD during these last days but was superb in the Atomic Bomb project in the USSR. Dzerzhinsky suffered emotionally when his own trusted men turned against him. One group tried to arrest him, another betrayed him and days later, he died of heart attack or stroke. Dzerzhinsky said this was a thankless job, extremely stressful, and he was educated and experienced. Yezhov plainly cracked under the pressure, to the end yelling that he did not "get" the oppositionists or did not get the right ones. He could not ferret them out. It's not too hard to do this on hindsight.
How did Khrushchev do what he did? Stop looking at the top people and look at the smaller people who made the ideas of Marx, Lenin and Stalin into deeds. For instance, without Dzerzhinsky, Lenin's ideas could NOT have been made into a reality. Dzerzhinsky, the name itself, represents tens of thousands of CheKa and NKVD heroes, small people, and FANATICAL communists, PURISTS for the cause. The same goes for Yezhov despite his faults and failures and the same goes for Beria who was SUPERB through WWII for Stalin and SUPERB in the Atomic Bomb project for Stalin. These people made Communism, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, possible. Moreover, the Yagoda group that was always with Bukharin, they are the ones who made Khrushchev's traitorous actions possible, along with the army itself.
WHY would an army or military HATE the NKVD? Simple: for the same reason that the military has always BEEN the enemy of The People and always been what the imperialist powers used to create fascism. The NKVD, they were PEOPLE'S COMMISSARS. Yes, the Red Army won WWII, but would they have fought like that WITHOUT the NKVD watching them to MAKE SURE they fought? The Red Army USED TO BE Trotsky's pals. They are the ones who helped Khrushchev murder Beria and his top people and destroy the ECONOMIC-political POLICE, the NKVD. Compared to our U.S. Agencies: State Security is comparable to State Police. However, Internal Affairs are what is called in to investigate DIRTY COPS. The comparison is loose, but the point is made.
Dzerzhinsky often printed things (available to read) about the types of people that GOT INTO his CheKa and the need to purge the organization, especially at first. The archives are filled with details about the unknown and early NKVD complaining against the corruption in the CheKa and this kept up leading finally TO Yezhov being ordered to clean house. He did not get them all and Stalin obviously did NOT suspect. Stalin was NEVER IN IT for the money: no one, not even his worst enemies, ever would say this against him. The whole Yezhov purge was all about the Bukharinites and in this, Yagoda's schemes were discovered. Contrary to this being just some kind of Soviet or Stalinist propaganda or "fake" show trial info, this information is in the CIA Archives and is not hard to get! Keep in mind, the U.S. Ambassador Davies was there and some of the American (non political) people teaching Soviets how to use the new industry were there to tell Davies that there was fishy stuff going on, like sabotage. Davies was there and there would be NO reason for him to lie about this TO HIS OWN PEOPLE.
Summary: Tracing it back, Lenin had some very rich, powerful people with him, people with big connections to international banking organizations. Those people were not just "those people" one or two or three of them. They had their own networks just as bankers have them, connections. Right and Left SRs absolutely did traitorous actions during Dzerzhinsky's time Dzerzhinsky was very lenient and most of these people did not get eliminated. They hid, submerged, and showed up later. Yagoda was submerged for years, the real power behind Menzhinsky. These things that led to the Yezhovshchina go back in time, back to networks of people from Western bought-off Mensheviks to Tsarists to the SRs against the Bolsheviks, groups who never were eliminated or even discovered. Yezhov didn't discover them all, either. Beria was another story. The man was, like Dzerzhinsky, brilliant and he was very educated in a top type of Polytechnic University. He was from a patriarchal and macho culture and he had a network of his own people working for him. He never did anything anti-Communist or anti-Stalin, but it seems more like he regarded Stalin as "The Boss" and behaved more like a syndicate person would behave. Calling it a gang is misleading: the revolutionaries of the USA could also be called a gang, so could the USA's Founding Fathers. Likewise, the thing that led to Khrushchev's coup d'etat goes back in time, straight back to the GUGB and those in opposition to the NKVD-Soviet control of the economic sector: under which the Stalinist economy BOOMED.
And to anyone thinking this is revisionism: keep in mind that without the near extermination of the South, Central and North American Indians, and without the enslavement of millions of blacks, and without the sweat shop labor which was often worse than slavery, the glorious capitalist West could never have been a reality either: the West got a HUGE jump start at the expense of perhaps a billion people. At least the peoples of the USSR did it themselves.
NKVD and the Other Security Services
The military intelligence division of the Red Army could not compete with the effectiveness of the OGPU and NKVD. Part of this gap in successful operations was in part due to the fact that a majority of the GRU officers were loyal to their superiors and bound by the Red Army's "Code of Military Conduct." However, there are a significant number of documented operations performed by GRU officers that are no better than the things the NKVD agents have been accused of by people who survived the Great Patriotic War only to find themselves fighting daily to stay alive in a Gulag and survived that as well, only finally enjoy their old age and government pension, if lucky enough to be re-approved for the pension and a decrease in their monthly money since inflation had made many pensions nearly worthless after 1991.
Agents with SMERSH had the same powers of arrest, trial and execution of anyone found to either be a collaborator during the Great Patriotic War with any of the invading fascist militaries, or had helped soldiers with these armies (particularly the Germans) in any way.
There is an entire chapter coming soon that deals entirely with SMERSH and their activities during the GPW, especially since they were often the first in a chain of events that typically ended with the NKVD, either interrogating and/or torturing of prisoners, or forming the troikas which were infamous for convicting a prisoner even before a word was spoken. Eventually, SMERSH agents too often did not like the public credit going to the NKVD for the extensive work, typically undercover work as a member of the same region the spy was sent to for the purposes of observation and infiltration of even the tiniest organization or group of dissidents. Once the leaders of such groups were identified based on an agent's reports, they were captured and normally killed by either members of the NKVD or SMERSH.
More coming soon on the SMERSH, NKVD-MVD and MGB-KGB pursuits of spies and saboteurs - though more realistically, they were usually after rebels hiding out in various parts of the incredible amount of uninhabited land across the Soviet Union, which reached from the border of Germany to the Pacific Ocean via Soviet regions north of (and including) Mongolia.
* Bekesi, Laszlo. KGB & Soviet Security Uniforms & Militaria 1917-1991. Photos by Gyorgy Torok. The Crowood Press, Ltd., United Kingdom, 2002.
** Photo: There are copyrights by the "Group of Authors," the FSB Central Archive, an "artist" and layout designer and some other folks all working for the FSB on this book. Since there is no direct attribution of a copyright or a publisher, and after reading the very specific and frightening explanation of what can happen to someone who reprints the materials inside the book, I will only post one photo that hopefully has reached public domain status due to age. The copyrights listed inside the book were all taken out in 2003.
The KGB famously crushed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, by first arresting the leaders of the movement prior to scheduled negotiations with Soviet officials in Budapest. Twelve years later, the KGB took a lead role in crushing similar reform movements in the country then known as Czechoslovakia.
These latter events, known as the Prague Spring, which occurred in 1968, initially resulted in changes in how Czechoslovakia was governed. However, Soviet troops were ultimately sent into the country to re-establish Communist Party control.
KGB officers then targeted dissidents, including those staging non-violent acts of protest, jailing and, reportedly in some cases, executing them.
Among the hallmarks of KGB operations were the use of 𠇊gents provocateur” to infiltrate dissident groups. These agents would appear to sympathize with the cause while later informing on the activities of the group and its leaders.
America’s first CIA director, Allen Dulles, once said of the KGB: “[It] is more than a secret police organization, more than an intelligence and counter-intelligence organization. It is an instrument for subversion, manipulation and violence, for secret intervention in the affairs of other countries.”
Still, despite its heavy handedness, it failed to defeat a worker-led reform movement in Poland, then a Soviet satellite republic, in the 1980s. It is said that the successful efforts on the part of the anti-Soviet reformers in Poland may have ultimately spurred the downfall of the Communist Bloc.
Hungary, Romania, and Poland
In Hungary, Romania, and Poland, Jews were in charge of a "high proportion of the most sensitive positions in the Party apparatus, state administration, and especially the Agitprop, foreign service, and secret police." The regimes in the countries "resembled the Soviet Union of the 1920s insofar as they combined the ruling core of the old Communist underground, which was heavily Jewish, with a large pool of upwardly mobile Jewish professionals". ⎩]
In Hungary, Jews were "overrepresented in both socialist intellectuals and in communist militants." ⎪] Jewish scholar Howard Sachar notes that the Hungarian Soviet Republic existed "for 135 days [in 1919]" and that "Hungary was ruled by a Communist dictatorship. Its party boss, Béla Kun, was a Jew. So were 31 of the 49 commissars in Kun’s regime." ⎫] According to Hungarian historian István Deák, Jews "held a near monopoly on political power in Hungary during the 133 days of the Soviet Republic in 1919 and again from, roughly, 1947 to 1953, and then again from 1955 to the fall of 1956" and that "political personalities of Jewish origin played a decisive role in 20th-century Hungary". ⎬] Jewish scholar Louis Rapoport credits Kun as being a "cruel tyrant" and that he later served as "Stalin’s chief of terror in the Crimea." ⎭] Jews constituted "95 percent of the leading figures" of Kun’s regime. ⎮] Tibor Szamuely lead all paramilitary efforts and Otto Korvin-Klein operated as the chief political prosecutor. A disproportionate number of Jews were judges, prosecutors, propagandists, and leaders of the youth and women wings. ⎯] The rule of Kun's regime in 1919 became one of the major reasons many Hungarians backed the Final Solution in 1944, despite most Jews being unassociated with them. ⎬] Amongst those of Jewish origin that ruled Hungary between late 1940s and early 1950s were Mátyás Rákosi, Erno Gero, Mihály Farkas, and József Révai. ⎰]
In Poland, 7 out of 10 of the original Communist leadership was composed of Jews. During the 1930s, they composed between 22 to 26 percent of the overall Communist Party of Poland (KPP) membership, 51 percent of the youth wing (1930), about 65 percent of all Communists in Warsaw (1937), 75 percent of the propaganda wing, 90 percent of the International Red Aid (MOPR), and the majority of Central Committee members. ⎪] The proportion of Jews in the KPP was never lower than 22 percent countrywide, peaking at 35 percent in 1930. The Communist Party of West Belarus and the Communist Party of Western Ukraine had similar percentages. Jews accounted for 54 percent of the field leadership of the KPP in 1935 and 75 percent of the party's propagandists. Jews held the majority of the seats on the Central Committees of the Communist Workers Party of Poland (KPRP) and the KPP. ⎱] Of all Polish political parties the Communist movement most vehemently rejected antisemitism and frequently suggested similar solutions to issues facing Jews as the Bund, the Zionists, and Jewish religious parties did. ⎲] Jewish Communists claimed that "of the highest number of votes the Communists ever polled in Poland, i.e., of the 266,528 votes collected on several lists of front organizations at the Sejm elections of 1928, two-fifths were cast by Jews". Despite significant Jewish presence in the Polish Communist movement they had little support in the wider Polish Jewish community and about 5 percent of all Jewish voters supported the Communist movement. ⎱] Nonetheless Jewish participation in the Polish Communist movement led to the allegation of Zydokomuna which had claimed the existence of a Judeo-Communist conspiracy and had become prevalent in interwar Poland, especially after the death of Józef Pilsudski. ⎳]
NKVD activities [ edit | edit source ]
The main function of the NKVD was to protect the state security of the Soviet Union. This function was successfully accomplished through massive political repression, including the use of sanctioned political murders and assassinations.
Domestic Repressions and Executions [ edit | edit source ]
In implementing Soviet internal policy with respect to perceived enemies of the state ("enemies of the people"), untold multitudes of people were sent to GULAG camps and hundreds of thousands were executed by the NKVD. Formally, most of these people were convicted by NKVD troikas ("triplets")– special courts martial. Evidential standards were very low: a tip-off by an anonymous informer was considered sufficient grounds for arrest. Use of "physical means of persuasion" (torture) was sanctioned by a special decree of the state, which opened the door to numerous abuses, documented in recollections of victims and members of the NKVD itself. Hundreds of mass graves resulting from such operations were later discovered throughout the country. Documented evidence exists that the NKVD committed mass extrajudicial executions, guided by secret "plans". Those plans established the number and proportion of victims (officially "public enemies") in a given region (e.g. the quotas for clergy, former nobles etc., regardless of identity). The families of the repressed, including children, were also automatically repressed according to NKVD Order no. 00486.
The purges were organized in a number of waves according to the decisions of the Politburo of the Communist Party (e.g. the campaigns among engineers ("Shakhty Case"), party and military elite ("fascist plots"), and medical staff ("Doctors' Plot"). Distinctive and permanent purging campaigns were conducted against non-Russian nationalities (including Ukrainians, Poles, Tatars, Germans and many others, who were accused of "bourgeois nationalism", "fascism", etc.) and religious activists.
A number of mass operations of the NKVD were related to the prosecution of whole ethnic categories. Whole populations of certain ethnicities were forcibly resettled. Foreigners living in the Soviet Union were given particular attention. When disillusioned American citizens living in the Soviet Union thronged the gates of the U.S. embassy in Moscow to plead for new U.S. passports to leave Russia (Stalin had taken their original U.S. passports for 'registration' purposes years before), none were issued. Instead, the NKVD promptly arrested all of the Americans, who were taken to Lubyanka Prison and later shot. Γ] American factory workers at the Soviet Ford GAZ plant, suspected by Stalin of being 'poisoned' by Western influences, were dragged off with the others to Lubyanka by the NKVD in the very same Ford Model A cars they had helped build, where they were tortured nearly all were executed or died in labor camps. Many of the slain Americans were dumped in the mass grave at Yuzhnoye Butovo District near Moscow. Δ] Even so, ethnic Russians still formed the majority of NKVD victims.
The NKVD also served as the Soviet government's arm for the lethal persecution of Judaism, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Greek Catholics, the Latin Catholics, Islam and other religious organizations, an operation headed by Yevgeny Tuchkov.
International Operations, Kidnappings, and Assassinations [ edit | edit source ]
During the 1930s, the NKVD was responsible for political murders of those Stalin believed to oppose him. Espionage networks headed by experienced multilingual NKVD officers such as Iskhak Akhmerov were established in nearly every major Western country, including the United States. The NKVD recruited agents for its espionage efforts from all walks of life, from unemployed intellectuals such as Mark Zborowski to aristocrats such as Martha Dodd. Besides the gathering of intelligence, these networks provided organizational assistance for so-called wet business, Ε] where disillusioned Communist party members or Soviet agents such as Juliet Stuart Poyntz either disappeared or were openly liquidated. Ζ]
The NKVD's intelligence and special operations (Inostranny Otdel) unit organized overseas assassinations of ex-Soviet citizens, former Soviet agents, dissident Communist Party members, and/or foreigners who were regarded as enemies of the USSR by Josef Stalin. Among the officially confirmed victims of such plots were:
- , a personal political enemy of Stalin and his most bitter international critic , Russian revolutionary and terrorist (Trust Operation of the GPU) , prominent Ukrainian political and military leader. , French anti-Soviet underground poet , NKVD defector (aka Ignace Poretsky), Soviet GPU defector
Many other prominent political dissidents were either kidnapped and forcibly returned to the Soviet Union or were found dead under highly suspicious circumstances, including General Evgeny Miller, Η] ⎖] ⎗] Lev Sedov, ⎘] and former German Communist Party (KPD) member Willi Münzenberg. ⎙]
Spanish Civil War [ edit | edit source ]
During the Spanish Civil War, NKVD agents, acting in conjunction with the Communist Party of Spain, exercised substantial control over the Republican government, using Soviet military aid to help further Soviet influence. The NKVD established numerous secret prisons around Madrid, which were used to detain, torture, and kill hundreds of the NKVD's enemies, at first focusing on Spanish Nationalists and Spanish Catholics, while from late 1938 increasingly anarchists and Trotskyists were the objects of persecution. In June, 1937 Andres Nin, the secretary of the anti-Stalinist Marxist POUM, was tortured and killed in an NKVD prison.
World War II operations [ edit | edit source ]
In order to accomplish its own goals, the NKVD was prepared to cooperate even with such organizations as the German Gestapo. In March 1940 representatives of the NKVD and the Gestapo met for one week in Zakopane, to coordinate the pacification of Poland see Gestapo–NKVD Conferences. For its part, the Soviet Union delivered hundreds of German and Austrian Communists to the Gestapo, as unwanted foreigners, together with their documents. However, some NKVD units were later to fight the Wehrmacht, for example the 10th NKVD Rifle Division, which fought at the Battle of Stalingrad.
During World War II, NKVD units were used for rear area security, including stopping desertion. At the beginning of the war the NKVD formed 15 rifle divisions, which were eventually expanded to a total of 53 divisions and 28 brigades by 1945. ⎚] Though mainly intended for internal security, NKVD divisions were sometimes used in the front-lines, for example during the breakthrough in Crimea. ⎚] Unlike the Waffen-SS, the NKVD did not field any armored or mechanized units. ⎚]
In liberated territory the NKVD and (later) NKGB carried out mass arrests, deportations, and executions. The targets included both collaborators with Germany and non-Communist resistance movements such as the Polish Armia Krajowa. The NKVD also executed tens of thousands of Polish political prisoners in 1939–1941, inter alia committing Katyń massacre. NKVD units were also used to wage the prolonged partisan war in the Ukraine and the Baltics, which lasted until the early 1950s. ⎚]
Postwar Operations [ edit | edit source ]
After the death of Stalin in 1953, the new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev halted the NKVD purges. From the 1950s to the 1980s, thousands of victims were legally "rehabilitated" (i.e. acquitted and had their rights restored). Many of the victims and their relatives refused to apply for rehabilitation out of fear or lack of documents. The rehabilitation was not complete: in most cases the formulation was "due to lack of evidence of the case of crime", a Soviet legal jargon that effectively said "there was a crime, but unfortunately we cannot prove it". Only a limited number of persons were rehabilitated with the formulation "cleared of all charges".
Very few NKVD agents were ever officially convicted of the particular violation of anyone's rights. Legally, those agents executed in the 1930s were also "purged" without legitimate criminal investigations and court decisions. In the 1990s and 2000s a small number of ex-NKVD agents living in the Baltic states were convicted of crimes against the local population.
At present, living former agents retain generous pensions and privileges established by the USSR and later confirmed by all of the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. They have not been prosecuted in any way, although some have been identified by their victims.
Intelligence Activities [ edit | edit source ]
- Establishment of a widespread spy network through the Comintern.
- Operations of Richard Sorge, the "Red Orchestra", Willi Lehmann, and other agents who provided valuable intelligence during World War II.
- Recruitment of important U.K. officials as agents in the 1940s.
- Penetration of British intelligence (MI6) and counter-intelligence (MI5) services.
- Collection of detailed nuclear weapons design information from the U.S. and Britain.
- Disruption of several confirmed plots to assassinate Stalin.
- Establishment of later People's Republic of Poland communist parties and training activists, during and after World War II. First President of Poland, after war, was Bolesław Bierut, an NKVD agent.
Soviet economy [ edit | edit source ]
The extensive system of labor exploitation in the GULAG made a notable contribution to the Soviet economy and the development of remote areas. Colonization of Siberia, the North and Far East was among the explicitly stated goals in the very first laws concerning Soviet labor camps. Mining, construction works (roads, railways, canals, dams, and factories), logging, and other functions of the labor camps were part of the Soviet planned economy, and the NKVD had its own production plans.Template:Citation needed
The most unusual part of the NKVD's achievements was its role in Soviet science and arms development. Many scientists and engineers arrested for political crimes were placed in special prisons, much more comfortable than the GULAG), colloquially known as sharashkas. These prisoners continued their work in these prisons. When later released, some of them became world leaders in science and technology. Among such sharashka members were Sergey Korolev, the head designer of the Soviet rocket program and first human space flight mission in 1961, and Andrei Tupolev, the famous airplane designer. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was also imprisoned in a sharashka, and based his novel The First Circle on his experiences there.
After World War II, the NKVD coordinated work on Soviet nuclear weaponry, under the direction of General Pavel Sudoplatov. The scientists were not prisoners, but the project was supervised by the NKVD because of its great importance and the corresponding requirement for absolute security and secrecy. Also, the project used information obtained by the NKVD from the United States.
Watch the video: Жесть 20 лет ВЧК ОГПУ НКВД Речь Микояна 20 Years VCHK GPU NKVD Mikoyan (August 2022).