History UsefulNotes / MoscowCentre

14th Aug '16 6:21:42 PM FordPrefect
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* First Chief Directorate (Foreign Operations): [[ShapedLikeItself Who dealt with foreign operations]].

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* First Chief Directorate (Foreign Operations): [[ShapedLikeItself Who dealt Dealt with foreign operations]].



*** Officially named simply "A" Directorate (originally it was the "A" Team of the 7th Main Directorate) in 1972 after the Munich Olympics attacks, when it's became apparent that the terrorist threat is only to increase.

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*** Officially named simply "A" Directorate (originally it was the "A" Team of the 7th Main Directorate) in 1972 after the Munich Olympics attacks, when it's it became apparent that the terrorist threat is would only to increase.
14th Aug '16 6:20:39 PM FordPrefect
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After its role in the failed August 1991 coup, the organisation was dissolved, being separated in several independent agencies, such as FSO (Federal Protection Service), FSK (Federal Counterintelligence Service), etc. This model, however, proved largely unworkable, and most of these services were later reamalgamated into one. This KGB's successor is now the main domestic security service is the FSB (Federal Security Service). Foreign intelligence, on the other hand, remained independent, and is now called SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service), something that fiction writers tend to forget.

to:

After its role in the failed August 1991 coup, the organisation was dissolved, being separated in several independent agencies, such as FSO (Federal Protection Service), FSK (Federal Counterintelligence Service), etc. This model, however, proved largely unworkable, and most of these services were later reamalgamated into one. This KGB's successor is now the main domestic security service is service, the FSB (Federal Security Service). Foreign intelligence, on the other hand, remained independent, and is now called SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service), something that fiction writers tend to forget.
14th Aug '16 6:16:41 PM FordPrefect
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During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes in turn.

to:

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), upravlenie''") later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes in turn.
9th Aug '16 12:25:06 PM Morgenthaler
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By 1938, Stalin realized that Yezhov's purges had been killing off an irreplaceable amount of the expertise needed for national defense and industrial production, especially against a [[{{NaziGermany}} certain]] growing threat to the west. Cue the latter's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness removal]], [[{{Unperson}} unperson-ing]], and replacement with trusted subordinate Lavrentiy Beria[[note]]Who had run the purges in Trauscaucasia.[[/note]] within two years.

to:

By 1938, Stalin realized that Yezhov's purges had been killing off an irreplaceable amount of the expertise needed for national defense and industrial production, especially against a [[{{NaziGermany}} [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany certain]] growing threat to the west. Cue the latter's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness removal]], [[{{Unperson}} unperson-ing]], and replacement with trusted subordinate Lavrentiy Beria[[note]]Who had run the purges in Trauscaucasia.[[/note]] within two years.
6th Aug '16 3:03:19 PM nombretomado
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* Supervillain [=KGBeast=] from the DCUniverse.

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* Supervillain [=KGBeast=] from the DCUniverse.Franchise/DCUniverse.



* Marvel's Black Widow was an ex-KGB agent.

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* Marvel's Black Widow ComicBook/BlackWidow was an ex-KGB agent.
30th Jul '16 12:55:03 PM nombretomado
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It's said that Beria [[DirtyCoward begged for his life before he was shot]], something people considered a kind of poetic justice given that he sent so many others to their deaths without mercy. Another rumor is that during his arrest he, surprised and agitated, was personally shot by [[FourStarBadass Marshal Georgy Zhukov]], whom Khruschev reportedly brought specifically in case of him resisting, and his later public process was actually a sham. This rumor probably inspired the similar scene in DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Ashes of Victory]]'', with [[spoiler:Admiral Theisman shooting the Committee of Public Safety Chairman and StateSec's head Oscar Saint-Just, allegedly based in large part on Beria]].

to:

It's said that Beria [[DirtyCoward begged for his life before he was shot]], something people considered a kind of poetic justice given that he sent so many others to their deaths without mercy. Another rumor is that during his arrest he, surprised and agitated, was personally shot by [[FourStarBadass Marshal Georgy Zhukov]], whom Khruschev reportedly brought specifically in case of him resisting, and his later public process was actually a sham. This rumor probably inspired the similar scene in DavidWeber's Creator/DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Ashes of Victory]]'', with [[spoiler:Admiral Theisman shooting the Committee of Public Safety Chairman and StateSec's head Oscar Saint-Just, allegedly based in large part on Beria]].
22nd Jul '16 9:25:05 PM Fireblood
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It was originally formed in 1917 as the Cheka/[=VCheKa=] ("Extraordinary Commission"/''Vserossiyskaya Cherezvychaynaya Komissiya''), shortly after the October Revolution and led by Felix Dzerzhinsky. It was originally supposed to be a temporary body to ensure security during the 'extraordinary" circumstances of the Russian Civil War (hence the name). But, by the end of the war, it had grown powerful enough to make itself... somewhat less temporary under 'Iron Felix' Dzherzhinsky. Indicative of Iron Felix's status within the party was that he was the only one who ignored Lenin's smoking ban (in party meetings) and got away with it. Fortunately for the country, Dzherzhinsky's unfortunate death of a heart attack in 1925 prevented the organisation from amassing even more power. Also, it originally dealt only with suppressing dissidents, but acquired a foreign intelligence section in 1920.

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes.

By 1938, Stalin realized that Yezhov's purges had been killing off an irreplaceable amount of the expertise needed for national defense and industrial production, especially against a [[{{NaziGermany}} certain]] growing threat to the west. Cue the latter's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness removal]], [[{{Unperson}} unperson-ing]], and replacement with trusted subordinate Lavrentiy Beria[[note]]who had ran the purges in Trauscaucasia[[/note]] within two years.

to:

It was originally formed in 1917 as the Cheka/[=VCheKa=] ("Extraordinary Commission"/''Vserossiyskaya Cherezvychaynaya Komissiya''), shortly after the October Revolution and led by Felix Dzerzhinsky. It was originally supposed to be a temporary body to ensure security during the 'extraordinary" circumstances of the Russian Civil War (hence the name). But, by the end of the war, it had grown powerful enough to make itself... somewhat less temporary under 'Iron Felix' Dzherzhinsky. Indicative of Iron Felix's status within the party was that he was the only one who ignored Lenin's smoking ban (in party meetings) and got away with it. Fortunately for the country, Dzherzhinsky's unfortunate death of from a heart attack in 1925 1926 prevented the organisation from amassing even more power. Also, it originally dealt only with suppressing dissidents, but acquired a foreign intelligence section in 1920.

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes.crimes in turn.

By 1938, Stalin realized that Yezhov's purges had been killing off an irreplaceable amount of the expertise needed for national defense and industrial production, especially against a [[{{NaziGermany}} certain]] growing threat to the west. Cue the latter's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness removal]], [[{{Unperson}} unperson-ing]], and replacement with trusted subordinate Lavrentiy Beria[[note]]who Beria[[note]]Who had ran run the purges in Trauscaucasia[[/note]] Trauscaucasia.[[/note]] within two years.



Beria was less trigger-happy but, unfortunately, [[AxeCrazy completely insane]]. That said, another take on Beria views him as a pragmatic man (and also a serial rapist) who was brought in specifically to do something with the unholy mess that Great Purges turned into.

to:

Beria was less trigger-happy but, unfortunately, [[AxeCrazy completely insane]]. That said, another take on Beria views him as a pragmatic man (and also a serial rapist) who was brought in specifically to do something with the unholy mess that the Great Purges turned into.



Luckily, Beria proved to be a ruthless, but efficient administrator, and quickly [[IDidWhatIHadToDo cleaned up the house]] and reined the purges in, even starting a judicial review on the cases tried during his predecessors. In fact, some people who suffered the Great Purges were rehabilitated during the Stalin's regime already. After that, Beria continued to serve as a Stalin's right hand man,[[note]]Including management of both Soviet nuclear and ICBM projects[[/note]] using his sinister reputation as a motivational tool. It proved [[HoistByHisOwnPetard to be his undoing later]], though.

As for NKVD itself, after the war it became the MGB (Ministry for State Security) in 1946. It lost foreign intelligence for a while and in 1953 was merged into the Ministry for Internal Affairs for a year by Beria. After Stalin's death Beria, as well as many other Politburo members, took part in a fierce competition to get supreme power. The first part of this consisted of everyone joining forces against Beria, who was considered too dangerous to live, let alone rule the USSR. After he was safely dead, the remaining Politburo members could have a nice, civilized power struggle in which the losers were merely disgraced and demoted, as opposed to being shot.

to:

Luckily, Beria proved to be a ruthless, but efficient administrator, and quickly [[IDidWhatIHadToDo cleaned up the house]] and reined the purges in, even starting a judicial review on the cases tried during his predecessors. In fact, some people who suffered the Great Purges were rehabilitated during the Stalin's regime already. regime. After that, Beria continued to serve as a Stalin's right hand man,[[note]]Including management of both Soviet nuclear and ICBM projects[[/note]] projects.[[/note]] using his sinister reputation as a motivational tool. It proved [[HoistByHisOwnPetard to be his undoing later]], later]] though.

As for the NKVD itself, after the war it became the MGB (Ministry for State Security) in 1946. It lost foreign intelligence for a while and in 1953 was merged into the Ministry for Internal Affairs for a year by Beria. After Stalin's death Beria, as well as many other Politburo members, took part in a fierce competition to get supreme power. The first part of this consisted of everyone joining forces against Beria, who was considered too dangerous to live, let alone rule the USSR. After he was safely dead, the remaining Politburo members could have a nice, civilized power struggle in which the losers were merely disgraced and demoted, as opposed to being shot.



* Finding and assassinating Leon Trotsky, one of the original leaders of the October Revolution, who just wouldn't shut up in his criticism of Stalin. Stalin was convinced that Trotsky was an all-powerful leader with an army of revolutionaries who was going to kick his ass, when really, he was just an old man whose son's chief adviser was a (KGB) agent. Still he was noisy as hell and ''extremely'' politically inconvenient when Stalin was trying to improve the USSR's foreign relations.

The KGB also engaged in some assassination operations, mainly of defectors, working with other allied organisations to do this. The most infamous was the 1978 assassination of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian living in London, involved an umbrella firing pellets filled with ricin. The statute of limitations recently expired on that case, with no one being brought to justice. ''May'' have been behind the attempted assassination of (Polish) Pope John Paul II in 1981. Allegations that Lee Harvey Oswald was in the KGB's employ have little to substantiate them. The service itself, however, naturally denied all these accusations, stating that they renounced such methods since just after the war. But then, they would say that wouldn't they.

to:

* Finding and assassinating Leon Trotsky, one of the original leaders of the October Revolution, who just wouldn't shut up in his criticism of Stalin. Stalin was convinced that Trotsky was an all-powerful leader with an army of revolutionaries who was going to kick his ass, when really, he was just an old man whose son's chief adviser was himself a (KGB) KGB agent. Still he was noisy as hell and ''extremely'' politically inconvenient when Stalin was trying to improve the USSR's foreign relations.

The KGB also engaged in some assassination operations, mainly of defectors, working with other allied organisations to do this. The most infamous was the 1978 assassination of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian living in London, involved an umbrella firing pellets filled with ricin. The statute of limitations recently expired on that case, with no one being brought to justice. ''May'' They ''may'' have been behind the attempted assassination of (Polish) Pope John Paul II in 1981. Allegations that Lee Harvey Oswald was in the KGB's employ have little to substantiate them. The service itself, however, naturally denied all these accusations, stating that they renounced such methods since just after the war. But then, they would say that that, wouldn't they.



FSB also inherited the Border Guard service from KGB, including its maritime component, and as such is also responsible for Coast Guard duty. This FSB's pocket navy is not that big and is armed with relatively small warships, but most of them are quite modern and well equipped, compared with the Navy proper, as FSB tended to be better financed and had lower operational expenses, so it could afford ordering new ships. Same is the situation with the land component, the Border Troops. In times of war both are to be folded into the regular military.

to:

The FSB also inherited the Border Guard service from the KGB, including its maritime component, and as such is also responsible for Coast Guard duty. This FSB's pocket navy is not that big and is armed with relatively small warships, but most of them are quite modern and well equipped, compared with the Navy proper, as the FSB tended to be better financed and had lower operational expenses, so it could afford ordering new ships. Same is the situation with the land component, the Border Troops. In times of war both are to be folded into the regular military.



By the way, the [[UsefulNotes/{{Belarus}} Belarussian]] branch of KGB wasn't dissolved. [[TheRemnant It still exists under this very name]]. Contrast with neighboring former Soviet nation, Lithuania which has turned their old KGB building into a museum of sorts against such forces (having been subject to [[TsaristRussia the Okhrana]], the [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Gestapo]], ''and'' the KGB will give you a healthy distaste for secret police).

to:

By the way, the [[UsefulNotes/{{Belarus}} Belarussian]] branch of KGB wasn't dissolved. [[TheRemnant It still exists under this very name]]. Contrast with neighboring former Soviet nation, Lithuania republic Lithuania, which has turned their old KGB building into a museum of sorts against such forces (having been subject to [[TsaristRussia the Okhrana]], the [[UsefulNotes/NaziGermany Gestapo]], ''and'' the KGB will give you a healthy distaste for secret police).



The difference is similar to the difference between the CIA and the NIS (Naval Intelligence Service) or USAMI (US Army Military Intelligence). The two services also notoriously [[InterserviceRivalry don't get along]], largely because GRU considers itself the heir to the old Tsarist military intelligence (given how large a percentage of the former Tsarist officers joined the Red Army, bringing their institutional experience, it isn't much of a stretch), while KGB/FSB were/are "those Bolshevik upstarts". On their part, During the early Soviet period Cheka/NKVD regarded GRU as "those bourgeois remnants", and so the mutual hostility was born.

to:

The difference is similar to the difference between the CIA and the NIS (Naval Intelligence Service) or USAMI (US Army Military Intelligence). The two services also notoriously [[InterserviceRivalry don't get along]], largely because GRU considers itself the heir to the old Tsarist military intelligence (given how large a percentage of the former Tsarist officers joined the Red Army, bringing their institutional experience, it isn't much of a stretch), while KGB/FSB were/are "those Bolshevik upstarts". On For their part, During during the early Soviet period the Cheka/NKVD regarded the GRU as "those bourgeois remnants", and so the mutual hostility was born.



* A quite sympathetic, if indirect, portrayal of a Soviet secret police officer in DoctorZhivago. Zhivago's half brother, Yevgraf, is stated to be a high ranking secret police official. His help is indispensable in ensuring Zhivago's survival.

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* A quite sympathetic, if indirect, portrayal of a Soviet secret police officer in DoctorZhivago. Zhivago's half brother, Yevgraf, is stated to be a high ranking high-ranking secret police official. His help is indispensable in ensuring Zhivago's survival.survival.



* The main characters in ''Series/TheAmericans'' are [[DeepCoverAgent deep cover agents]] in early 1980s USA.

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* The main characters in ''Series/TheAmericans'' are [[DeepCoverAgent deep cover KGB agents]] in early 1980s USA.
11th May '16 8:37:36 PM btawng
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During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes. Yezhov himself was purged for the crime of purging innocent people, and replaced with Lavrentiy Beria.

to:

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes. Yezhov himself was purged

By 1938, Stalin realized that Yezhov's purges had been killing off an irreplaceable amount of the expertise needed
for national defense and industrial production, especially against a [[{{NaziGermany}} certain]] growing threat to the crime of purging innocent people, west. Cue the latter's [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness removal]], [[{{Unperson}} unperson-ing]], and replaced replacement with trusted subordinate Lavrentiy Beria.
Beria[[note]]who had ran the purges in Trauscaucasia[[/note]] within two years.



In the 1970s the popular historian Robert Conquest heard that one man had denounced 69 individuals and another had denounced an entire factory with 250 employees, he told his readers that they had probably all been arrested as a result. Closer examination has led to the conclusion that in reality, the insane ramblings of both men were entirely ignored in both cases. Denunciations meant nothing. Prior convictions, on the other hand, were critical.

to:

In the 1970s the popular historian Robert Conquest heard that one man had denounced 69 individuals and another had denounced an entire factory with 250 employees, he employees. He told his readers that they had probably all been arrested as a result. Closer examination has led to the conclusion that in reality, the insane ramblings of both men were entirely ignored in both cases. Denunciations meant nothing. Prior convictions, on the other hand, were critical.



It's said that Beria begged for his life before he was shot, something people considered a kind of poetic justice given that he sent so many others to their deaths without mercy. Another rumor is that during his arrest he, surprised and agitated, was personally shot by [[FourStarBadass Marshal Georgy Zhukov]], whom Khruschev reportedly brought specifically in case of him resisting, and his later public process was actually a sham. This rumor probably inspired the similar scene in DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Ashes of Victory]]'', with [[spoiler:Admiral Theisman shooting the Committee of Public Safety Chairman and StateSec's head Oscar Saint-Just, allegedly based in large part on Beria]].

to:

It's said that Beria [[DirtyCoward begged for his life before he was shot, shot]], something people considered a kind of poetic justice given that he sent so many others to their deaths without mercy. Another rumor is that during his arrest he, surprised and agitated, was personally shot by [[FourStarBadass Marshal Georgy Zhukov]], whom Khruschev reportedly brought specifically in case of him resisting, and his later public process was actually a sham. This rumor probably inspired the similar scene in DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington Ashes of Victory]]'', with [[spoiler:Admiral Theisman shooting the Committee of Public Safety Chairman and StateSec's head Oscar Saint-Just, allegedly based in large part on Beria]].
23rd Mar '16 8:59:26 AM MAI742
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During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes. Yezhov himself was purged for the crime of purging innocent people, and replaced with Lavrentiy Beria. Beria was less trigger-happy but, unfortunately, [[AxeCrazy completely insane]].

Another take on Beria views him as a pragmatic man (and also a serial rapist) who was brought in specifically to do something with the unholy mess that Great Purges turned into. You see, original plan was reportedly to make a nice, neat clean-up of the house, removing the remains of the Lenin's Old Guard from power, and, maybe not even shooting, just exiling them. Unfortunately, the NKVD very soon lost control of the process, not helped by the hands-off attitude of its previous heads and utter craziness of two last ones before Beria, Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov.

to:

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes. Yezhov himself was purged for the crime of purging innocent people, and replaced with Lavrentiy Beria.

During the purges themselves, people from the persecuted classes (criminals, intellectuals, 'Kulaks' and their family members) felt that almost any one of them could be taken at any time. Consequently, many of them liked to believe that denunciations were important in determining whom the NKVD arrested. In fact, denunciations were irrelevant. The NKVD decided who to arrest independently of denunciations, and paid heed to or ignored them entirely as they wished. Believing in the power of the denunciations was a psychological defense mechanism by which people from persecuted demographics could feel that they had some measure of control over the fates of themselves and those close to them.

In the 1970s the popular historian Robert Conquest heard that one man had denounced 69 individuals and another had denounced an entire factory with 250 employees, he told his readers that they had probably all been arrested as a result. Closer examination has led to the conclusion that in reality, the insane ramblings of both men were entirely ignored in both cases. Denunciations meant nothing. Prior convictions, on the other hand, were critical.

Beria was less trigger-happy but, unfortunately, [[AxeCrazy completely insane]].

Another
insane]]. That said, another take on Beria views him as a pragmatic man (and also a serial rapist) who was brought in specifically to do something with the unholy mess that Great Purges turned into. You see, original plan was reportedly to make a nice, neat clean-up of the house, removing the remains of the Lenin's Old Guard from power, and, maybe not even shooting, just exiling them. Unfortunately, the NKVD very soon lost control of the process, not helped by the hands-off attitude of its previous heads and utter craziness of two last ones before Beria, Genrikh Yagoda and Nikolai Yezhov.into.



It finally spiraled to such proportions that often some completely innocent and apolitical people would report another completely innocent and apolitical people as traitors to a) not be seen as traitors themselves when some ''third'' people report the second, and b) so the second people won't report them ''first''. A lot of personal vendettas were also waged this way, as a sort of bizarre "assassination by cop". Needless to say, this wasn't a very productive atmosphere, and Soviet economy and military have started to suffer.
23rd Mar '16 4:02:57 AM MAI742
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It was originally formed in 1917 as the Cheka/[=VCheKa=] ("Extraordinary Commission"/''Vserossiyskaya Cherezvychaynaya Komissiya''), shortly after the October Revolution and led by Felix Dzerzhinsky. It was originally supposed to be a temporary body to ensure security during the 'extraordinary" circumstances of the Russian Civil War (hence the name). But, by the end of the war, it had grown powerful enough to make itself... somewhat less temporary under 'Iron Felix' Dzherzhinsky, though his unfortunate death of a heart attack in 1925 put paid to its plans to become even more powerful. Also, it originally dealt only with suppressing dissidents, but acquired a foreign intelligence section in 1920.

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of the, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes including. Yezhov himself was purged for the crime of purging innocent people, and replaced with Lavrentiy Beria. Beria was less trigger-happy but, unfortunately, [[AxeCrazy completely insane]].

to:

It was originally formed in 1917 as the Cheka/[=VCheKa=] ("Extraordinary Commission"/''Vserossiyskaya Cherezvychaynaya Komissiya''), shortly after the October Revolution and led by Felix Dzerzhinsky. It was originally supposed to be a temporary body to ensure security during the 'extraordinary" circumstances of the Russian Civil War (hence the name). But, by the end of the war, it had grown powerful enough to make itself... somewhat less temporary under 'Iron Felix' Dzherzhinsky, though his Dzherzhinsky. Indicative of Iron Felix's status within the party was that he was the only one who ignored Lenin's smoking ban (in party meetings) and got away with it. Fortunately for the country, Dzherzhinsky's unfortunate death of a heart attack in 1925 put paid to its plans to become prevented the organisation from amassing even more powerful.power. Also, it originally dealt only with suppressing dissidents, but acquired a foreign intelligence section in 1920.

During Stalin's time, the OGPU ("Joint State Political Directorate/''gosudarstvennoye politicheskoye upravlenie''"), later merged into the NKVD (People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs/''Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del''), which played a central role in the Purges. After the purge of NKVD Chief Yagoda in the first show trials of '36, the purges were extended to wider society in the so-called the "Yezhovshchina" or Great Purges after the replacement NKVD chief Nikolai [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast "The Bloody Dwarf"]] Yezhov. To fulfill the inflated quotas set by overzealous local leaders and approved by senior leaders (including, ultimately, Stalin in Order 00447), several branches of the NKVD resorted to pulling in just about everyone who was using a fake passport or had a criminal record. Once it became clear that they had interrogated and imprisoned, or even executed, at least a hundred thousand people who had not been guilty of the specific crimes they were accused of the, of, numerous NKVD officers were imprisoned or executed for their crimes including.crimes. Yezhov himself was purged for the crime of purging innocent people, and replaced with Lavrentiy Beria. Beria was less trigger-happy but, unfortunately, [[AxeCrazy completely insane]].
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