Vyacheslav Rudolfovich Menzhinsky was a Polish-Russian revolutionary, a Soviet statesman and Party official who served as chairman of the OGPU from 1926 to 1934. He was fluent in over 10 languages. Vyacheslav Menzhinsky, a hereditary dvoryanin, was born into a Polish-Russian family of teachers, he graduated from the Faculty of Law at Saint Petersburg University in 1898. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party in 1902. In 1905 he became a member of the military organization of the Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP. In 1906 Menzhinsky was able to escape from Russia, he lived in Belgium, France, United States, working in foreign branches of the RSDLP. He joined the editorial board of Vpered, aligning himself with Grigory Aleksinsky and Mikhail Pokrovsky, rejecting the concept of proletarian culture developed by Alexander Bogdanov and Anatoly Lunacharsky. After the February Revolution of 1917, Menzhinsky returned to Russia in the summer of that year. According to G. von Schantz, Menzhinsky "personally conducted the wrecking of the Russian banks, a maneuver that deprived all opponents of Bolshevism of their financial means of warfare."
"From 1919 he was a member of the Presidium of Cheka, five years became a deputy chairman of its successor, the OGPU. After Felix Dzerzhinsky's death in July 1926 Menzhinsky became the chairman of the OGPU. Menzhinsky played a great role in conducting the secret Trust and Sindikat-2 counterintelligence operations, in the course of which leaders of large anti-Soviet centers abroad, Boris Savinkov and Sidney Reilly, were lured to the USSR and arrested. At the same time, as a senior Chekist, Menzhinsky was loyal to Joseph Stalin, whose personality cult had begun to form, coinciding with several important purges in 1930–1931. Trotsky, who had met him before the revolution, thought him unremarkable: "He seemed more like the shadow of some other unrealized man, or rather like a poor sketch for an unfinished portrait." Menzhinsky spent his last years as an invalid, suffering from acute angina since the late 1920s, which rendered him incapable of physical exertion. He conducted the affairs of the OGPU while lying upon a couch in his office at the Lubyanka, but interfered in the day-to-day operation of the GPU.
Stalin tended to deal with his first deputy Genrikh Yagoda, who took over as head of the organization in all but name beginning in the late 1920s. Menzhinsky died of natural causes in 1934; when his successor, made his public confession under duress at the Moscow Trial of the Twenty One in 1938, Yagoda stated that he had poisoned Menzhinsky. Commanders of the border troops USSR and RF Great Soviet Encyclopedia A Pince-nez Among Leather Jackets, a biography article at the FSB website The German-Bolshevik Conspiracy, War Information Series No. 20, October 18, p. 9
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991 granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. It was a result of the declaration number 142-Н of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union; the declaration acknowledged the independence of the former Soviet republics and created the Commonwealth of Independent States, although five of the signatories ratified it much or did not do so at all. On the previous day, 25 December, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, the eighth and final leader of the USSR, declared his office extinct and handed over its powers—including control of the Soviet nuclear missile launching codes—to Russian President Boris Yeltsin; that evening at 7:32 p.m. the Soviet flag was lowered from the Kremlin for the last time and replaced with the pre-revolutionary Russian flag. From August to December all the individual republics, including Russia itself, had either seceded from the union or at the least denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR.
The week before formal dissolution, eleven republics signed the Alma-Ata Protocol formally establishing the CIS and declaring that the USSR had ceased to exist. Both the Revolutions of 1989 and the dissolution of the USSR marked the end of the Cold War. Several of the former Soviet republics have retained close links with the Russian Federation and formed multilateral organizations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community, the Union State, the Eurasian Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to enhance economic and security cooperation. On the other hand, the Baltic states have joined the European Union. Mikhail Gorbachev was elected General Secretary by the Politburo on March 11, 1985, three hours after predecessor Konstantin Chernenko's death at age 73. Gorbachev, aged 54, was the youngest member of the Politburo, his initial goal as general secretary was to revive the Soviet economy, he realized that doing so would require reforming underlying political and social structures.
The reforms began with personnel changes of senior Brezhnev-era officials who would impede political and economic change. On April 23, 1985, Gorbachev brought two protégés, Yegor Ligachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, into the Politburo as full members, he kept the "power" ministries happy by promoting KGB Head Viktor Chebrikov from candidate to full member and appointing Minister of Defence Marshal Sergei Sokolov as a Politburo candidate. This liberalization, fostered nationalist movements and ethnic disputes within the Soviet Union, it led indirectly to the revolutions of 1989, in which Soviet-imposed socialist regimes of the Warsaw Pact were toppled peacefully, which in turn increased pressure on Gorbachev to introduce greater democracy and autonomy for the Soviet Union's constituent republics. Under Gorbachev's leadership, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1989 introduced limited competitive elections to a new central legislature, the Congress of People's Deputies. In May 1985, Gorbachev delivered a speech in Leningrad advocating reforms and an anti-alcohol campaign to tackle widespread alcoholism.
Prices of vodka and beer were raised, intended to discourage drinking by increasing the cost of liquor. A rationing program was introduced, where citizens were assigned punch cards detailing how much liquor they could buy in a certain time frame. Unlike most forms of rationing, adopted as a strategy to conserve scarce goods, this was done to restrict sales with the overt goal of curtailing drunkenness. Gorbachev's plan included billboards promoting sobriety, increased penalties for public drunkenness, censorship of drinking scenes from old movies; this mirrored Tsar Nicholas II's program during the First World War, intended to eradicate drunkenness in order to bolster the war effort. However, that earlier effort was intended to preserve grain for only the most essential purposes, which did not appear to be a goal in Gorbachev's program. Gorbachev soon faced the same adverse economic reaction to his prohibition; the disincentivization of alcohol consumption was a serious blow to the state budget according to Alexander Yakovlev, who noted annual collections of alcohol taxes decreased by 100 billion rubles.
Alcohol sales migrated to the black market and moonshining became more prevalent as some made "bathtub vodka" with homegrown potatoes. Poorer, less educated Soviets resorted to drinking unhealthy substitutes such as nail-polish remover, rubbing alcohol, or men's cologne, resulting in an additional burden on Russia's healthcare sector due to the increased poisoning cases; the underlying purpose of these reforms was to prop up the existing command economy, in contrast to reforms, which tended toward market socialism. On July 1, 1985, Gorbachev promoted Eduard Shevardnadze, First Secretary of the Georgian Communist Party, to full member of the Politburo, the following day appointed him minister of foreign affairs, replacing longtime Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko; the latter, disparaged as "Mr Nyet" in the West, had served for 28 years as Minister of Foreign Affairs. Gromyko was relegated to the ceremonial position of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, as he was considered an "old thinker".
On July 1, Gorbachev sidelined his main rival by removing Grigory Romanov from the Politburo and he brought Boris Yeltsin and Lev Zaikov into the CPSU Central Committee Secretariat. In the fall of 1985, Gorbachev continued to bring more energetic men into government. On September 27, 55-year-ol
Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, nicknamed Iron Felix, was a Bolshevik revolutionary and official. Born to ethnic Polish parents, from 1917 until his death in 1926 Dzerzhinsky led the first two Soviet state security organizations, the Cheka and the OGPU, establishing a secret police for the post-revolutionary Soviet government, he was one of the architects of the mass killings of hundreds of thousands of people during the Red Terror and Decossackization. Felix Dzerzhinsky was born to ethnic Polish parents on 11 September 1877 at the Dzerzhinovo family estate, about 15 km away from the small town of Ivyanets, in the Minsk Region part of the Russian Empire, his sister Wanda died at the age of 12, when she was accidentally shot with a hunting rifle on the family estate by one of the brothers. At the time of the incident, there were conflicting claims as to whether Felix or his brother Stanisław was responsible for the accident, his father, Edmund-Rufin Dzierżyński graduated from the Saint Petersburg University in 1863 and moved to Wilno, where he worked as a home teacher for a professor of Saint Petersburg University named Januszewski and married Januszewski's daughter Helena Ignatievna, of Polish origin.
In 1868, after a short stint in Kherson gymnasium, he worked as a gymnasium teacher of physics and mathematics at the gymnasiums of Taganrog in the Don Host Province, Russia the Chekhov Gymnasium. In 1875, Edmund Dzierżyński retired due to health conditions and moved with his family to his estate near Ivyanets and Rakaw, Russian Empire. In 1882, Felix's father died from tuberculosis; as a youngster Dzerzhinsky became fluent in four languages: Polish, Russian and Latin. He attended the Wilno gymnasium from 1887 to 1895. One of the older students at this gymnasium was Józef Piłsudski. Years as Marshal of Poland, Piłsudski recalled that Dzerzhinsky... "distinguished himself as a student with delicacy and modesty. He was rather tall and demure, making the impression of an ascetic with the face of an icon... Tormented or not, this is an issue history. School documents show that Dzerzhinsky attended his first year in school twice, while his eighth year he was not able to finish. Dzerzhinsky received a school diploma which stated: "Dzerzhinsky Feliks, 18 years of age, of Catholic faith, along with a satisfactory attention and satisfactory diligence showed the following successes in sciences, namely: Divine law—"good".
Two months before graduating, Dzerzhinsky was expelled from the gymnasium for "revolutionary activity" and posting signs with communist slogans at the school. He had joined a Marxist group, the Union of Workers, in 1895. In late April 1896, he was one of 15 delegates at the first congress of the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party. In 1897, he attended the second congress of the LSDP, where it rejected independence in favor of national autonomy. On 18 March 1897, he was sent to Kaunas, to take advantage of the arrest of the Polish Socialist Party branch, he set up an illegal press. As an organizer of a shoemaker's strike, Dzerzhinsky was arrested for "criminal agitation among the Kaunas workers" and the police files from this time state that: "Felix Dzerzhinsky, considering his views and personal character, will be dangerous in the future, capable of any crime." Dzerzhinsky envisioned merging of the LSDP with the RSDLP and was a follower of Rosa Luxemburg on a national issue. He was arrested on a denunciation for his revolutionary activities for the first time in 1897 after which he served a year in the Kaunas prison.
In 1898, Dzerzhinsky was sent for three years to the Vyatka Governorate where he worked at a local tobacco factory. There Dzerzhinsky was arrested for agitating for revolutionary activities and was sent 500 versts north to the village of Kaigorodskoye. In August 1899, he returned to Wilno. Dzerzhinsky subsequently became one of the founders of Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania in 1899. In February 1900, he was arrested again and served his time at first in the Alexander Citadel in Warsaw and at the Siedlce prison. In 1902, Dzerzhinsky was sent deep into Siberia for the next five years in a remote town of Vilyuysk, while en route being temporarily held at the Alexandrovsk Transitional Prison near Irkutsk. While in exile he escaped on a boat and emigrated from the country, he traveled to Berlin where at the SDKPiL conference Dzerzhinsky was elected a secretary of its party committee abroad and met with several prominent leaders of the Polish Social Democratic movement, including Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches.
They gained control of the party organization through the creation of a committee called the Komitet Zagraniczny, which dealt with the party's foreign relations. As secretary of the KZ, Dzerzhinsky was able to dominate the SDKPiL. In Berlin, he organized publication of "Czerwony Sztandar", transportation of illegal literature from Kraków to the Congress Poland. Being a delegate to the IV Congress of SDKPiL in 1903 Dzerzhinsky was elected as a member of its General Board. Dzerzhinsky went to Switzerland where his fiancée Julia Goldman was undergoing treatment for tuberculosis, she died in his arms on 4 June 1904. Her illness and death depressed him and, in letters to his sister, Dzerzhinsky explained
Genrikh Grigoryevich Yagoda, born Yenokh Gershevich Iyeguda was a secret police official who served as director of the NKVD, the Soviet Union's security and intelligence agency, from 1934 to 1936. Appointed by Joseph Stalin, Yagoda supervised the arrest, show trial, execution of the Old Bolsheviks Lev Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev, climactic events of the Great Purge. Yagoda supervised the construction of the White Sea–Baltic Canal with Naftaly Frenkel, using penal labor from the GULAG system, during which 12,000–25,000 laborers died, he commanded the forced collectivization and is one of the main responsible people for the great hunger in Ukraine, responsible for the deaths of up to 10 million people and the deportation of 5 million Russian and Ukrainian peasants. Like many Soviet NKVD officers who conducted political repression, Yagoda himself became a victim of the Purge, he was demoted from the directorship of the NKVD in favor of Nikolai Yezhov in 1936 and arrested in 1937. Charged with the crimes of wrecking, espionage and conspiracy, Yagoda was a defendant at the Trial of the Twenty-One, the last of the major Soviet show trials of the 1930s.
Following his confession at the trial, Yagoda was shot. Yagoda was born in Rybinsk into a Jewish family; the son of a jeweller, trained as a statistician, who worked as a chemist's assistant, he claimed that he was an active revolutionary from the age of 14, when he worked as a compositor on an underground printing press in Nizhni-Novgorod, that at the age of 15 he was a member of a fighting squad in the Sormovo district of Nizhni-Novgorod, during the violent suppression of the 1905 revolution. One of his brothers was killed during the fighting in Sormovo, he said he joined the Bolsheviks in Nizhni-Novgorod at the age of 16 or 17, was arrested and sent into exile in 1911. Before his arrest, he married Ida Averbakh, one of whose uncles, Yakov Sverdlov, was a prominent Bolshevik, another, Zinovy Peshkov, was the adopted son of the writer Maxim Gorky. In 1913, he moved to St Petersburg to work at the Putilov steel works. After the outbreak of war, he joined the army, was wounded in action. There is another version of his early career, told in the memoirs of the former NKVD officer Aleksandr M. Orlov, who alleged that Yagoda invented his early revolutionary career and did not join the Bolsheviks until 1917, that his deputy Mikhail Trilisser was dismissed from the service for trying to expose the lie.
It can be assumed. After the October Revolution of 1917, Yagoda rose through the ranks of the Cheka to become the second deputy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the head of the Cheka, in September 1923. After Dzerzhinsky's appointment as chairman of the Supreme Council of National Economy in January 1924, Yagoda became the deputy chief and the real manager of the State Political Directorate, as the chairman Vyacheslav Menzhinsky had little authority because of his serious illness. In 1924, he joined the USSR's head of Alexei Rykov on a ship tour of the Volga. An American journalist, allowed to join them on the trip described Yagoda as "a spare, slightly-tanned, trim looking, youngish officer" adding that it was "difficult to associate terror with the affable and modest person". By contrast, the chemist Vladimir Ipatieff met Yagoda in Moscow in 1918 and thought that "it was unusual for a young men in his early twenties to be so unpleasant. I felt that it would be unlucky for me or anyone else to fall into his hands."
When he saw him again in 1927, "his appearance had changed considerably: he had grown fatter and looked much older and dignified and important." Though Yagoda appears to have known Joseph Stalin since 1918, when they were both stationed in Tsaritsyn during the civil war, "he was never Stalin's man" When Stalin ordered that the Soviet Union's entire rural population were to be forced onto collective farms, Yagoda is reputed to have sympathised with Bukharin and Rykov, his opponents on the right of the communist party. Nikolai Bukharin claimed in a leaked private conversation in July 1928 that "Yagoda and Trilisser are with us", but once it became apparent that the right was losing the power struggle, Yagoda switched allegiance. In the contemptuous opinion of Bukharin's widow, Anna Larina, Yagoda "traded his personal views for the sake of his career" and degenerated into a "criminal" and a "miserable coward". Yagoda continued to be effective head of the OGPU until July 1931, when the little known Old Bolshevik Ivan Akulov was appointed First Deputy Chairman, Yagoda was demoted to the post of Second Deputy.
Akulov was dismissed and Yagoda reinstated in October 1932, After Yagoda's fall, one of his former colleagues confessed: "We met Akulov with violent hostility...the entire party organisation in the OGPU was devoted to sabotaging Akulov." Stalin must have agreed to his reinstatement with ill grace, because four years he accused the OGPU/NKVD of being "four years behind" in rooting out the supposed Trotskyite anti-Soviet conspiracy, although Yagoda had been complicit in the execution of one of Trotsky's sympathisers, Yakov Blumkin, in sending others to the GULAG, the system of forced labour created under his supervision. As deputy head of the OGPU, Yagoda organized the building of the White Sea–Baltic Canal using forced labor at breakneck speed between 1931 and 1933 at the cost of huge casualties. For his contribution to the canal's construction he was awarded the Order of Lenin; the construction of the Moscow-Volga Canal was started under his watch, but only completed after
Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov was a Soviet secret police official under Joseph Stalin, head of the NKVD from 1936 to 1938, during the most active period of the Great Purge. Having presided over mass arrests and executions during the Great Purge, Yezhov fell from Stalin's favour and power, he was arrested, confessed to a range of anti-Soviet activity claiming he was tortured into making these confessions, was executed in 1940. Yezhov was born either in Saint Petersburg, according to his official Soviet biography, or in Suwałki Governorate of the Congress Poland. In a form filled out in 1921, Yezhov claimed some ability to speak Lithuanian, he completed only his elementary education. From 1909 to 1915, he worked as a tailor's factory worker. From 1915 until 1917, Yezhov served in the Imperial Russian Army, he joined the Bolsheviks on May 5, 1917, six months before the October Revolution. During the Russian Civil War, 1919–1921, he fought in the Red Army. After February 1922, he worked in the political system as a secretary of various regional committees of the Communist Party.
In 1927, he was transferred to the Accounting and Distribution Department of the Party where he worked as an instructor and acting head of the department. From 1929 to 1930, he was the Deputy People's Commissar for Agriculture. In November 1930, he was appointed to the Head of several departments of the Communist Party: department of special affairs, department of personnel and department of industry. In 1934, he was elected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party. From February 1935 to March 1939, he was the Chairman of the Central Commission for Party Control. In the "Letter of an Old Bolshevik", written by Boris Nicolaevsky, there is Bukharin's description of Yezhov: In the whole of my--now, alas long--life, I had to meet few people who, by their nature, were as repellent as Yezhov. Watching him, I am reminded of those evil boys from Rasteryayeva Street workshops, whose favorite form of entertainment was to light a piece of paper tied to the tail of a cat drenched with kerosene, relish in watching the cat scamper down the street in maddening horror, unable to rid itself of the flames that are getting closer and closer.
I have no doubt that Yezhov, in fact, utilized this type of entertainment in his childhood, he continues to do that in a different form in a different field at present.: За всю свою — теперь, увы, уже длинную жизнь мне мало приходилось встречать людей, которые по своей природе были бы столь антипатичны, как Ежов. Наблюдая за ним, мне часто приходят на ум те злые мальчишки из мастеровых Растеряевой улицы, любимой забавой которых било зажечь бумажку, привязанную к хвосту облитой керосином кошки и любоваться, как носится она по улице в безумном ужасе, не имея возможности освободиться от все приближающегося к ней пламени. Я не сомневаюсь, что в детстве он действительно занимался подобными забавами, в другой форме и на другом поприще он продолжает их и поныне. Nadezhda Mandelstam, in contrast, who met Yezhov at Sukhum in the early thirties, did not perceive anything ominous in his manner or appearance. Physically, Yezhov was short, standing 151 centimetres, that, combined with his perceived sadistic personality, led to his nickname "The Poison Dwarf" or "The Bloody Dwarf".
Yezhov married Marxist Antonia Titova in 1919, but he divorced her and married Yevgenia Feigenburg, a Soviet publishing worker and Chief Editor of "USSR in Construction" magazine, known for her friendship with many Soviet writers and actors. Yezhov and Feigenburg had Natalia, an orphan from a children's home. After Yezhov's death, Natalia was sent back to a local orphanage and was forced to relinquish the Yezhov surname. Subsequently, she was known by the name Natalia Khayutina The turning point in Yezhov's life was the response by Stalin to the murder of the Bolshevik chief of Leningrad, Sergey Kirov. Stalin used the murder as a pretext for further purges. Yezhov oversaw falsified accusations in the Kirov murder case against opposition leaders Kamenev and their supporters. Yezhov's success in this task led to his further promotion, he became People's Commissar for Internal Affairs and a member of the Central Committee on September 26, 1936, following the dismissal of Genrikh Yagoda. This appointment did not at first seem to suggest an intensification of the purge: "Unlike Yagoda, Yezhov did not come out of the'organs,', considered an advantage."
Yagoda became a target because he had been suspected of killing innocents and protecting anti-soviet conspirators by the NKVD. Party leadership revoking and executions of those found guilty during the Moscow Trials was not a problem for Yezhov, granted he himself was found guilty of the same actions Yagoda had been doing beforehand. Seeming to be a devout admirer of Stalin and not a member of the organs of state security, Yezhov was just the man Stalin needed to lead the NKVD and rid the government of potential opponents. Yezhov's first task from Stalin was to investigate and conduct the prosecution of his long-time Chekist mentor Yagoda, which he did with remorseless zeal. Ordered by Stalin to create a suitably grandiose plot for Yagoda's show trial, Yezhov ordered the NKVD to sprinkle mercury on the curtains of his office so that the physical evidence could be collected and used to support the charge that Yagoda was a German spy, sent to assassinat
The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission, abbreviated as VChK and known as Cheka, was the first of a succession of Soviet secret police organizations. Established on December 5 1917 by the Sovnarkom, it came under the leadership of Felix Dzerzhinsky, a Polish aristocrat-turned-communist. By late 1918, hundreds of Cheka committees had sprung up in various cities at the oblast, raion and volost levels; the official designation was All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage under the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR. In 1918 its name was changed, becoming All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Corruption. A member of Cheka was called a chekist; the term chekist referred to Soviet secret police throughout the Soviet period, despite official name changes over time. In The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn recalls that zeks in the labor camps used old chekist as a mark of special esteem for experienced camp administrators.
The term is still found in use in Russia today. The chekists dressed in black leather, including long flowing coats after being issued such distinctive coats early in their existence. Western communists adopted this clothing fashion; the Chekists often carried with them Greek-style worry beads made of amber, which had become "fashionable among high officials during the time of the'cleansing'". In 1921, the Troops for the Internal Defense of the Republic numbered at least 200,000; these troops policed labor camps, ran the Gulag system, conducted requisitions of food, subjected political opponents to secret arrest, detention and summary execution. They put down rebellions and riots by workers or peasants, mutinies in the desertion-plagued Red Army. After 1922 Cheka groups underwent the first of a series of reorganizations. In the first month and half after the October Revolution, the duty of "extinguishing the resistance of exploiters" was assigned to the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee.
It represented a temporary body working under directives of the Council of People's Commissars and Central Committee of RDSRP. The VRK created new bodies of government, organized food delivery to cities and the Army, requisitioned products from bourgeoisie, sent its emissaries and agitators into provinces. One of its most important functions was the security of revolutionary order, the fight against counterrevolutionary activity. On December 1, 1917, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee reviewed a proposed reorganization of the VRK, possible replacement of it. On December 5, the Petrograd VRK published an announcement of dissolution and transferred its functions to the department of TsIK for the fight against "counterrevolutionaries". On December 6, the Council of People's Commissars 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 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, Ya.
Kh. Peters, K. A. Peterson, V. A. Trifonov. On December 7, 1917, all invited except Zhydelev and Vasilevsky gathered in the Smolny Institute 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 tribunals, develop measures to combat them and relentlessly apply them in real world applications. The commission should only conduct a preliminary investigation"; the commission should observe the press and counterrevolutionary parties, sabotaging officials and other criminals. Three sections were created: informational, 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 confirmed the creation of VCheKa. The commission was created not under the VTsIK as was anticipated, but rather under the Council of the People's Commissars. On December 8, 1917, some of the original members of the VCheka were replaced. Averin and Trifonov were replaced by V. V. Fomin, S. E. Shchukin and Chernov. On the meeting of December 8, the presidium of VChK was elected of five members, chaired by Dzerzhinsky; the issue of "speculation" was raised at the same meeting, assigned to Peters to address and report with results to one of the next meetings of the comm