The mass repressions in the Soviet Union in the 1930s are well known. And while Joseph Stalin clearly orchestrated this process, an interesting armed unit in the Russian government executed all the death sentences. It was soviet police – NKVD. Oldpics decided to publish several noteworthy pictures of NKVD officers and interesting facts about their service.
Although NKVD was formed on July 10, 1934, it’s safe to say that this unit secured the Soviet power during its early years. Actually, NKVD had the name of OGPU before 1934. There’s no need to dig through the Russian abbreviations: it was just a police monster unit that combined regular and secret police.
There were three directors of the NKVD: Heinrich Yagoda, Nikolai Yezhov, and Lavrenty Beria. All of them were sentenced to death.
NKVD controlled regular police, the penitentiary system, foreign intelligence, border troops, counterintelligence in the army, and navy units. It covered the political investigations and had the right to execute sentences without court trials.
The formation of the NKVD in the Soviet Union started the so-called “Great Terror of the 1930s”. However, people’s commissars also made a significant contribution to the organization of political repression.
Take a look at these rare pictures of the NKVD officers.