How was the protection of the "leader of nations" forged?
ОГПУ - МГБ: 1924 – 1953
The security service of Joseph Stalin is rightly considered one of the most reliable and efficient in the world. stories. In the conditions of the internal party struggle, provocations of foreign agents, hunting for the Soviet leader during the Great Patriotic War, protection was possible to ensure the security of the protected person with maximum reliability. Until now, many experts say that if Nikolai Vlasik had remained the head of the Main Guard Department (GUO), Stalin would not have died (or according to a highly conspiracy version would not have been killed) in March 1953 of the year at his “near cottage” .
From 1923 to 1929, the special department of the Presidium of the Cheka - the GPU (for 1926 of the year - under the OGPU College) was responsible for protecting the leaders of the Soviet state. It is very important to note that by the decisions of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the CPSU (b) SNK of the USSR, special guards of the OGPU were attached to 10 to the leading Soviet employees by 1927 of June 14, one for each of the guards.
Since then, the post "attached" has become one of those fundamental system elements that are invariably present in the modern approach to ensuring personal security. Today, it has moved into the sphere of private security, while the work of bodyguards in Russia does not yet have its own legal field. The best professional traditions do not require legislative approval, and attached by virtue of their position almost always, even by default, is the head of personal protection.
Interestingly, in the 30 of the last century in the United States Secret Service there was also a similar position, but it was called a “personal security officer”. This "personal officer" worked with the guard until he for some reason lost his high office. Or, as it happened more than once with American politicians, he was not killed ...
After 1929, when Joseph Stalin was finally established in power, the number of government security personnel began to increase, the selection and training mechanism was improved, and the system for providing personal protection of state leaders was strengthened. So, 29 May 1930 was established Central School OGPU. Internal reorganization of the special department was carried out, its material and technical support was increased, and the legal base was expanded.
Another important milestone in the history of the formation of the state security system: in 1934, the OGPU became part of the USSR NKVD (formed from the NKVD of the RSFSR) as the General Directorate of State Security (GUGB).
The aspirations of those responsible for ensuring state security of individuals at that time came down to systemic centralization. GUGB received a significant opportunity to maneuver forces and means under a single leadership, thereby gaining versatility and enhancing its operational capabilities.
Since April, 1936, in the operative (operational department) of the GUGB of the NKVD of the USSR, a special part has appeared that was engaged in ensuring the security of protected persons. In November, it was reformed into an independent security department, and since December 25 1936, when state security departments were assigned numbers, this department became the 1 department of the GUGB NKVD of the USSR with its school. In the same year, the Office of the Moscow Kremlin Commandant was subordinated to the NKVD of the USSR.
29 September 1938, the year Lavrenty Pavlovich Beria headed the GUGB, but after two months, on November 25, he was appointed Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR. From that moment on, the “Beria perestroika” of state security agencies began, which was aimed at curbing the rampant punitive practice of the state security organs, carried out by his predecessors Yagoda and Yezhov.
Thus, by the end of the 30 of the last century, the security system of the highest political and military leadership of the USSR acquired clear forms and professional qualities. Compared to the albeit selflessly devoted, but small and not always clearly organized Leninist guards, a huge step forward was made in ten years.
This strategic model with minor changes formed the basis of the work of the KGB of the USSR before its disbandment in 1991.
Systemic centralization allowed the state security management not only to have access to the necessary operational information, but also to quickly operate with any additional (that is, not included in the protection structure) forces and means. Thus, throughout the country, the tasks of ensuring state security were carried out by the state security departments of the regional departments of the NKVD.
Here it is necessary to pay attention to another important stroke to the history, and most importantly, to the logic of the development of the state security service. As a true Caucasian, Joseph Vissarionovich did not like the cold and dank climate near Moscow, in which diseases became aggravated and over the years reminded of themselves more and more often. On the recommendations of the doctors, Stalin occasionally had to treat the constantly sore left hand with hydrogen sulfide and radon baths at the balneological resorts in Lower Matsesta, Tsaishi and Tskhaltubo. Stalin also had hypertension, chronic articular rheumatism, sciatica, and angina. On the recommendation of the personal physician Kirillov, Stalin was mainly treated with methods of balneology, and only much later did he begin to take medications.
Joseph Stalin, accompanied by security in Essentuki. Photo: Imperia War Museum
Kremlin doctors have always played not so noticeable to citizens, but on the other hand, it is quite tangible by the Chekists a huge role in the life of the political leadership of our country.
Returning a little back, I must say that in the 1918 year, six months after moving to the Kremlin, Vladimir Lenin himself appointed Dr. Alexander Yulianovna Kanel, who was entrusted to him, as the head physician of the hospital, which was organized in the Poteshny Kremlin Palace. Naturally, it provided medical assistance to the entire Kremlin leadership.
In 1923, the decision was made to build a Kremlin hospital and an ambulance station on Vozdvizhenka Street, 6 house. In 1925, the ambulatory becomes an independent institution and gets the name of the Kremlin polyclinic. In 1938, construction of the polyclinic building at Sivtsev Vrazhka was started. It should be noted that the medical service has never been directly subordinated to the leadership of the security service, but throughout the entire Soviet history, the main state medical department has been allocated a special department to serve only the country's leadership. And, of course, it was duly controlled by the Chekists, and then by the operational officers of the KGB of the USSR.
Since for treatment, Stalin took a fancy to the Crimean and especially Caucasian resorts, rest in these regions soon became fashionable with party leaders. Began active construction gosdach. And the leadership of the state security service, naturally, had to solve the tasks of ensuring the security of protected persons in all places of their recreation.
After Joseph Stalin in 1932, in a conversation with the Chief Architect of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR Central Executive Committee Miron Ivanovich Merzhanov (Miran Oganesovich Merzhanyants) noted that "... my dacha should have the same rooms as in the Kremlin apartment," the dacha question was given great attention .
Simultaneously with the completion of the construction of the sanatorium of the Red Army named after Voroshilov, on the instructions of the CEC Merzhanov, he designed the Bocharov Ruchey complex of state dachas in Dagomys, which is currently the government residence. According to the project of Merzhanov, only one dacha was built in 1930-s - № 17, and the other two appeared in 1948 – 1951. Now these three government houses under the numbers 5, 6 and 7 are the seat of the Russian government, and a completely new complex called “Riviera-6” is assigned to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.
In 1933 – 1934, Miron Merzhanov designed the first Stalinist state dacha, known as the “near one”, or “object number 1” - as it appeared in the documents of the GUO MGB of the USSR, and it was there that Stalin would spend the last days of his life. The dacha has been perfectly preserved even now, many books have been written about it and many TV shows filmed. It is located in the Moscow Davydkovo microdistrict, in 300 meters from Poklonnaya Gora (the Volynskoye facility of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation). Interestingly, the state dacha "Big Brody", built in 1938 year on the peninsula of Lake Supper in Valdai, was an exact replica of Merzhanovskaya in Kuntsevo.
At the end of 1934 of the year, Stalin, very pleased with the completed order, ordered Merzhanov to prepare a draft government residence in Verkhnaya Matsesta, now it is known as the Green Grove. Soon the cottage was built on a rocky hill surrounded by impassable shrubs and woods. And already in 1935, on the Bagrypsta River, in 11 km from Gagra, a two-storey dacha, which was called the “Cold River” or “Object No. 18”, was built into the mountain by the project of the same Merzhanov. According to the memoirs of the security officers of Joseph Stalin, he loved this place very much.
It should be borne in mind that for all engineering solutions and especially for technical means of protection, special communications and operational support (recruitment, agents, etc.) were responsible for the GUGB leadership.
How was the protection of the "leader of nations" forged?
ОГПУ - МГБ: 1924 – 1953
"Walk to stop"
At the beginning of 1930's, the work of the entire state security was not only intense, but also very tense. In particular, because at that time Joseph Stalin and other members of the Politburo still practiced walking around the center of Moscow. For example, from the Kremlin to the building of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) to the Old Square or to the Bolshoi Theater for party and government activities. It is worth recalling that the Kremlin had not yet changed its pre-revolutionary appearance and was not in any way separated from the rest of Moscow. Naturally, the security of all movements of protected persons was secretly provided by officers of the OGPU in civilian clothes, and not only they.
16 November 1931, one random meeting almost became fatal for Stalin. That day he, accompanied by his guards, was returning along Ilyinka to the Kremlin. In the Gostiny Dvor district, an inconspicuous man came out to meet them - a former white officer, assistant to the resident of British intelligence in Moscow Platonov-Petin, who had recently arrived in the USSR under the name Ogarev. Naturally, he immediately came to the attention of the Chekists, about which (and this, of course, also) did not even suspect.
Over the past few years, Platonov-Petin repeatedly entered and left the USSR, and it was this time that counterintelligence officers decided to take it into development in a special way. An employee was “brought to him” - according to the legend “the hospitable landlord of an apartment”, which Platonov-Petin took off in Moscow. According to sources, at the time of the meeting with Stalin on Ilyinka it was this Chekist who was walking along with the saboteur.
Here is what Platonov-Petin- “Ogarev” later frankly showed during interrogation: “We came together so closely on the sidewalk that I even touched the hand of his neighbor. My first thought was to grab a revolver and shoot. But I was this day not in a jacket, but in a coat. And the revolver was in the pocket of his pants under the coat. I realized that before I shoot, they would catch me. After a few steps, I wondered if I should return ... ”. The testimony of the security officer indicates that Platonov-Petin "tried to snatch a revolver," and this action was stopped by an OGPU officer.
A few hours later the secretary of the CEC of the USSR I.A. Akulov reported to Stalin:
“While passing with our agent for Ilyinka, an agent of British intelligence accidentally met you and made an attempt to snatch a revolver. According to our agent, he managed to grab the armor of the aforementioned intelligence officer and entail, preventing the attempt. Immediately after this, the named agent of the Anglo-intelligence service was secretly arrested by us. I will inform you about the investigation in due time. ”
“The meeting on Ilyinka” was a very serious signal not only to the leadership of the NKVD of the USSR. On the OGPU note for N 40919 of November 18 1931, the resolution of V. Molotov appeared: “For members of the Politburo. T. Stalin’s walking around Moscow must be stopped. ” Below are the signatures of L. Kaganovich, M. Kalinin, V. Kuibyshev and A. Rykov.
After this directive, Stalin and the rest of the protected persons, accompanied by each of his guards, even moved around the territory of the Kremlin. The whole security system was organized accordingly. So, for example, for Stalin’s annual trips to the resorts of the Caucasus, his lettered train in Moscow and the corresponding ship to Gorky were simultaneously being prepared. When he preferred to leave directly from Moscow, the train was used, in other cases the ship went down the Volga to Stalingrad, and from there another special train delivered Stalin to Sochi.
No one knew in advance what option Joseph Vissarionovich would choose this time, not the day when he set off. His special train and special motor ship stood ready for several days, but it was only in the last hours before departure that he finally told the trustees what type of movement he was electing this time.
K.Ye. Voroshilov, V.Molotov, I.V. Stalin and N.I. Ezhov on the Moscow-Volga channel. Photo: Tass
In front of his armored train and after it, two other letters with guards and support personnel were moving. This unique train was so equipped that it could withstand a two-week siege. If necessary, the windows were closed with armored shutters. Already after Stalin's death, this procedure for ensuring the safety of protected persons when traveling on railway transport in the form adapted for its time was issued by a special order in the sixties and operated until the 1991 year. There is no doubt that in order to ensure the safety of the literary armored train of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il in Russia in August 2011, the same principles of security were used that were established to protect the train of Stalin.
Reprimand to the People's Commissar
One should not lose sight of such an important element in ensuring the safety of first persons as the car park. 2 June 1932, the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR, issued a decree No. 375 “On the Kremlin’s special garage”. By the end of 1932, 45 high-skilled workers were listed on the GON. GON employees participated in operational technical inspections and technical training of river and sea vessels used for the rest of state leaders.
A very remarkable top-level rally took place from 18 to 26 on July 1933. Iosif Stalin and Kliment Voroshilov left Moscow for Leningrad in three main vehicles already under GON, accompanied by two vehicles guarding the OGPU operation of the USSR under the command of the then first deputy head of the OGPU Heinrich Yagoda (we noticed that GON did not provide cars for protection, the security officers had their own garage ). Sergey Kirov met them there (by the way, Kirov had his own personal driver, SM Yudin), and all the guarded boarded the ship, visited the White Sea-Baltic Canal, and returned to Moscow by train. The amount of work done by the security team and the GON personnel was only on the shoulder of the highly professional security service.
A very unpleasant episode with Stalin's car occurred immediately after arriving in Sochi after the White Sea-Baltic trip. At the entrance to the Riviere Bridge in Sochi, a truck crashed into Stalin's car. But it was not the first accident of the main car in Sochi.
Three years before that, 26 July 1930, along with his wife N.S. Alliluyeva, S.M. Budyden and Commissioner for Special Assignments of the OGPU I.O. Yusis (logically, he served as an attachment) Joseph Vissarionovich was going to go to Krasnaya Polyana. “When leaving Puzanovka rest home, behind the Stinky river (written in the document. - RP) on 10: 35 Rolls Royce Special Purpose Garage collided with the Red Storm rest home car. The document did not say that Stalin was then cut off his left eyebrow with a piece of glass, but the next day he felt good. Joseph Vissarionovich himself strictly ordered not to inform anyone about this fact and not to punish the driver.
From the point of view of the work of protection, the facts of the attitude of the country's leadership towards self-discipline and security are also very interesting.
The minutes of the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) No. 140 of 25 on June 1933 of the year were: “For gross violation of the Politburo's decision to ban flights of responsible workers, to announce Comrade. Mikoyan severe reprimand.
But even after this reprimand, Anastas Ivanovich did not begin to pay due attention to the requirements of personal safety. His personal drivers GON Stepanov and Timashev, he set the most difficult tasks on arrival at the appointed place on time. Simply put, forced them to drive the car at top speeds. What a familiar situation for modern bodyguards! This was followed by another warning from party comrades.
Protocol No. 11 of the Decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B.) Of 17 in January 1939 - 20 in January 1939 of the “Comrade. Mikoyan
1. forbid comrade. Mikoyan driving a car at a speed of 80 – 100 kilometers per hour (in the draft - 100 – 150 km / h - RP)
1. Bind Comrade. Mikoyan does not require more speed from his chauffeur than 50 – 60 kilometers per hour.
1. Vlasik follow execution. "
As a former security officer of Stalin, Aleksey Trofimovich Rybin, recalled, Joseph Vissarionovich himself preferred a quiet ride - 40-50 km / h, not more.
"Chiefs" and "subordinates"
Now it's time to move on to talking about personalities in the field of the protection of the first persons of the Stalin era. In December 1936, Karl Viktorovich Pauker was appointed the head of the 1 department of the GUGB, and this is not a random choice. His career in personal security Pauker began on February 1 1922, as Deputy Abram Belenky, and on May 12, 1923 replaced him as head of the operational department of the OGPU.
Former Soviet intelligence officer AM Orlov wrote: “Pauker fell in love with Stalin ... Absolutely everything that had to do with Stalin and his family passed through Pauker’s hands. Without his knowledge, not a single piece of food could appear on the leader’s table. Without Pauker’s approval, no one could be allowed into Stalin’s apartment or his country cottage. He studied Stalin's tastes and learned to guess his slightest desires ... Noticing that Stalin, wishing to appear taller in height, preferred high-heeled shoes, Pauker decided to increase him a few more centimeters. He invented for Stalin special-cut boots with unusually high heels, partially hidden in the backdrop. "
Moreover, Pauker, who had already mastered the profession of barber in his youth, hailed Joseph Vissarionovich himself. The fact is that before this, Stalin often did not look well shaved. His face was covered with pock marks, and the safety razor he was used to using left small islands of hair, which made Stalin even more pockmarked. Not daring to trust the barber's razor, Stalin, apparently, reconciled himself to this shortcoming. However, he was ready to give Pauker his throat.
Karl Pauker. Photo: wikipedia.org
As one security officer said, "Pauker is closer to Stalin than a friend ... closer than a brother!" Pauker, like no one, knew how to cheer up a leader by telling jokes or making small performances. He brought his patron to colic, depicting Zinoviev, who was dragged to be shot, showed how he hung on the guards' shoulders and begged the party for mercy. Karl Pauker did not know that very soon, literally in some months, he himself would be brought to death. In the same year, he was arrested and shot as a "German spy."
In 1937, truly tragic times have come for those who were responsible for ensuring the safety of top Soviet leaders. Recall that the Commissar of Internal Affairs then was Nikolai Ezhov. April 15 Karl Pauker was removed from his post as Chief of the 1 Division of the State Bureau of State Security, which he held only 120 days. June 14 removed the successor of Pauker Vladimir Kursky (spent the post of days 60, three weeks after the shooting shot himself). Kursk was replaced by Israel Dagin, who managed to hold out on the post a little longer than his predecessors, but he, too, was arrested in early November 1938. Such a leapfrog clearly demonstrates how small the importance of this department was from the point of view of those who made management decisions.
Attached to the family
After the arrest of Dagin 19 in November 1938 of the year, the 1 department of the GUGB was headed by the senior major of the state security Nikolay Sidorovich Vlasik. This person should be told in detail, because it was he who managed to bring the leader’s security system to perfection.
Nikolay Sidorovich was born in 1896 year in the Grodno province (Belarus), in a poor peasant family. He fought in the First World War, received the cross of St. George for bravery. In the first days of the October Revolution, with the rank of non-commissioned officer, he and his platoon went over to the side of Soviet power. From 1919, he worked in the Cheka, in 1927-m got into the special security of the Kremlin. As Nikolai Sidorovich himself writes in his memoirs, it happened this way:
“In 1927, a bomb was thrown at the commandant’s office building in Lubyanka. At that time I was on vacation in Sochi. The authorities urgently summoned me and instructed me to organize the protection of a special department of the Cheka, the Kremlin, as well as the protection of government members in country houses, walks, on trips and to pay special attention to the personal protection of Comrade Stalin. Until that time, with Comrade Stalin, there was only one employee who accompanied him when he went on business trips. It was Lithuanian Yusis. He called Yusis and went with him to the cottage near Moscow, where T. Stalin usually rested. Arriving at the cottage and examining it, I saw that there was a complete mess. There was neither linen, nor dishes, nor service personnel ... I started by sending linen and dishes to the dacha, and arranged to supply products from the state farm under the authority of the GPU and located next to the dacha. Sent to the cottage cook and cleaner. He established a direct telephone connection with Moscow. ”
Vasily Stalin, Nikolai Vlasik and Joseph Stalin. Middle cottage in Volyn, 1935 year. Image: wikipedia.org
Unlike Pauker, Nikolay Vlasik did not like to joke and play the hypocrisy. But it turned out to be an excellent security chief. He became not just Stalin's bodyguard, but, in fact, a member of his family. After the death of Nadezhda Alliluyeva, he was engaged in raising Stalin’s children (up to checking homework assignments) and solving economic and financial issues. Numerous suburban residences of the General Secretary, together with the security staff, maids, housekeepers and cooks, submitted to him.
Like Vlasik himself, his subordinates also “attached” to the families of their wards in the same way and dealt with all the issues of their livelihood: food, household goods, driving in cars and much more. All this farm later received the name of "guard group", which necessarily had a "commandant". How can you not remember Lenin's commandant - sailor Pavel Malkov!
Nikolai Sidorovich recalls: “Comrade Stalin lived with his family very modestly. He wore an old, worn coat. I suggested that Nadezhda Sergeevna sew a new coat for him, but for this it was necessary to take a yardstick or take an old one and make exactly this new one in the workshop. Merck failed to take off, as he flatly refused, saying that he did not need a new coat. But we still managed to sew a new coat for him. ” They say that Joseph Vissarionovich pretended that he did not notice the substitution, and did not say anything to anyone.
With such an involvement of Vlasik in the life of the Stalinist family, it cannot be said that he liked all its members. Stalin's daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva called him "an illiterate, rude, stupid and extremely arrogant satrap" who dared to dictate to "certain artists" the tastes of Comrade Stalin. " And art workers had not only to listen to these tips, but also to follow them. After all, not a single concert in the Bolshoi Theater or the St. George Hall was held without the sanction of Nikolay Vlasik.
In the 1938 year, after Trotsky's statement about the need to kill Stalin with the aim of defeating the USSR, the task arose not only to increase security, but also to bring it to a qualitatively new level. Nikolai Vlasik began to build this system for specific tasks. Naturally, in this case his recommendations and demands were taken very seriously by the leadership of the NKVD. His experience and knowledge of the features of working with a protected person was not in doubt. We can safely say that all that was required was provided. But the concept of "all" on the paper will not put. Both substantiations, calculations, and staff skills in the preparation and maintenance of official documentation were needed. Under the words the party did not give money, they stood out for specific requirements. As noted by Dmitry Fonarev, President of the National Association of Bodyguards (NAST) of Russia, Vlasik's main merit was that it was with him that the organization of the protection laid a well-thought-out system approach, which served as an unbreakable foundation for modern specialized solutions.
When drafting documents, Nikolay Vlasik and his subordinates proceeded from the richest personal experience, professional skills and elementary requirements of life. They calculated what kind of material base is required: how many cars and equipment you need, how many people must accompany Stalin and other protected persons. As history has shown, the party has not regretted funds for such an important “for itself” task.
One of the original operational decisions of Nikolai Sidorovich was the use of several identical machines for the movement of Joseph Vissarionovich, so that no one could find out exactly which protected person is in. So Stalin was transported through the Arbat along the Mozhayskoe highway to the “near dacha”. This operational method is still used today in the protection, and not only of the top state officials.
Another large-scale decision of Vlasik, concerning the protection of the Stalin highway, was also included in professional science. Firstly, all “unreliable families and persons” were evicted from houses adjacent to the highway, and their apartments were occupied by “reliable families”, as a rule, from KGB and party ranks. Secondly, when Stalin traveled along the highway, such a number of employees were involved in ensuring the security of this operational event, which, if necessary (on alarm), they could join hands ... on both sides of the highway.
Not without structural changes. For the training of personnel reserve in 1938 – 1940. a training center and military camp was established in the Noginsk District (present-day Kupavna), which still exists today. 20 January 1939 was approved by the position of the commandant of the Moscow Kremlin - this position has also remained to this day.
By the beginning of the 1940-s, the Soviet system of protection of the first persons was already formed. On the eve of the war, after the decision of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) of the NKVD of the USSR into two independent bodies (NKVD and NKGB) of February 26 of the year, an order was issued by the newly formed NKGB of the USSR "On the organization of departments and departments of the People's Commissariat of State Security departments. Nikolay Vlasik ex officio headed the 1941 department of the NKGB. In modern terms, the “first version” of the NKGB existed for less than six months: in July, the People's Commissariat of State Security and Internal Affairs of the NNUK re-united into the NKVD in July.
In the first months of the war, Nikolai Sidorovich was responsible for preparing a possible evacuation of the party and government leaders, members of the diplomatic corps and the people's commissariats. The General Directorate of Security in Kuibyshev selected working premises and apartments for the government, provided transportation and communications, and organized supply. He was also responsible for the evacuation of Lenin’s body to Tyumen and his guard. When Stalin learned that Nikolai Vlasik sent his library to Kuibyshev, he said with firm confidence: “You didn’t do this, we will never give Moscow back.”
On the eve of the 7 parade in November 1941 of the year, Stalin’s security chief, with the authority entrusted to him, ensured security at a solemn meeting held at Mayakovskaya metro station. There was an interesting episode, which Vlasik described in his memoirs:
“Going down the escalator to the ceremonial meeting, Comrade Stalin looked at me, I was dressed in beques and a hat, and said:“ Here you have a star on your father, but I don’t have it. Still, you know, it’s inconvenient, the commander in chief, and he’s not dressed in uniform. And there’s not even a star on the cap, please get me a star. " A report was made by Comrade Stalin. He concluded his report with the words: "Our cause is just - the victory will be ours." ... When Comrade Stalin was leaving home after the meeting, a red five-pointed star already glittered on his cap. In this cap and in a simple overcoat, without any insignia, he spoke at a historical parade on November 7, 1941. I managed to photograph it successfully, and this photo was distributed in large numbers. The fighters attached her to Tanks and with the words: “For the Motherland! For Stalin!" - went into fierce attacks. "
The 1 division, under the leadership of Lieutenant-General Vlasik, ensured the safety of the leaders when traveling around the country and going to the fronts. This period is especially vividly described in the memoirs of Alexei Rybin. 157 protected persons travel to the front and to the front areas. 68 - by airplanes, 59 - by trains and 30 - by cars. 118 travels around the country, 19 - abroad, 15 visits by heads of foreign delegations to the USSR. In total, more than 800 security measures were provided during the war period.
Nikolai Vlasik (left) and Kliment Voroshilov near the Lenin Mausoleum. The end of 1920's — the beginning of 1930's. Image: wikipedia.org
After a radical change occurred during the war, on April 14, the NKGB was again separated from the NKVD. 1943 May Nikolay Vlasik headed the 11-e Directorate for the Protection of the party and government leadership of the newly created NKGB. The state security organs, as the security officers began to call them, had other tasks that they professionally solved. So, in September 6 of the year in the Smolensk region it was the state security organs that detained the Tavrin-Shilova terrorist group, which was sent by the Hitlerites to the rear of the Red Army with a fanatical purpose ... to destroy Stalin.
It has already been mentioned above that in 1941, Vlasik successfully photographed Stalin. It was not an isolated episode: Nikolay Sidorovich was passionately fond of photography, and his passion came up in various situations. For example, at all three famous conferences of the “Big Three” in Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam. There he not only brilliantly organized security, but also worked perfectly as a photojournalist. At all events, Vlasik, as expected, was next to Stalin, and in particularly important historical moments he put his faithful camera into the picture. The footage he filmed later got into the national newspapers, and they were seen by thousands of people in different countries.
On the eve of the Tehran Conference, Nikolai Sidorovich reported to Moscow that he had equipped 62 villas and a two-story mansion for Comrade Stalin from the 15 rooms. Created a communication center, stocks of game, living creatures, gastronomic, grocery products. Put under the gun 7 army regiments and 1500 people "operational staff." The protection scheme represented three rings of posts for various purposes. Tehran was filled with German intelligence officers and their agents, but they did not manage to “break” this triple ring. The famous saboteur of the Fuhrer, Otto Skorzeny, unsuccessfully tried to steal Roosevelt: the US president was under the surest protection of the USSR NKGB. For Tehran and Potsdam Nikolay Sidorovich received the Order of Lenin, for Yalta - the Order of Kutuzov, I degree.
Interestingly, when Stalin went to the front, Beria forbade Vlasik to accompany him for conspiracy. In the inner circle it was believed that if Vlasik was in Moscow, then Stalin was also there.
It is known that the Nazis, who came to power later than Stalin, looked at the Soviet guard service of the country's leaders as a model for creating their own. Captured by 2 on May 1945, the permanent (from 1933 onwards) head of Hitler’s security, Hans Rattenhuber, told the interrogation how it was arranged. It turned out that the Germans almost one-to-one copied the Stalinist security system created by Nikolai Vlasik. In the system, everything coincided to the smallest detail, from organizing the first-person escort on foot and motorized order, when attending mass events to the system of admission, food, operational support, etc. etc.
In March 1946, the NKGB of the USSR was transformed into the MGB. A month later, on the basis of the 6 control in the MGB of the USSR, two security directorates were created - №1 and №2. The first was responsible for Stalin’s personal security, the second ensured the safety of other Soviet leaders and the protected objects assigned to him. 25 December 1946, both the security directorates and the commandant of the Moscow Kremlin (UKMK) were merged into the Main Security Directorate (GUO) of the MGB of the USSR, headed by Nikolai Vlasik.
When in the 1947 year, by the decision of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b), funds were allocated for the construction and reconstruction of state dachas in Crimea, Sochi, Gagra, Sukhumi, Tskhaltubo, Borzhomi, on Ritsa Lake and in the Moscow Region, Nikolai Sidorovich was also responsible for all this.
From 1947 to 1951, under his leadership, the GUO ensured the safety of a number of mass events. Among them were parades and demonstrations on Red Square, athletic parades at Dynamo Stadium, aviation holidays in Tushino, as well as individual events at industrial and agricultural enterprises, in cultural institutions. The following were particularly difficult to conduct: the International Conference of Foreign Ministers (March - April 1947), the celebration of the 800th anniversary of Moscow (September 1947), the 70th anniversary of Stalin (December 1949), and the preparation of facilities for I .AT. Stalin, etc.
During this period, many trips of protected persons around the country and abroad were successfully carried out, the security of foreign delegations was ensured during their stay in the Soviet Union.
A good track record for the “illiterate”, and so not every “competent” can boast ...
In addition to remarkable wit, Nikolai Vlasik possessed tremendous physical strength. In this regard, told the characteristic episode. One day a young state security operative saw Nikolai Sidorovich in a Moscow street. The operative noticed that a suspicious type resembling a pickpocket was spinning near the head of the GUO and decided to warn him. Unfortunately, at this moment, the thief had already put his hand in the pocket of the chief of Stalin’s personal guard, and he suddenly put his powerful hand on his coat over his pocket and squeezed the thief’s brush so that the crack of broken bones rang out. The young opera wanted to hold up a pickpocket that had turned white from pain, but Nikolay Sidorovich winked at him, shook his head and said: “You don’t have to plant, he won't be able to steal anymore.”
The Prophecy of Vlasik
During the 25 years, Nikolai Vlasik and his subordinates managed to ensure the safety of Stalin in any conditions, including protecting the guarded one from several attempts. But the principled Stalin did not want to protect his security chief from an inglorious ending of his career and arrest.
In May, 1952 suddenly began a profound inspection of the financial and economic activities of the security department. Vlasik was removed from his post, expelled from the party and transferred to the Ural city of Asbest to lead a prison camp, and in December of the same year was arrested for "indulging pest doctors", embezzling state money and valuables, and abusing his official position.
According to many sources, during the arrest, he said: “If there is no me, there will be no Stalin.” These words of Nikolai Vlasik, if, of course, he really spoke them, can be perceived as a prophecy: just a few months after his arrest, March 5, 1953, Stalin died in the “near-dacha”.
Historians have so far failed to come to a final answer to the question of what caused the death. There are many versions, but they do not stand up to criticism due to the obvious bias, the chase for a sensation and the authors' lack of understanding of how the leader’s guard was arranged.
What happened then at the “near dacha” is known only to Stalin’s security guards, namely the change of the attached Mikhail Starostin. Partly from the words of his colleagues and friends, Alexey Rybin told this in a documentary film by the studio Panorama (Lenfilm) “I served in Stalin’s protection.” The picture was taken in 1989 year on the perestroika wave, then sold abroad, so few managed to see it. From the words of Rybin it follows that Joseph Vissarionovich died due to the failure to provide him with timely medical assistance.
Given that Stalin was 73 of the year and he suffered from a number of ailments, at the “near dacha” the “Kremlin” doctors were not on duty. Only Beria could give instructions on the admission of physicians on duty at Joseph Vissarionovich, but none of the current security guards were able to turn to him with such an initiative because of the leading chaos after the arrest of Vlasik and understandable considerations of his own security. For the "alarmist" and could be shot.
After the arrest of Vlasik, the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) placed the responsibility for guarding the country's leadership on the Minister of the Ministry of State Security of the USSR, S.D. Ignatiev, who immediately after his appointment as head of the UO MGB of the USSR (May 23 1952, the Main Security Directorate of the USSR MGB was reduced to the Security Directorate), suddenly and for a long time fell ill ... his deputy, Lieutenant-General V.S. Ryasnoy. Ignatiev returned to his duties 27 January 1953.
Lavrenty Beria (in the foreground). Photo: Archive of the magazine "Spark"
According to the decision of the Central Committee of the VKP (b), A. Martynov was appointed the head of the department of the MA of the USSR Ministry of State Security. Apparently, Ignatiev could not (or Beria did not want) to find a worthy candidate for the post of senior bodyguard of Stalin. The senior security officers attached to Stalin remained Mikhail Starostin and Ivan Khrustalev, who since July 30 1952 have been directly subordinate to the deputy head of the UO Colonel N.P. Noviku. In fact, the decapitated Stalin security group was left to its own devices, while the top security officials of the state security themselves withdrew.
The fate of Vlasik, in the opinion of his daughter Nadezhda, was decided by one circumstance: he “simply prevented Beria from getting to Stalin, because his father would not have let him die. He would not wait a day outside the doors, like those guards on the night of March 5, 1953, when Stalin awoke. The statement is very controversial: hardly Beria had the need to dislodge Vlasik in order to kill Stalin. The fact is that the death of an elderly leader was already a matter of time, and the nearest one. In the Kremlin, it was not discussed for obvious reasons, and no one doubted its imminent arrival. Everyone prepared for her as he could. And now this day has come ... Well, the presence next to Vlasik, who was ill with Stalin, who, I suppose, really “would not wait a day behind the doors,” could only postpone the demise.
According to Dmitry Fonarev, Beria simply removed Vlasik, who was uncomfortable for him, because he was his subordinate, but did not become "his person." To understand the events of that time, you need to understand the role and place of Lavrenty Pavlovich in the leadership of the country. In July, 1945, when replacing the special calls of the state security with military Beria, was awarded the title of Marshal of the USSR (Nikolai Vlasik - Lieutenant General). Since March 1946, Beria, as deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers, has been in the G7 members of the Politburo, which, led by Stalin, solved almost everything in the state, including security issues.
In October 1952, by the decision of the XIX Congress, the CPSU Lavrenty Beria was included in the Bureau of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU, which transformed the G-7 into the "leading five" at the suggestion of Stalin. That is, after the unconditional success of the nuclear project, which he oversaw, Beria flew to the very heights of state power and only he could arrange the security forces as he saw fit.
In the systemic hierarchy of state security of the USSR 1952, the posts of Beria and Vlasik are simply incomparable, not to mention even the responsibility. For Vlasik, Beria was the direct and most important boss, whose decision no one could challenge.
As Dmitry Fonarev notes, Beria gradually reduced the sphere of influence of Lieutenant-General Vlasik and his service, "pushing" him from power. As already mentioned, in May 1952, the GDO was reorganized into the MA - just the security department is no longer the main thing. Thus, his status was lowered. And the security departments No. XXUMX and No. XXUMX were transformed into departments of the MA, another decrease in the power hierarchy of the state security.
Well, then Beria could only find, as operatives call it, “texture”, or, quite simply, compromising evidence on Vlasik himself. It turned out to be easy. January 17 1953 of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court, chaired by Colonel of Justice V.V. Borisoglebsky and members of the court - Colonels of Justice D.A. Rybkina and N.E. Kovalenko - considered the criminal case on charges of the former head of the Main Directorate of the Security of the MGB of the USSR, Lieutenant-General Vlasik Nikolai Sidorovich and found him guilty of committing a crime under Art. 193-17, paragraph “b” of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR (abuse of official position under especially aggravating circumstances). In fact, Vlasik’s financial and organizational mistakes were deprived of everything. By this verdict, he was destroyed as an influential person at the state level, who simply did not “fit” into the orbit of the interests of the almighty Beria.
But why Stalin did not try to save his faithful guard? In December 1952, in addition to Vlasik, another close and long-time Stalin's assistant, Alexander Nikolaevich Poskrebyshev, secretary of the Presidium and Bureau of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee, was arrested. Stalin could not help but notice the disappearance of these two faithful companions, but Beria decided their fate. Apparently, the leader of the people treated such “excesses” with revolutionary pragmatism. For him never existed "untouchables".
In the entire history of his period, it is difficult to find a status person who Stalin would really protect from the “outrage” of the punitive system. And this is not surprising, since even in 1923, Joseph Vissarionovich said: “If my wife, a member of the party, had acted incorrectly and would have punished her, I would not have considered myself entitled to interfere in this matter.” His son Vasily, who was wounded in 1943, but not in battle, but during poaching fishing with explosives, he also did not block out ... Well, the head of security was for him the same ordinary Soviet civil servant, like everyone else ...
In March, 1954 was created by the KGB of the USSR, headed by Ivan Alexandrovich Serov. For the state personal protection came a period of reorganization and the formation of new methods and forms of work.
Well, the story of General Vlasik is an example of true professional dedication attached to his guarded, which Nikolai Sidorovich will keep even after his arrest and all the sufferings suffered. In his memoirs, he will write that, in spite of the cruel offense inflicted on him by Stalin, he didn’t have any harm in his soul for a minute. Vlasik died in the year 1967, and not being rehabilitated during his lifetime. But the traditions laid down by him in the security business, remained strong for many years. Officers who have gone through the school GUO, in the future will become teachers for those who come to protect the subsequent leaders of the country.