NKVD troika

NKVD troika or Special troika (Russian: особая тройка), in Soviet history, were The People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD which would later be the beginning of the KGB) of three persons who issued sentences to people after simplified, speedy investigations and without a public and fair trial. The three members were judge and jury, though they themselves did not carry out the sentences they dealt. These commissions were employed as instruments of extrajudicial punishment introduced to supplement the Soviet legal system with a means for quick and secret execution or imprisonment. It began as an institution of the Cheka, then later became prominent again in the NKVD, when it was used during the Great Purge to execute many hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens. Defendants in the Troika’s proceeding were typically not entitled to legal aid or the presumption of innocence. Convictions usually did not include information about actual incriminating evidence and basically contained only information about indictment and sentencing. The outcome of such trials was often determined before it even began due to targeted numbers of citizens to be executed or imprisoned in gulags.

Troika means "a group of three" or "triad" in Russian.

The first troika was instituted in 1918, the members being Felix Dzerzhinsky, Yakov Peters, and Left SR V. Aleksandrovich.

The first "operational troikas" (оперативная тройка) were introduced in the "centre", in the Moscow military okrug in 1929. The qualifier "operational" denotes they were based on the operational departments of the state police (OGPU). The troikas were tasked with administering quick punishment of anti-Soviet elements, without public trial or investigation. The sentences that were doled out, executions, were to be held in secret.

In January 1930, as part of the collectivization program, the Soviet Politburo authorized the state police to screen the peasant population of the entire Soviet Union. Normal legal procedures were suspended and the corresponding OGPU order of the 2nd of February, specified the measures needed for "the liquidation of the kulaks as a class". This instituted a regional based system for these troikas to work, so that the operations could be handed locally and with a quicker result. In each region, the troikas would decide the fate of the peasants branded as "kulaks". The troika, composed of a member of the state police, a local communist party secretary, and a state procurator, had the authority to issue rapid and severe verdicts (death or exile) without the right to appeal. In effect they served as judges, juries, and executioners.

The secret police troikas became an execution machine, implementing persecutions and torture of priests or other "anti-Soviet elements." This was done in secret and the victims of these trials often stood no chance at fighting the claims placed before them. They were often forced to give evidence against themselves and watch as the members of the troika sentenced them, often times to death.

This page was last edited on 12 May 2018, at 16:39 (UTC).
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_troika under CC BY-SA license.

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