Gvishiani, Mikhail Maksimovich

   After joining the Red Army at 16, Gvishiani entered the OGPU in 1928. Like other Georgians in the security service, Gvishiani rose quickly after Lavrenty Beria moved to Moscow. Gvishiani was posted to the Soviet Far East in 1938, where he remained for almost a decade. He took part in the deportation of the Chechen people, reportedly ordering mass executions of the old and infirm, according to a recent study. During Red Army operations against Japan in 1945, he was decorated for success in repatriating Manchurian industrial plants to the Soviet Union. In 1945 he was promoted to lieutenant general. In August 1953 Gvishiani seemed in deep trouble. His patron and boss, Beria, had fallen and was destined for execution. But although Gvishiani was removed from the MGB, he never was arrested and apparently he kept his rank. He was married to the daughter of Communist Party Central Committee member (and later premier) Aleksei Kosygin, and this connection apparently saved him.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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