Peters, Iakov Khristoforovich

   At the age of 19, Peters took part in the Revolution of 1905 and was imprisoned and tortured by tsarist authorities. Released in 1908, he made his way to London, where he became engaged in émigré anarchist circles. He took part in a botched robbery of a jewelry store, which ended with the killing of three London police officers. Peters was acquitted of the crime, however, and married an English woman. He returned to Russia immediately following the fall of the tsar and joined the Bolshevik Party. He was appointed to the first Cheka governing council (collegium) in early 1918. During the civil war, he often deputized for Feliks Dzerzhinsky and gained a reputation for mercilessness. He was given ultimate responsibility for the security of Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev during the most difficult days of the civil war. A competent administrator, Peters went into party work in the 1920s, serving as head of the Moscow city and regional governments. He was arrested in 1937 and shot in 1938.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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