- Joseph Stalin created a special department in the Central Committee secretariat to manage the security services and the armed forces. The department, occasionally referred to as Stalin’s personal secretariat, acted as his watchdog over the secret service. In the early 1930s Nikolai Yezhov established the bureaucracy. For the rest of Stalin’s life, the department was managed by Aleksandr Poskrebyshev, whom Nikita Khrushchev sarcastically identified in his Secret Speech as “Stalin’s loyal shield bearer.” Following Stalin’s death in 1953, Poskrebyshev and Stalin’s other secret servants were placed under house arrest and then pensioned off. Most of the functions of the Special Department were assigned to the Administrative Organs Department of the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. Robert W. Pringle. 2014.
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