Bokiy, Gleb Ivanovich

   An Old Bolshevik who was an active revolutionary for 20 years before the Revolution of November 1917, Bokiy is one of the creators of Soviet signals intelligence. He joined the Cheka in March 1918 and served first in the defense of Petrograd against White armies and then in Central Asia. In 1920, Bokiy became head of the service’s cryptological service. Although there had been competition between his service and the GRU in the 1930s, Bokiy molded a small component from both the security service and the military intelligence service that became exceptionally competent in breaking codes. With information provided from recruited code clerks, Bokiy’s component read the messages of many of Moscow’s opponents.
   Bokiy, according to one defector, had a reputation as an alcoholic and a womanizer whose home was the scene of orgies. What probably sealed his fate, however, was his long association with Old Bolsheviks such as Leon Trotsky. He was arrested on 16 May 1937 and tried by a three-member collegium of the NKVD on 11 November 1937. He may have been shot the evening of his trial, but there are reports that he continued to work for the service in jail until his death in 1940 or 1941. He was posthumously rehabilitated in 1956.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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