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Reply #24: Okhrana [View All]

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-31-10 06:09 AM
Response to Reply #20
24. Okhrana
The Okhrannoye otdeleniye (Russian: Охранное отделение, meaning Security Section or Security Station), also the Okhrana or Tsarist Okhranka in Western sources, or diminutive Okhranka by those dissatisfied with the tsarist regime, was a secret police force of the Russian Empire and part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) in late 1800s, aided by Special Corps of Gendarmes.

As the name suggests, the primary purpose of the agency was the security of the tsar and royal family, including, but not limited to, fighting hostile organizations: terrorists ("bombists"), socialists, and revolutionaries.

The task was performed by any means, including covert operations, undercover agents, and "perlustration" reading of private correspondence. Even the Foreign Agency served this purpose. The Okhrank is notoriously known for its agents provocateurs Dr. Jacob Zhitomirsky (a leading Bolshevik and close associate of Vladimir Lenin), Yevno Azef, and Dmitry Bogrov. Of note is the Bloody Sunday event, when imperial guards killed hundreds of unarmed workers who were peacefully marching during a protest organized by an Okhrana agent provocateur, Father Gapon.

The Okhrana tried to compromise labour movement by creating police-run trade unions, the practice known as zubatovshchina. Other controversial activities of the agency included fabrication of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion document and fabrication of the antisemitic Beilis trial.

At the Okhrana buildings (16 Fontanka, Petrograd), there was a secret room entered only by the chief of police and the officer in charge of sorting documents. It was the centre of the secret service. Its basic contents consisted of the filing system on the provocateurs, in which we found over 35,000 names.

At the head of the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and its combat organisation, up to 1909, was the engineer Evno Azev, who from 1890 onwards had been sending reports to the police signed with his own name. Azev was one of the organisers of the executions of Grand Duke Sergei, the minister Plehve and many others...

On the Bolshevik Central Committee, and leading its Duma faction, as we have seen, was the secret agent Malinovsky.

Provocation, when it becomes so widely extended, becomes a danger even to the regime it serves, and above all to the men at the head of this regime. It is known, for example, that one of the highest officials of the Ministry of the Interior, the policeman Rachkovsky, knew and approved of the plans for the execution of Plehve and of Grand Duke Sergei. Stolypin, well informed on this score, was accompanied whenever he went out by the police chief Gerasimov, whose presence he took to be a guarantee against attacks instigated by provocateurs. Stolypin was nonetheless killed by the anarchist Bagrof, who had belonged to the police...

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