tisdag 13 juli 2010

Katyn: 49 signs of falsification of “Closed package no. 1”

Part I. The storing place, the circumstances around the discovery and the release of these documents

1. It is unknown where the ”Closed package no. 1” was stored before December 1991. The circumstances around the “miraculous discovery” of these documents, which was made by the employees at the Soviet Presidential Archive, are also shrouded in mystery.

M. S. Gorbachev claimed that he, until December 1991 had not seen these documents, while in the two “Closed packages” of the Politburo regarding Katyn, were stored all other documents, which were dealing with the guilt of the German side in the Katyn massacre. Only a few days before Gorbachev’s resignation from office as the president of the Soviet Union, the archive employees delivered on December 24, 1991 (as implied at their own initiative) through Gorbachev’s chief of staff Grigory Revenko the package with the found documents (“Zhizn’ i reformy” (“The Life and the Reforms"), book 2, Moscow 1995, pp. 348-349).

A. N. Yakovlev claimed both in his book ”Sumerki” (”The Dawn”) and in several articles and appearances, that he up to December 24, 1991 had never seen these documents. In addition Yakovlev revealed an important detail, namely that in the package with the Katyn documents that was delivered to Gorbachev on that day also was a certain “Serov’s letter”. But in the archive list for the “Closed package no. 1” that was delivered from Gorbachev to Yeltsin that letter is missing.

A. Yu. Yablokov claims in his book ”Katynskij sindrom …” (“The Katyn syndrome”) on p. 386: ”In July 1992 the then head of the President’s Administration Yu. V. Petrov, the President adviser D. A. Volkogonov, the head of the Main Archives R. G. Pichoya and the manager of the Archive A. V. Korotkov went through the most secret materials in the Russian President Archive. On September 24, 1992 they opened the “Closed package no. 1”.

This means that somebody is lying – either Gorbachev and Yakovlev, who claim that these documents were stored by Gorbachev and that they in early winter of 1991 were delivered to Yeltsin in Yakovlev’s presence, or the archive employees who claim that they found this package themselves first in the fall of 1992. In this case, however, it is clear that both the former and the latter are lying. Those documents have not been found in any archives or packages. They have been forged but they have not been able to fabricate a coherent story and force everyone who is featured in this case to learn it by heart, especially not the senior managers, why each one has been forced to lie based on what he managed to remember.

2. The documents in question were made public for the first time in fall of 1992 during the meeting of the Constitution Court as evidence of the guilt of the Soviet Communist Party for the Katyn massacre, but already a cursory examination by the judges revealed their falseness, which resulted in the fact that the Constitution Court in its final verdict did not even mention these accusations.

3. That these are forgeries is attested by the fact that these indeed sensational ”documents” were not presented to the Russian public immediately after they have been discovered, despite the fact that the press had been filled with quotes from them. After the fiasco in the Constitution Court the text from some of these documents was published only after two years and then not in any known historical magazines but in so called “periodical edition”, the magazine “Voyennye arkhivy Rossii” (“Russia’s Military Archive”). After the release of no. 1 of the magazine, in which some of these forgeries were published along with other genuine documents from Russian archives, the magazine and its Editorial disappeared without a trace.

4. In this the first publishing of these ”documents” the publishers did not indicate the peculiarities of these documents from a case management point of view, which directly testified about their falseness, i.e. the publishers themselves realized that they were publishing forgeries.

5. In the magazine ”Voprosy istorii” (”Historical questions”) no. 1/1993, where these “documents” were described for the first time in Russia, they only described three of the five documents, but even despite such a shortening this issue was not sent to the subscribers and the libraries until 1995.

6. In Russia they have up to this day not yet officially published the most prominent (when it comes to the degree of falseness) documents from the “Closed package no. 1” – the so-called “print-out for Shelepin” (not to be confused with “Shelepin’s letter”!). This confirms once again that the publishers themselves were well aware of, and still are, the fact that these by them published documents are forged.

Part II. Information that does not go with real historical facts

7. In the documents from the ”Closed package no. 1” it talks about the formation of a certain “special NKVD troika”, which, as it says, had sentenced the Poles to execution. But in the large amount of real genuine archive documents from that period there is not the slightest hint of either the formation of any “troika” (as claimed in these documents) or that any Poles whatsoever had been executed in the Soviet Union in 1940 by any extrajudicial process. To use the words of the specialist in archive system, A. P. Kozlov, “these documents stand out because they run counter to other real indisputable facts from this time which are known from genuine sources”.

8. The real court troikas were provided during these years to sentence the accused, dependant on their guilt, and to acquit the innocent. In “Beria’s letter” the troika is not assigned any judicial rights, but provides to execute all Poles, i.e. the “troika” is not assigned any defined judicial work. Such a “troika” is directly embarrassing for the individual who made it up. The real Beria would never have suggested to the Politburo that they should pull up three senior NKVD employees (including him) from their usual work, in order to sit down and sign 22 000 pieces of paper, which no one other than themselves would read.

9. In the creation of the “troika” the key principle for the establishment of the court troikas which would consist of the top people from the NKVD (the Ministry of Interior) and the AUCP(b) (the Communist Party) and with the mandatory participation of a prosecutor.

10. In this “troika” they violated the principle of the members’ equal responsibility – to the two top NKVD officials (the People’s Commissar and his first deputy) they had added a third rank chief. In the real court troikas it was inconceivable with the participation of the subordinates to any of the members of the troika.

11. Beria could not suggest that they should create a “troika”, since all court troikas recently had been abolished by a joint decision of the Soviet government (Sovnarkom) and the Central Committee of the Communist Party (CC AUCP(b)), i.e. no “troika” was now possible seen from the legal law. After the joint decision had been made no decision executable could neither execute nor even arrest anyone at the orders from such an illegal “troika”, which had been officially forbidden in the Soviet Union by the government and the party.

12. If you assume that these documents from the “Closed package no. 1” are genuine, then it means that the Politburo at the Communist Party’s Central Committee had exceeded its powers – the Politburo took a decision to establish a “troika” despite the fact that the party’s leading agency – the Central Committee (CC) – had abolished them. Such is simply inconceivable. In a decision of November 17, 1938 from the Council of the People’s Commissars of the USSR (Sovnarkom, i.e. the government of the Soviet Union) and the CC AUCP (b) – the party’s leading agency, which is superior to the Politburo, ordered the following: “Liquidate the court troikas which have been created in accordance with orders from the NKVD of the USSR and the troikas at the militia’s oblast-, krai- and republic boards. From now on all cases shall in accordance with the prevailing legislation be forwarded for investigation to the courts or to the Special Council of the NKVD of the USSR.”

13. In the documents from the “Closed package no. 1” they have in no way included those 395 captured officers, policemen, and border guards, who – while the other POWs were sent to the correction- and labor camps at GUZhDS – were sent to the POW camps in Yukhnov and then to Gryazovets.

14. The “Politburo decision”, which was put into these “documents”, was impracticable for Beria: in pure self-preservation his surroundings would have found a way how to avoid to carry out such a criminal order from the People’s Commissar. It was a similar performance of their chief’s criminal orders that during 1937-38 had led to the execution of the closest collaborators to one of Beria’s predecessors Yagoda (who held the post as People’s Commissar of the NKVD until September 1936). And not long before these events, on February 4, 1940, they had for the same reason executed deputy assistants to Yezhov (who was succeeded by Beria as People’s Commissar and who was also executed on February 4, 1940). The whole world knew that the Poles were in captivity in the Soviet Union and no one in the top management of the NKVD would dare to take any risks by carrying out an illegal order of their execution issued by Beria, who had been working in the NKVD for only a year and a half and of which he had held the post as People’s Commissar only a little bit more than fifteen months.

Part III. Internal contradictions

15. ”Beria’s letter” contains a suggestion to execute 25 700 citizens from former Poland, while ”Shelepin’s letter” says that only 21 857 were actually executed. No explanations are given to on what ground another 3 843 Poles, who obviously were sentenced to execution, avoided being shot.

16. In “Beria’s letter” 14 736 officers and 18 632 inmates are declared as being “inveterate enemies of the Soviet power”, but it is suggested that they execute 14 700 of the former and 11 000 of the latter; this without any explanation about what to do with the remaining “inveterate” enemies and how they should separate the former from the latter. By such a decision the powers of the “troika” were delegated to the direct decision enforcers at spot and they were forced to decide themselves who should be sentenced to execution, which is inconceivable and something that could never exist in a real decision by Beria.

17. According to the notes at the back of the “print-out copy for Beria” they have during the period of March 5, 1940 to November 15, 1956 printed two extra copies of the “print-out copy for Beria” and that they had destroyed two copies on November 15, 1956. Given the strict confidentiality that surrounded the documents in the “Closed package no. 1” such manipulations with the print-out copies, which is unknown whom they were meant for, cannot be explained in a rational way.

Part IV. “Beria’s letter” no. 794/B (N. 794/Б)

18. Seen purely from a formal and legal point of view, “Beria’s letter” no. 794/B is a forgery because of the elementary fact that its key attributes – the date and the number – do not correspond to each other. Because according to the official registration the letter 794/b, which was sent to Stalin from the NKVD, was dated February 29, but in the archives they have found an entirely different letter with the same number – 794/B from the same March 1940 – but without a date indication. In order to understand the absurdity in the situation, imagine a person whose passport is full of errors and as date for its issuing is stated March but that later after a control of the Ministry of Interior it is found that this passport has been issued in February!

19. In “Beria’s letter” the resolution and the signatures of the Politburo members are written in a way that the lines of the “letter” during the signing must have been in a vertical position. No real right-handed leader signs that way. However, a specialist in forged signatures could write just like that – if he wanted to leave a hidden hint in the document that it was forged.

20. “Beria’s letter” has a number but no date. In a genuine document that is impossible since they are the one and the same note in the registration record, and then the date is more important than the number.

21. In “Beria’s letter” generals have been written on the same line as the lieutenant colonels, which was impossible for a genuine NKVD document. In all genuine NKVD documents the generals were written on a separate line and were never mixed even with the colonels.

22. According to a certificate from the Archive Board of the FSS, letter no. 794/b had been registered at the NKVD secretariat on February 29, 1940. In a genuine Beria letter from February 29 there could be no records from Soprunenko’s information from March 3, which appear in “Beria’s letter” from the “Closed package no. 1”. Consequently “Beria’s letter” no. 794/B with this information is a forgery.

23. The first three pages in “Beria’s letter” are not written on the same typewriter as page four (there is even an expert opinion available that proves that). A court would understand that such a thing was impossible for a genuine NKVD letter, because if you change the beginning of a document after the People’s Commissar has signed it, then it is the same thing as committing a crime.

24. Page four is written on a typewriter that has been used to type other recognized genuine Beria letters, while the three first pages are written on a typewriter whose font they still have not been able to trace in any of the fifteen Beria letters covering the period December 1939 to September 1940 that have been found in the archives and which they have up to date investigated.

This reveals the most probable way around the forgery of the letter.

The forgers probably took from the archive Beria’s genuine letter no. 794/b dated February 29, 1940 which contained a suggestion that the Poles would be sentenced by the Special Council of the NKVD (SC) to various fixed-penalties in prisons or labor camps. The forgers destroyed the first pages and instead printed three new ones which were converted in a way that it would like Beria was suggesting that the POWs should be shot. After that they added to these three forged pages a fourth one (the genuine) in which Beria suggested a quantitative (“troika”) and a personal (Beria, Merkulov, Bashtakov) composition for the Special Council. According to the “Regulation for the Special Council” its qualitative and personal composition would differ depending on the kind of matters that would be investigated. If the event occurred inside the borders of a union republic, then one of the members would be that republic’s People’s Commissar of the NKVD, if the matter was strictly criminal law then also the head of the militia’s (i.e. the police) board would be in it. In this particular case Beria suggested a special council with reduced staffing – consisting of three people – a troika. He suggested himself as chairman (he was the chairman of the SC according to the Regulation), his first deputy (also a member of the SC according to the Regulation) and the head of the department who prepared all cases regarding the POWs for the investigation in the Special Council – for the convenience of the organization and the implementation of meetings. Beria’s suggestion was logical, but still relinquished from what was provided in the “Regulation for the Special Council” – the head of the First Special Department, as a member of the SC, was not named which was the reason why Beria coordinated his suggestion with the Politburo.

But the Politburo did not share Beria’s view. They felt that they could not allow the People’s Commissar himself in this case to waste his time on a routine screening of up to 20 000 criminal law cases. That is why Stalin deleted Beria from the list and instead of him kept the Premier Deputy People’s Commissar of the NKVD Merkulov, as chairman of the Special Council and supplemented with Kobulov who was the head of the NKVD:s Main Department for Economy and by his employment dealt with investigation matters concerning the POWs and their use for labor. Worth noting is that Stalin did not write Kobulov’s last name above Beria’s deleted name (which would have meant that Kobulov had been appointed chairman) but wrote his name after Merkulov and before Bashtakov. That is, if you assume that the first three pages in “Beria’s letter” are forgeries and that the genuine letter was about the Special Council, then such a letter is completely consistent with all known historical facts.

Part V. The “print-out copy from the Politburo protocol” no. 1 (addressed to Beria)

25. The printed form begins with a warning: ”Must be returned within 24 hours to the 2nd Department at the Special Sector of the Central Committee”, and to the left there is another warning vertically written in the form: “The comrade who has received these documents do not have the right to forward them, nor to show them to anyone else, unless it is particularly admitted by the CC. Duplication of the said documents and production of prints from them is categorically forbidden. The note and the date for the superscription are to be made on each document personally by the comrade to whom it is addressed and shall contain his personal signature. Based on: the decision at the plenary meeting of the CC AUCP(b) on August 18, 1924.”

The “print-out copy for Beria” is the first copy (the original) unlike the “print-out copy for Shelepin” which is a re-print. It was precisely the original that in accordance with the delivery would be sent to Beria for superscription. This is witnessed, among other things, by the notes on the back, among them a hand-written note about another mailing to Beria which is supposed to have been done on December 4, 1941. But in the “print-out copy for Beria” there are no notes or signatures whatsoever from L. P. Beria that would confirm that he would have noted the print-out copy in 1940 and 1941.

26. In the “print-out copy for Beria” the for the genuine print-out copies mandatory facsimile signature from the Secretary of the Central Committee J. Stalin and the stamp with a relief of the CC AUCP(b) are missing.

27. The “print-out copy for Beria” is printed on a form that was not the standard form used by the Politburo in its case management. To date there are only two known copies of such a form – both are from the “Closed package no. 1” regarding Katyn.

28. On the form for the “print-out copy for Beria” the absolutely mandatory element for all official documents from the CC AUCP(b) is missing, namely the slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!” All the forms meant for documents that were sent to other agencies, always began with the Communist’s most important slogan: “Workers of the world, unite!”

Part VI. The “print-out copy from the Politburo protocol” no. 2 (addressed to Shelepin)

29. The document on this AUCP(b)-form is attested with a CPSU stamp. This constitutes such a climax of the forgers’ senile dementia that this one thing only was enough for the Constitution Court to realize that it was dealing with forged documents and not associate the Communist Party of the Soviet Union with the murder of the Polish officers.

30. In the “print-out copy for Shelepin” Stalin’s signature, the mailing date and the last name of the addressee have been typed with another typewriter.

31. The print-out copy is dated February 27, 1959 which would mean that the Poles continued to be in camps up to that date and that not before 1959 it was decided to shoot them.

32. The Politburo addressed the directive of the troika’s foundation and the execution to Shelepin but of the ”troika’s” original members, only Bashtakov was still alive.

33. In order to attest the signature Stalin in 1959 returned from the grave and arrived at the meeting of the Politburo.

34. Outwardly the ”print-out copy for Shelepin” is designed as an attested copy but is in reality not attested by any official at all at the CC CPSU. The forgers were not aware of the elementary, namely that the round stamp at any institution was stamped on top a signature. The purpose with the signature is to certify the genuineness of the signature.

35. On the front of the print-out copy there is a signature made with ink “Return. 27/II-59” which is a gross violation of the elementary rules for storing of documents under which it is strictly forbidden for the archive employees to make any notes whatsoever in the documents with the exception of cases when they are allowed to write a new page number with an ordinary pencil in the upper right corner when a case is being hardcovered again.

36. In the print-out copy they have erased the previous addressee’s name “Com. Beria” and the date “March 5, 1940”. Instead of them they have written a new surname “Com. Shelepin” and a new date “February 27, 1959”. Such changes in the text were also categorically forbidden according to the rules for archiving of documents.

37. In the same way as the ”print-out copy for Beria” the ”print-out copy for Shelepin” is printed on a form that was not used in the Politburo’s normal work and misses the mandatory slogan ”Workers of the world, unite!”.

Part VII. “Shelepin’s letter” N-632-sh (Н-632-ш)

38. “Shelepin’s letter” was sent to the CC CPSU through the KGB office since it has a mailing number (N-632-sh; Russian Н-632-ш) and the mailing date March 3, 1959 and from that follows that the absence of an inward registration at the CP CPSU in March 1959 is a sign of a forgery.

39. In the “letter” there are no notes or directives whatsoever from a single secretary at the CC CPSU – the forgers were unable to think of any, but then it seems that none of the secretaries at the Central Committee had ever seen Shelepin’s letter which is impossible when it comes to a letter from the chairman of the KGB.

40. When describing the “decision of the Politburo” which should have been in front of the person who issued “Shelepin’s letter”, that person wrote “decision of the CC” which could not occur – Shelepin did definitely know the difference between the Central Committee (CC) and the Politburo (PB).

41. When describing the ”decision of the Politburo at AUCP(b)”, someone wrote ”CC CPSU”. But neither Shelepin nor the person who issued the authentic letter that was addressed to the supreme leader of the country could have confused the name of the party in such an important document.

42. Already in the second sentence of “Shelepin’s letter” it says: “Altogether 21 857 people were executed after a decision from a special troika at the NKVD USSR, of them: in the Katyn forest (Smolensk oblast) 4 421 people, in the Starobelsk camp near Kharkov 3 820 people, in the Ostashkov camp (Kalinin oblast) 6 311 people and 7 305 people were executed in other camps and prisons in Western Ukraine and Western Byelorussia.”

But with the help of thousands of documents they have identified, and also made it an integrated part of the version which condemns Russia, the fact that in April-May 1940 they had transported the Polish POWs from the camps in Starobelsk and Ostashkov and that they at that time were still alive! How could the real Shelepin, at the same time has he was looking at genuine documents, write that the Poles were shot in the Starobelsk and Ostashkov camps?

43. The real Shelepin could not have written that the Starobelsk camp is located “near Kharkov” at the same time he looked at genuine documents. Because in the genuine documents the real address to the Starobelsk was stated; it was certainly not located in the Kharkov oblast, but in the Voroshilovgrad oblast – almost 250 kilometers from Kharkov!

These are far from all signs that prove that the documents in the “Closed package no. 1” were forged.

The forged documents in the “Closed package no. 1” are all tightly linked to each other by their contents. This means that all signs of forgery in one of them constitute evidence that also the others are forged. This was the reason why the Constitution Court not only chose not to rely on this evidence but also chose not to publish these for Russia embarrassing documents in the final compilation.

The forgery specialist Kozlov claims that 7 signs of forgery are more than enough to reveal a false document. In this case we are dealing with three interrelated historical texts which contain at least 43 signs of forgery!

One can expand this list and add more signs of forgery, namely as follows:

44. The forgeries were introduced for the first time during one of the meetings of the Constitution Court in the “CPSU case” (an investigation of the past activities of the Soviet Communist Party) and in the first versions “Beria’s letter” not only contained the number 794/B but also the date “March 5”. During the meeting on October 16, 1992, Yu. M. Slobodkin (from the CPSU defense) was discussing this date with the chairman of the Constitution Court Zorkin and called the court’s attention to the fact that Beria’s letter was dated March 5 and that the Politburo meeting had also taken place on March 5. It had never happened before that a letter was treated on the same day as it was written. The discussion around that date remains in the protocols of the Constitution Court and the fact that the date has disappeared in later versions of the forgeries is another sign that indicates that these are false.

45. No official would have stamped “Shelepin’s letter” that was sent in 1959 with an ingoing registration number from 1965. Because from that follows that the office employee at the Public Sector of the Central Committee had withheld a top secret letter from the Secretary General of the Central Committee for 6 years and 6 days! And that office employee who had stamped it in that way would have been held responsible for illegally storing a secret letter in an unknown place. Who could guarantee that he had not delivered the letter to the American embassy in order to be photographed? For example, Voznesensky, chairman of the Gosplan and one of the highest deputies in the Soviet government, had been executed in 1950, accused of having both wasted documents and to have delivered them to other hostile states. Did really the office employee at the Central Committee have to induce such a charge against himself?

46. Even more amusing seems the fact that the letter contains another stamp with the date March 20, 1965. This means that the letter from the former and since long resigned KGB head Shelepin, really had been forwarded to the now retired Krushchev, who then would have read the letter and sent it to another department at the Central Committee, where the letter was received and registered.

Those who forged these documents, believed that the stamps in the letters were nothing more than decorations, but the forgers did not realize that these are notes from people that they have received the letters for storage from a person, from whom they are obligated to receive them, and that they bear the highest responsibility for these letters not being read by any outsiders.

47. The letter is handwritten, but not by Shelepin, and is registered in the KGB office and thus sent by ordinary mail. If one believes that the letter is genuine, then it means that in 1959 there was only one typewriter throughout the whole of KGB and also that one had broken before then.

48. In “Shelepin’s letter” it is said that the “case files for the POWs” from the Starobelsk camp still remain in 1959 and that they are stored in the archive, but these case files had been burned already on October 25, 1940 about which Inspector Pismennyj and the sergeant for state security, Gaydidey, had compiled a document which still today is stored in archives.

49. “Shelepin’s letter” is written with a thick Polish accent. Only foreigners could look at it in a way that if there was a state named the Soviet Union then there should also have been the “Soviet power agencies”. Inside the Soviet Union nobody would have said it in that way, since the word “Soviet” absolutely clearly and firmly belonged to the legislative branch of power inside the Soviet Union – Supreme Soviet (Verkhovnyj sovet), the Oblast council (oblastnoy sovet), the District council (rayonnyj sovet). But then it was not called the “Soviet power agencies” but the “agencies for the Soviet power”, and only that since “Soviet” in the latter case meant that it is not about the belonging to a state but is a proper name for a specific power agency. (By the way these “agencies for the Soviet power” had nothing at all to do with the Katyn case). And the names of these agencies were never confused even by the average citizens, even less by the KGB employees! Therefore it really sounds bad when it says in “Shelepin’s letter”: “For the Soviet agencies … at the initiative from the Soviet power agencies”. The words seem to have their origins from abroad much the same way as “mine, yours, not understand” (a Russian jocularity when describing someone who is not very knowjavascript:void(0)ledgeable in the Russian language).

Kozlov said that one of the signs of forgery in one of the documents that he had looked at was the full name “Central Committee of the Communist Party” instead of “CC CPSU”. Indeed, who inside the CC CPSU would have misunderstood what the CC CPSU meant? So also in this case: the real Shelepin or the KGB employee would never had written “Soviet power agencies”, in a similar case they would rather have used a more exact term like “party-state agencies” (partiyno-gosudarstvennyje organy).


AUCP(b) (All Union Communist Party (bolsheviks), Russian VKP(b) Vsesoyuznaya kommunisticheskaya partiya (bol’shevikov)) – the name of the Soviet Communist Party, the name AUCP(b) was used 1925-1952

CC (Central Committee, Russian: Tsentral’nyj komitet) – The Central Committee (i.e. the leading agency of the Communist Party)

CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Russian: KPSS, Kommunisticheskaya partiya Sovetskogo Soyuza) – The Soviet Communist Party (the name CPSU were used 1952-1991)

FSS (Federal Security Service, Russian: Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti) – The Russian security service today

Gosplan (or Gosplan USSR, Russian: Gosudarstvennyj planovyj komitet soveta ministrov) – The State Plan Committee of the Soviet Ministerial Council (a central Soviet plan agency which among other things developed the so-called Five Year Plans)

GUZhDS (or GUZhDS NKVD USSR, Russian: Glavnoye upravleniye zheleznodorozhnogo stroitel’stva NKVD SSSR) – The main directory for the rail road building at the NKVD (formed in 1940, renamed GULZhDS NKVD USSR in February 1941)

KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti) – The Committee for State Security (KGB, earlier NKVD, nowadays FSS)

NKVD (Narodnyj komissariat vnutrennikh del) – The People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (then the name of the Soviet Ministry of Interior)

Sovnarkom (Sovet narodnykh komissarov) – The Council of the People’s Commissars (the government of the Soviet Union)

Troika (Russian: Troika, also Osobaya troika NKVD) – NKDV troika (an extrajudicial body which imposed sentences 1935-1938, usually on oblast level. The troikas consisted of the senior NKVD chief of the oblast in question, a secretary of the oblast committee and a prosecutor.)

USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, Russian: Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik) – the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics, i.e. the Soviet Union.