The All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (VCheka) founded

20 December 1917

7 (20) December 1917 by a decree of the Council of People's Commissars was formed All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (VCheka), to combat counter-revolution, speculation and malfeasance.

The first chairman of the Commission was appointed F. E. Dzerzhinsky. The commission included I. K. Ksenofontov, M. S. Kedrov, M. S. Uritsky, Ya. H. Peters, S. A. Menzhinsky, I. S. Unshlikht, M. I. Latsis, etc.

The objectives of the commission established consisted of the "suppression and elimination of counter-revolution and sabotage activities across Russia, from whom they may come", bringing to justice of the Revolutionary Tribunals and the development of measures to combat counter-revolution and sabotage. Administrative apparatus of VCheka was led by a board, the governing body was its presidium headed by the chairman, who had two deputies. In 1918, local bodies of VCheka were established: provincial, district (abolished in January 1919), transportation, front and army Cheka.

In the first two months of its existence the Extraordinary Commission had the right just to a preliminary investigation, but gradually the powers of the VCheka expanded. From February 1918 the Council of People's Commissars authorized VCheka to make extrajudicial decisions regarding cases and even to apply the capital punishment - shooting. Since then, the bodies of the Cheka were occupied not just by operational work, but also carried out the investigation and passed sentences, replacing the investigative and judicial authorities. Cheka had its own armed forces enabling it to exercise its powers: the Cheka detachments, special purpose units (CHON), its own system of penitentiaries. Cheka worked in liaison with the NKVD and the People's Commissariat of Justice.

Subsequently the structure of the state security agencies had changed repeatedly, but their most important elements had always beem the following divisions: counter-intelligence departments (KRO), departments of military counter-intelligence (Special Division, formed on December 19, 1918), Foreign Intelligence services (Foreign Department of the Cheka was established on December 20, 1920). The scope of the Cheka’s activities can be judged by the number of its employees - at the end of February 1918 it did not exceed 120 persons, and by 1921 reached the peak - 31 000 people. In November 1920, the Cheka was made responsible for defense of state borders (before that the borders security, to some extent, was provided by "veils" - a system of mobile military units).

February 6, 1922 the Central Executive Committee approved a resolution to abolish the Cheka and to form the State Political Administration (GPU) under the NKVD of RSFSR, whose tasks included the struggle against espionage, counter-revolution and banditry. Following the formation of the USSR on the basis of the GPU was established the Joint GPU (OGPU USSR). In 1934 the OGPU was merged with the bodies of internal affairs (police) to form the Union-Republican People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs. In 1943, the People's Commissariat of State Security, a part of the NKVD, became independent. In 1946 it was renamed into the Ministry of State Security.

In March 1953 it was decided to merge the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of State Security in a single Ministry of Internal Affairs of the USSR. March 13, 1954 was created the State Security Committee (KGB) under the USSR Council of Ministers. December 3, 1991 USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev signed the Law "On reorganization of the state security agencies" under which the KGB was abolished and for the transitional period on its base were set up the Inter-republican Security Service and the Central Intelligence Service of the USSR (now - the RF Foreign Intelligence Service).

In May 1991, the Committee for State Security of the RSFSR was formed; 26 November 1991 it was reorganized into the Federal Agency for Security of the RSFSR, in January 1992 - into the Ministry of Security of the Russian Federation. December 21, 1993 was signed a decree to abolish the Ministry of Security of the Russian Federation and establish the Federal Counterintelligence Service of the Russian Federation (FSK of Russia). In April 1995, the Federal Security Service (FSB) became the legal successor of FSK.

December 20 our country celebrates as the Day of the security employees of the Russian Federation - the professional holiday of the FSB, SVR, FSO and other Russian special services.

Lit.: Колпакиди А. Север А. КГБ. М., 2010; Лубянка: Органы ВЧК-ОГПУ-НКВД-НКГБ-МГБ-МВД-КГБ, 1917-1991: Справ. / Сост. А. И. Кокурин, Н. В. Петров. М., 2003; Турченко С. Образование и организация деятельности ВЧК-ОГПУ. [Электронный ресурс] // ФСБ РФ. 1999-2019. URL: http://www.fsb.ru/fsb/history/author/single.htm!id%3D10318105@fsbPublication.html; Хлобустов О. Щит и меч Отечества. [Электронный ресурс] // Чекист.ru. 2002-2013. URL: http://www.chekist.ru/article/924; Яковлева М. А. Дискуссии 1919-1921 годов о функциях и правах Всероссийской и Московской чрезвычайных комиссий: современный взгляд // Знание. Понимание. Умение. 2010. Серия № 6.

From the Presidential library materials:

The Department for Struggle with the Social Property theft and speculation (DSSP) // On this day. 16 March 1937.