How Much Influence Did Stalin Have over the Nkvd?

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Introduction During the 1930s, Stalin continued to extend his control over the Communist Party, and with that also the people of the Soviet Union. The idea of a Secret Police was by no means Stalin’s creation or invention. In Russia, the whole idea dated right back to Tsarism, when the Okhrana was formed in 1880. It was initially there to combat political terrorism and left wing revolutionary activity, but it gradually became a personal weapon for Tsar Nicholas II, and a way of getting what he wanted done, without it being made common knowledge. After Tsarism fell, and Lenin took power, he too made a Secret Police, called the Cheka. They were a lot more ruthless than the Secret Police of Tsarist autocracy, and terrorized the public to make sure that Lenin remained in power, well away from his political enemies. However, when Stalin came to power after Lenin’s death in 1924, he was not satisfied with how they were being utilized, and indeed in 1934 he created his own Secret Police, the infamous NKVD. These were of a new ilk and variety. Openly malevolent, they were renowned for the oppressing manner in which they bullied and manipulated Stalin’s people. The use of the word ‘influence’ usually connotes to something being done, but not in an entirely legitimate way, instead by someone or something showing their prestige and supremacy. In the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of ‘influence’ is: “The capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself” or “the power to shape policy or ensure favourable treatment from someone, especially through status, contacts or wealth”( English Collins Dictionary, Second Edition Revised, Glasgow, 2004, p611 ) The NKVD which Stalin fabricated, managed to show their influence in three different areas during that time period. Politically, the impact
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