NKVD troika

NKVD troika or Special troika (Russian: особая тройка), in Soviet history, were institutional commissions of three persons who issued sentences to people after simplified, speedy investigations and without a full trial. These commissions were employed as instruments of extrajudicial punishment introduced to supplement the Soviet legal system with a means for quick execution or imprisonment. It began as an institution of the Cheka, then later became prominent again in the NKVD, when it was used during the Great Purge to execute many hundreds of thousands of Soviet citizens. Defendants in the Troika’s proceeding usually were not entitled to legal aid or presumption of innocence. Convictions usually did not include information about actual incriminating evidence and mostly contained only information about indictment and sentences.

Troika literally means "a group of three" or "triad" in Russian.

The first troika was instituted in 1918, the members being Felix Dzerzhinsky, Yakov Peters, and Left SR V. Aleksandrovich.

The first "operational troikas" (оперативная тройка) were introduced in the "centre", in the Moscow military okrug in 1929. The qualifier "operational" denotes they were based on the operational departments of the state police (OGPU).

In January 1930, as part of the collectivization program, the Soviet Politburo authorized the state police to screen the peasant population of the entire Soviet Union. Normal legal procedures were suspended and the corresponding OGPU order of 2 February specified the measures needed for "the liquidation of the kulaks as a class". In each locality, a group of three people, or "troika", would decide the fate of the peasants branded as "kulaks". The troika, composed of a member of the state police, a local communist party secretary, and a state procurator, had the authority to issue rapid and severe verdicts (death or exile) without the right to appeal. In effect they served as judges, juries, and executioners.

Gradually, troikas were introduced to other parts of the Soviet Union for various and different purposes: "court troikas" (судебная тройка), "extraordinary troikas" (чрезвычайная тройка), and "special troikas" (специальная тройка).

This page was last edited on 11 February 2018, at 11:28.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_troika under CC BY-SA license.

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