Putin’s Russian guard is restoring the red banner and using the name of Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the former head of the Soviet secret police, the NKVD, which was first known as Cheka. They were responsible for mass executions of tens of thousands during the Red Terror and the Russian Civil war – without trial.
Dzerzhinsky established the All-Russia Extraordinary Commission to Combat Counter-revolution and Sabotage—usually known as the Cheka (based on the Russian acronym ВЧК).
Recall Putin was the former head of the FSB and a former KGB officer, the Russian Guard reports only to Putin. By referring to the NKVD and Dzerzhinsky, the only conclusion is an ultimate weapon wielded by Putin – only – they do not answer to the military at all. Final numbers are expected to be 350,000 to 400,000. Just for contrast, the Praetorian Guard, the elite troops of the Roman Empire, numbered only 16,000 at their peak in the year 69 AD.
Perhaps Putin fancies himself an emperor, an heir to a Russian legacy. Perhaps he sees danger lurking in every dark shadow. Perhaps Putin believes the people and/or the military will rise up against him. Perhaps he is right to be so paranoid.
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Staunton, June 4 – In explaining why the new Russian Guard plans to restore the red banner and the name Feliks Dzerzhinsky in its operations, Col. General Sergey Melikov told Izvestiya that such moves were entirely appropriate because veterans have asked for this and because his organization is “the heir of the NKVD.”
Those words were included in the original article but then taken down when someone recognized the dangers of drawing a direct link between an organization that repressed millions of Russians and Putin’s new Guard. However, those who took them down from the webpage forgot that in the age of Screenshot, nothing is really ever lost forever.
The original Izvestiya article is at iz.ru/news/719276; the Screenshot of the passages that were removed is available at scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/18814050_10154800594723525_4241670326627761488_n.jpg?oh=40fb296d2f2c247b6c2c9cb68fa117eb&oe=59AC1104).
In reporting this incident, Snob portal commentator Ivan Davydov says that words like these matter, however much some may devalue them in their efforts to hide what they are really about (snob.ru/selected/entry/125281). And he then offers what is certainly the most succinct and accurate definition of national unity under Putin now available.
In Putin’s Russia, he writes, “the unity of the nation is when one and the same people scurry to churches built in memory of those innocents who were killed and then write on their banners the name of the executioner who killed those innocents.” This sends a horrific signal about the direction in which Russia is now moving.
Individual Russians can privately believe what they like, but when the state sends such signals, society should respond with horror, Davydov says, because “people must understand that out of this ‘continuity’ and ‘unity of the nation grows the chance” that the horrors of the past can return.