1941 (pre-war half-year period): changes in the NKVD structure of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

Keywords: Ukraine, 1941, NKVD, militia, organizational structure.


1941 is a landmark in the history of the world in the whole and Ukraine in particular. The absolute attention of the historical scientific community is concentrated on the events associated with the beginning of the Soviet-German war. Therefore, a very small number of publications is focused on the pre-war half-year period of 1941. However, the reorganization of the NKVD continued during this period aiming at adapting its activities to new tasks. The study of controversial pages of law enforcement agencies at this time is important for the reproduction of an objective picture of its activity, for the establishment of historical truth. The author of the publication has studied the transformations in the structure of the NKVD of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic during the first pre-war half-year period of 1941.

The structural changes in the NKVD of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the first half of 1941 have been researched for the first time; the leadership of the regional departments of the NKVD of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in the mentioned period has been specified and summarized; provisions on the role and tasks of the units on combating banditism have gained further development.

It has been demonstrated that there were rather significant changes concerning the separation of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs into two parts in the first half-year period of 1941 in the structure of the NKVD of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in accordance with the model of the NKVD of the USSR. One of them had to deal directly with state security, and the creation of appropriate departments in the regions and districts. Transformations were also associated to the establishment of the Main Office for Combating Banditism and relevant departments and field offices. The essence of these changes has been analyzed; it has been demonstrated how new units of militia were created, in particular agencies on combating banditism. The data on the leadership of the NKVD of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic and its regional departments have been systematized; the functions of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, departments and divisions on combating banditism have been highlighted. The author believes that the intensification of attention on this issue was largely due to the mainstreaming the activities of the nationalist underground in Western Ukraine.


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Author Biography

V. A. Grechenko, Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs

Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor.
Department on social and humanitarian studies.


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How to Cite
Grechenko, V. A. (2018) “1941 (pre-war half-year period): changes in the NKVD structure of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic”, Bulletin of Kharkiv National University of Internal Affairs, 82(3), pp. 9-19. doi: 10.32631/v.2018.3.01.

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