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Entries / Militia


Categories / City Administration/Police, Prisons

MILITIA, was created by order of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs on October, 28 (old style: November, 10) 1917 “On Workers' Militia.” On December, 14 (old style: December, 27) 1917 the Soviet of People’s Commissars of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic considered the question of security and order in Petrograd. The first head of city militia (Committee of Security of Petrograd) K. E. Voroshilov was entrusted with a task to abolish the city administration and create a special organ for keeping order in the city. The Committee of Revolutionary Security of Petrograd created by Voroshilov (at 2 Gorokhovaya Street) fought against crime, ensured security of state institutions, factories and plants. According to the new regulations, security guards were recommended to possess a cavalry division, machine-gun crews and gunners for armoured cars; a member of the brigade was appointed a salary of 300 rubles, a food ration and a uniform according to the norms of the Red Army. In October 1917 some 189-205 crimes were committed every day, and in January 1918 the number of crimes was reduced to 34-51 per day. At the beginning of 1918 the worker militiamen of Putilovsky Plant headed by G. S. Egorov alone liquidated 3 bands operating in the district of Narva Gates. On August, 2 1918 commandant's offices of militia were set up. Operative conditions in Petrograd were difficult, every month there were some 150-120 robberies, burglaries, or illegal searches. On August 5, 1918, the Collegium of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs ordered to establish Criminal Investigation (CI) divisions in the organs of militia. In spring 1919, female militia was created in Petrograd. In the years of the Civil war a school for voluntary brigades was subordinated to the militia, the Department of Soviet Militiamen, and the Cultural Educational Commune were attached to the City Guard Theatre, a literary club headed by M. Gorky was created. On November 12, 1922, on the first day of celebration of the Day of militia its departments were sworn in on the Palace Square. In 1922, Petrograd had the highest level of crime in the country, and militia did 692 raids and 1321 searches, and in 1923, 1366 and 7259 respectively. Militia was also engaged in taking food tax, in post service, in maintaining cleanliness, extinguishing fires, attraction of the population to the labour duty, convoying the arrested, implementing the decrees of the Provincial Executive Committee. At the end of 1923 a special 4-week shock operation against home-brewing was proclaimed in Petrograd. Service dog-breeding was developed (in 1923 there were 30 service dogs on staff). Many members of militia were persecuted in the years of personality cult, they were later posthumously rehabilitated, including head of militia in 1918-19 V. S. Shatov, head of Leningrad district Militia Administration in 1931-34 Y. Y. Peters, head of Leningrad militia in 1937-38 G. A. Kirokosyants-Kirakozov, and others. In 1934, the Leningrad Militia Administration was moved from 2 Gorokhovaya Street to 4 Liteiny Avenue (see The Big House). In the years of the Great Patriotic war of 1941-45 only in two years of the siege members of militia seized 292 rifles, 1912 shells, 17 submachine guns, and 240 pistols when detaining deserters. In the course of the second half of 1941 militia seized 455 tons of bread, crackers, grain, etc. 60 posts of highway patrol police served on the Road of Life. On April 1 1942, a Children Search Office was created in Leningrad, in 9 months some 839 inquiries about 1140 children were accepted from parents and close relatives (604 people were found). In 1976, the Museum of Leningrad Militia was set up (12 Poltavskaya Street) - today it is the Museum of Militia History of the Cultural Centre of the General Administration of Internal Affairs of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region. On November 25, 1988 a department of special task force police (STFP) was created in the General Administration of Internal Affairs of Leningrad Region, in January, 17 1997 the monument to its fighters who perished in the line of duty was opened on the territory of the department. A combatant sub-unit of patrol post service (city guards) for maintaining order on Nevsky Prospect (with the first class graduating on June 20, 1997) was created in March 1997. From 2001, the Main Administration of Internal Affairs of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region is housed at 50/52 Suvorovsky Avenue. As of September 1, 2002, St. Petersburg had 19 district administrations of internal affairs, 81 departments and 1578 area police stations.

Reference: Ленинградская Краснознаменная. Л., 1987; Петербургский юридический институт МВД России: Страницы истории МВД России. СПб., 2002.

E. P. Bogoslovskaya.

Egorov G.S.
Gorky Maxim (Alexey Maximovich Peshkov)
Kirokosyants-Kirakozov G.A.
Peters Ya.Ya.
Shatov Vladimir Sergeevich
Voroshilov Kliment Efremovich

Gorokhovaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 2
Liteiny Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 4
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city
Poltavskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 12
Suvorovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 50/52

Ленинградская Краснознаменная. Л., 1987
Петерб. юрид. ин-т МВД России. Страницы истории МВД России. Юбилейное издание, посвященное 300-летию Петербурга и 200-летию МВД России. СПб., 2002

The subject Index
Kirovsky Plant
Bolshoy Dom
Siege of 1941-44
Road of Life


POLICE was created in St. Petersburg at the beginning of the 18th century; it was engaged in all the spheres of city life: construction, fire safety, city finances, public institutions, concert and theatre activities, etc

Public Safety Volunteer Units

PUBLIC SAFETY VOLUNTEER UNITS, arranged with the purpose of helping militia. Workers' units attached to industrial factories in the period of the Revolution of 1905-07 were a prototype of Public Safety Volunteer Units