19 May, 2011

After Stalin’s demise, the so called Triumvirate (Troika) became the most commonplace system of government in the Soviet Union. The Triumvirate took the entire power in their hands. The first Soviet Triumvirate included: Malenkov – chairman of the council of ministers, Beria – his first deputy and minister of interior, and Khrushchev – the party boss. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – During the 1950’s purges Stalin used his habitual methodology to get rid of the certain cadres. After having

arrested and exiled the former POWs (those who were before in the Fascist captivity), Stalin went after his closest entourage. However, the situation seemed to be more complicated than it used to be in 1937 because Stalin’s firm decision was to get rid of those comrades of his who stood shoulder to shoulder with him during the Second World War i.e. the persons who enjoyed a huge authority among the Soviet people. When it became obvious that Stalin was intending to get rid even of Beria, the chief of the countries security service, Beria decided to counterattack the Great Leader. What was Beria’s plan in particular?

SM – Beria’s first attempt was to isolate Stalin from the people who had Stalin’s limitless trust. For example, with the help of the secret service people who faithfully served his interests, Beria managed to accuse General Nikolai Vlasik, head of Stalin’s personal security from 1931 to 1952, in the embezzlement of state property and immoral behavior, as if he was using Stalins country house (‘Dacha’, Russ.) for his orgies with the women of easy virtue, so to speak, using for this the state means and facilities. With Stalin’s permission, General Vlasik was arrested. Stalin’s inseparable personal assistant and organizer Alexander Poskrebyshev was also accused of crime against the Soviet state. Also, Stalin was practically left without his doctors’ care as a consequence of the so called Doctors’ Plot which was actually directed against Molotov and Kaganovich – the best doctors of the country were purged as a result of that case.

GJ – So you are saying that Beria was trying that way to deprive Stalin of his most faithful entourage . . .

SM – Beria and other highly ranking officials who were considered the candidates of purges knew very well that Stalin was planning the end of their career in the Kremlin. One of the best mechanisms of self-defense for the future victims was depriving Stalin of his doctors, his security men and his faithful assistants. If Stalin’s death was the result of his assassination, then the prerequisite of that murder were those deliberately organized events. But whatever it was, Stalin had lost that battle. Whether he had died his own death or he was killed is very difficult to say right now. The truth is that he wanted to annihilate his friends and comrades and he had failed to perpetrate that vicious crime.

GJ – What is your personal version of Stalin’s demise?

SM – It would be very seriously unprofessional of me to divulge right now my personal opinion, but there is a version that the members of the Politburo had a regular meeting at Stalin’s dacha (country house). As a result of a hot controversy Stalin received a heavy stroke, and he was not taken care of deliberately. There is another version that he was poisoned.

GJ – How did the things go after his death? His death was a huge tragedy and sorrow for the plain Soviet people, wasn’t it?

SM – Following Stalin’s passing away, a Triumvirate was formed which means that the ruling of the Soviet Union was put into the hands of three persons: Chairman of the Government Malenkov, his first deputy Beria who automatically became the Minister of Interior once again, and . . .

GJ – Why once again?

SM – Stalin had isolated Beria from KGB for a certain period of time in the last several years, but at this moment (after Stalin’s death), the state security and the police were put within the system of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, including the Soviet militia and the interior troops. Under Beria’s control went also the prosecutor’s office and court i.e. all the administrative and judiciary structures of the entire Soviet Union.

GJ – Who was the third member of the Triumvirate?

SM – The third one became the Communist party leader Nikita Khrushchev, although not as the general secretary or the first secretary but as one of the ranking secretaries of the Party.

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