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Soviet Union

Control by the Party

The chief vehicle for party control over the MVD was the State and Legal Department of the Secretariat, which had a special section for supervising the MVD. This section presumably participated in the selection of MVD personnel and evaluated the MVD's work in terms of how well it carried out party directives.

Another means through which the party exercised control over the MVD was the Political Directorate of the MVD. This directorate, a network of political organs existing throughout the MVD, was established in 1983 and operated in a way similar to that of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy. The Political Directorate was created because local party officials were not exercising sufficient control over the activities of internal affairs officials but rather were colluding with them in commiting economic crimes. Its chief until April 1988 was Viktor Gladyshev, a former section chief in the Administrative Organs Department (present-day State and Legal Department). Gladyshev was replaced by the former personnel chief of the MVD, Anatolii Anikiev.

The minister of internal affairs was usually a member of the Central Committee but as of 1989 had never enjoyed membership on the Politburo. Thus the regular police executed party policy but had little voice in policy formulation at the national level. At the local level, however, the police chief may have had more impact on decision making in the law enforcement realm because he was generally included on both the local soviet executive committee and the local party committee.

Data as of May 1989