from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • abbreviation Narodnyĭ Kommissariat Vnutrennikh Del (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs)

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun НКВД (Naródnyi Komissariát Vnútrennikh Del) — the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs — the Soviet secret police, forerunner of the KGB


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the Russian НКВД, through phonetic spelling of Naródnyi Komissariát Vnútrennikh Del and acronymizing.


  • During the 1930s, Slezkine reports, the secret police, now known as the NKVD, “was one of the most Jewish of all Soviet institutions”, with 42 of the 111 top officials being Jewish.

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  • The favorite tortures of the Soviet Cheka, or secret police (then called NKVD) in the 1930's and 40's were merciless beatings, confinement in refrigerated cells, week-long sleep deprivation, and endless interrogations.

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  • It should be called NKVD HQ, because it is dominated by ideologues.

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  • What really interested him was proving that the NKVD could be a powerful part of the economy.

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  • One mourner affixed a sign reading "NKVD" on the memorial, covering the word "Nazis" in the inscription such that it read "In memory of Polish officers murdered by the NKVD in 1941."


  • The NKVD is the KGB of the time, came, said, "You sign here.

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  • (They also delight in slinging about phrases like "the NKVD man in Havana"; the Soviets have not used "NKVD" since 1943.) terminate with extreme prejudice.

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  • Under Stalin, Politburo member Anastas Mikoyan had said that: “Every citizen of the USSR is a collaborator of the NKVD,” the acronym then used for the secret police.

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  • Anti-Soviet revolts broke out periodically—in particular in 1929–1930, as agriculture was forcibly collectivized—but they were put down by NKVD troops.

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