Viktor Semyonovich Abakumov

NameViktor Semyonovich Abakumov (1894 - 18/12/1954)
A protege of Beria, Abakumov was a notoriously brutal Chekist who tortured prisoners with his own hands.1 Smert Shpionam, "Death to Spies" - the Ninth Section of the Security Services.
2 Vronskaya & Chuguev, Biographical Dictionary of the Soviet Union, 1989, p1.
3 Ronald Seth, The Executioners, 1967, p28.
From 1942-1946, Abakumov was head of Smersh1. After World War II, he controlled the Komitet Informatsy (KI), the post-war foreign espionage and terror network.2
From 1950-1951, Abakumov was Minister of State Security (MGB/NKGB), having replaced Vsevolod Nikolayevich Merkulov.3 In his capacity as Minister, he was responsible for the "Leningrad Affair" purge.
When Stalin became suspicious of Beria in 1951, he ordered Abakumov's arrest. He was replaced by Semyon Denisovich Ignatyev.
After Stalin's death in March 1953, Beria rose in power and Abakumov was released from prison. He returned to work in the security services.
However, in the Summer of 1953 Beria was toppled by Khrushchev, and Abakumov was again arrested. He was tried in Leningrad for his role in the Leningrad Affair, and executed on 18th December 1954.44 Pravda, 24th December 1954, cited in Vronskaya & Chuguev, p1.
  • Martin McCauley, Who's Who in Russia Since 1900, Routledge, London, 1997. (p1)
  • Ronald Seth, The Executioners: The Story of SMERSH, Cassell, London, 1967. (pp28,66)
  • Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, Collins/Fontana, Melbourne, 1974.
  • Jeanne Vronskaya with Vladimir Chuguev, A Biographical Dictionary of the Soviet Union 1917-1988, K G Saur, London, 1989. (p1)
  • See AlsoJoseph Stalin, Lavrenti Beria

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    Copyright 2001-2004 Trevor Stanley, PWHCE