Russian Secret Police Pt. 2 The Okhrana


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Imagine for a moment you're an early 20th Century Russian factory worker in Moscow. You do your job everyday to support your family but it's dangerous work. You have moments when you wonder what you're family would do if you were injured or killed on the job. Then you overhear a coworker talking about a movement to petition your Tsar, Nicholas II, for better working hours and pay.

Laborers like you can join a union called the Moscow Mechanical Productions Workers' Mutual Aid Society that will advocate for these better conditions you've been hoping for. Plus this organization sounds like a better option than those radial groups out there throwing bombs at government officials.

But if this union sounds too good to be true, that's because it is. Unbeknownst to you, the union was created by the Tsar's secret police, the Okhrana, to spy on any potentially dangerous radicals.


The Russian Secret Police. Ronald Hingley. 1970.

Stalin: Paradoxes of Power. Stephen Kotkin. 2014

Fyodor I

Boris Godunov

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Lee, Eric (1993-06-01). "The Eremin letter: Documentary proof that Stalin was an Okhrana spy?". Revolutionary Russia. 6 (1): 55–96. doi:10.1080/09546549308575595. ISSN 0954-6545.

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