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Activities of public authorities for strengthening of protection of frontier of the USSR in 1924-1928

e. M. Terentyev


In 1924-1928

In modern conditions the creative studying the richest historical experience of activities of public authorities for safety of frontier as component of protection of the Fatherland remains one of important problems of historical science.

The problems of increase in reliability of protection of border of the country in the modern period which are put forward in instructions of the Russian President orders of the Director of FSB of Russia cannot be successfully solved without research of regularities of formation and development of protection of border. The analysis of actions for strengthening of safety of border in the mid-twenties allows to appreciate experience of the military-political country leaders which managed in difficult conditions to strengthen the Soviet border-zone and to turn it into a reliable barrier to all persons trying to break the state boundary helps to disclose sources of fortress of its border more stoutly.

Comprehensive study of activities of the country leaders for strengthening of our borders convincingly shows insolvency of statements of some "historians" trying to present their work in this direction in the 20th only as a certain continuous destruction and violence.

The analysis of sources and literature on activity of the military-political country leaders of Councils for strengthening of protection of border in 1924-1928 allows to draw a conclusion on insufficient readiness of this problem and absence on it special publications and researches of the generalizing character.

Actions of governing bodies of the Soviet state for strengthening of protection of boundaries of the country during the studied period to some extent are reflected in a row monographic issledovaniy1, collections documentov2, historical essays boundary okrugov3 and scientific statey4. However at all huge value of these works an activity problem on strongly protection gosudarstven-

ache border of the USSR in the mid-twenties did not receive in them sufficient coverage.

The author seeks to show in this article on the basis of archival and other sources and literature some ways of activity of the guide of the young Soviet state to strengthening of border of the homeland in 1924-1928

In spite of the fact that to the middle of the 20th the Soviet Union considerably got stronger economically, the situation along frontier remained intense. "Throughout the entire period of a peace respite (1921-1928) our state was in a condition of threat of war, - K.E. Voroshilov noted,-... We could be involved in war throughout the expired seven years at any time" 5.

Preparing for war with the USSR, foreign intelligence agencies carried out prospecting and diversionary actions. From 2,742 deserters detained in 1922-1925 on the site of five boundary groups of the western border 675 were their agents. Among them: spy-terrorist B. Savinkov, experienced agent of the British intelligence S. Rayleigh, etc. 6

The situation on frontier was complicated also by smuggling growth. The western intelligence agencies by means of specially created network of illegal export of gold and other values sought to strangle economically the young Country Sovetov7. Only on one Blagoveschensky the directions more than 6 thousand people were engaged in smuggling. By approximate calculation of the commission of RKI USSR the import smuggling in 1923/24 made 50-70 million rubles, and export reached 100-150 million rubley9.

Therefore, the developed military-political and economic situation on border demanded strengthening of its protection.

One of activities of state bodies of USSR on strengthening of safety of the boundary boundaries in 1924-1928 was providing favorable foreign policy conditions and establishment of good neighbourhood with the adjacent countries.

In the mid-twenties developed objective conditions for improvement of relationship with neighboring countries. The purposeful peace policy, non-interference to internal affairs, aspiration to resolve all controversial issues peacefully considerably strengthened authority of the USSR, and the aggravated contradictions between the largest countries of the world and requirement of economic development of many of them pushed their governments to establishment a normal -

ny political and trade and economic relations with our state. Therefore if in 1922 the USSR had trade and economic relations with 16 stranami10, then in 1924 - with 38 stranami11.

Holds a specific place in foreign policy of the country leaders for the benefit of protection of frontier 1924. This year was

the system of political and economic our isolation is broken finally off


countries. By the beginning of 1925 of the USSR recognized 21 states. From all states on which the Soviet Union in 1924-1928 bordered diplomatic relations because of the governments of these countries only with Romania and the USA were not established. Fighting for diplomatic recognition, the Soviet state sought to provide "inviolability of our borders, safety of our coast and waters, the right of free use of our maritime routes, our river and other communications" - the National commissioner on other noted


to strange things G.V. Chicherin.

Normal diplomatic relations with neighbors gave the chance to quicker resolve border conflicts, and the order of their settlement was defined when signing contractual documents between the states.

Other important activity of the country leaders on safety of border of the Homeland were strengthening of border troops and improvement of the organization of their service.

Obligations for protection of boundaries of young Soviet Respubliki14 were assigned to the border troops created in the spring of 1918. At first the decree of the Supreme Military Council of the Republic of March 5, 1918 created the troops of cover of the western border called a veil. On March 30, 1918 at Narkomat of finance the Head Department of Boundary Protection (HDBP) which main objective was the organization of protection of border with Finland and Estonia is formed (on the basis of the former headquarters of the Certain building of boundary guards). The decree of SNK RSFSR of May 28, 1918 as a part of this Narkomat founded boundary protection (since 1958 the whole country celebrates on May 28 Day of the frontier guard). Boundary protection solved the following problems: fight against smuggling and violations of frontier; protection of the population against attack of gangs and nomad tribes, etc.

Till the studied period the border troops passed the long and difficult way of structural changes, resubmission to various departments, divisions of functions caused by the increased requirements to providing without -

pasnost of boundaries of the USSR and the changed tactics of actions of intelligence agencies of the leading capitalist states.

Especially actively these events were held since fall of 1922. So, according to the resolution of Council of Work and Defense, (HUNDRED) RSFSR of September 27, 1922 protection of overland and sea borders was assigned to the State Political Directorate (SPD) at People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs of RSFSR and then the certain boundary building (CBB) of troops of GPU which part 7 boundary districts (Petrograd, Western, Ukrainian, North Caucasian, Transcaucasian, Turkestan and Siberian) 15 were is created. Each boundary district was deployed in the territory of one or several federal republics or provinces and consisted of the provincial boundary groups including detached battalions (divisions), companies (squadrons), platoons. The commander of MIC operated the subordinated parts through the headquarters of MIC subordinated on front questions to the chief of staff of troops of GPU. For protection of sea borders as a part of MIC 4 groups of vessels of boundary protection (at the White, Black, Caspian seas and in the Gulf of Finland) and flotillas of boundary protection of Lake Chudskoye and on the Amu Darya River were created. In total - about 50 thousand chelovek16. MIC was a part of troops of GPU and submitted to the chairman of GPU and his deputy.

In July, 1923 the department of border troops was brought out of structure of the headquarters of troops of GPU and transformed to the department of boundary protection submitting to the vice-chairman of GPU, since November 15, 1923 - United by GPU (OGPU) at SNK USSR. Boundary districts depending on importance of the site of border had the different number of boundary battalions and cavalry divisions which submitted at the same time in the operational relation to parts on -


of boundary protection. Double subordination of troops complicated the organization of the border service, weakened responsibility for a condition of sites of border. Therefore for creation of the uniform operational and army management of boundary protection in February, 1924 the headquarters of provincial boundary groups were merged into boundary offices of provincial departments of OGPU. On the basis of provincial boundary groups, boundary groups which part boundary operational bodies were were created.

The new structure gave the chance to save forces and means of protection of border, to approve full one-man management in the organization of service, to unite the political, operational, front and administrative management in all management personnels. Chiefs of outposts, commandants of sites and

chiefs of groups began to be responsible for a condition of border and quality of its protection completely.

In the same time of OGPU developed states of groups, commandant's offices, outposts and other parts and divisions of border troops taking into account features of protection of sites and a situation on border. In the Leningrad boundary district it was created 12 boundary otryadov18, and in Crimean - 5 19. In the Ukrainian district

The Volochissky boundary group had 2 commandant's offices, 17 outposts, and Kamenets-


Podolsk - 4 commandant's offices, 42 outposts. In total by the end of 1924 he was educated 61 boundary otryad21.

Organizational reorganization of border troops generally came to the end by the end of 1926 when instead of department of boundary Protection and Management of troops

OGPU was created uniform Head Department of Boundary Protection and troops


OGPU. So, at the end of 1926 the organizational structure of border troops included: Head Department of Boundary Protection and troops of OGPU - the district - from -


a row - commandant's office - an outpost. It remained up to now. Boundary districts (they at that time already were 10) began to represent uniform quick and army strukturu24.

On June 15, 1927 the Central Election Commission and SNK of the USSR approved the Provision on protection of frontiers of the USSR. Then the Temporary charter of service of boundary protection in which basic provisions on its organization and execution were stated was enacted.

The efficiency of the carried-out organizational actions positively was shown in practice even before their full implementation. If in February, 1923 in the Ukrainian district there were 202 cases of detention of smuggling, then che-


a cut their year there were already 512. Considerably reliability of protection of border increased.

Thanks to reorganization of troops, their regrouping and technical equipment, the responsibility for protection of border was considerably increased. The command commanding list of frontier guards looked for new ways of the organization of service. So, on the Central Asian site of border for fight against numerous gangs began to be created rear quick gruppy26, on border with Finland shock and basic groups on on - were formed of a reserve of outposts


boards of the most probable movement of gangs from abroad. Experience of boundary groups and districts was widespread on creation of reserves. Since 1925, special maneuverable groups are entered into the structure of boundary groups, having become -

shy not only fighting reserves, but also the centers of training in a boundary IAU -


to a terstvo.

For increase in maneuverability of troops in the mid-twenties the number of cavalry divisions on border considerably increased. For example, on May 21, 1928. Council of Work and Defense made the decision to strengthen protection of Manchzhuro-


The Korean border frontier guards-cavalrymen in the number of 967 people.

The huge role in a raising of combat readiness of frontier guards, increase in their office skill was played by Temporary charters of boundary protection

30 31

OGPU accepted in 1924 and 1927 and also the new Provision on protection gosu-


of donative borders of USSR, approved by the CEC And SNK in June, 1927

Rearmament of troops, construction of standard outposts, the border equipment permanent communication, construction of roads - all this demanded additional allocations. If in 1927/28 in comparison with 1926/27 Narkomat's budget of naval affairs rose 17.2%, then the budget of troops of OGPU increased by 23%33.

For preparation of command shots in districts boundary schools, repeated courses were created, and began to train junior commanders since 1925 at maneuverable groups. In the fall of 1924 the first release of commanders-frontier guards of the Higher boundary school (VPTTT) formed in December, 1923 took place. Big loading on preparation of command shots of the highest and average structure was born by educational institutions of Narkomat of naval affairs. For example, only for 1924/25 they prepared for troops of OGPU 209 chelovek34. Such approach to training for troops gave the chance to have the commanders who are well trained in the military and KGB relation.

Thanks to the activity of public authorities directed to reorganization of troops, improvement of their organizational structure, providing frontier guards with new means of protection of boundaries of the Homeland, improvement of training and educational work the quality of the border service considerably increased.

It was promoted by also constantly becoming stronger communication of frontier guards with workers of a border strip. In the mid-twenties the country leaders started implementation of a slogan: "The border is protected by all people". Solving this problem, command of border troops gave classes with frontier guards in training in their forms and methods of work among workers of a border-zone, mobilized attention of local party and Soviet bodies on neobkhodi-

bridge of the effective help to frontier guards. In April, 1925 there took place the All-Union meeting of chiefs of parts of boundary protection which discussed a condition of protection of border and aimed command, political bodies, the party and Komsomol organizations of troops at improvement of work among local community. Speakers emphasized that workers have to become active defenders of borders of the gosudarstva35.

The solution of the problem of relationship of workers of border areas and frontier guards was not only a question of fight against smuggling, gangsterism and espionage, but first of all, on the basis of these relations the outskirts of the Country of Councils politically became stronger. F.E. Dzerzhinsky in a greeting to the 2nd release of the Higher boundary school in August, 1925 paid attention to it, saying that the slogan "facing the village" has to be carried most fully out in a frontier strip, and it to a great extent lays down on pogranokhranu36.

Work on the organization of the armed groups from residents of border settlements took place under direct control of local party bodies. So, the Amur bureau of a gubkom of RCP(b) made on August 30, 1925 the decision on creation at frontier posts from peasants of the armed groups which together with frontier guards were obliged to protect peaceful work of the population, to carry out the separate tasks connected with protection of border to become the centers in -


unlimited training of youth.

Already to the middle of the 20th in border areas the voluntary groups of assistance to frontier guards which received the name of "base of resistance" were created from locals. Members of bases of resistance bore patrol service, controlled implementation of rules of a border regime, and the most important, well knowing all residents of border settlements and sites of the area, quickly revealed the persons which broke or trying to break frontier. They the example involved all new population groups in the active help to frontier guards.

The positivity of their service on protection of border was brightly shown in Olev-sky group of the Ukrainian district. Only in February, 1925 from 14 detained deserters on the group site - 10 were detained by members of bases soprotivle-


Thus, 1924-1928 became nice history of the Soviet state as years of comprehensive activities of the public, military and party authorities for strengthening of protection of sacred boundaries of the Homeland.

The pursued neighborliness policy with all countries and the aspiration to resolve all controversial issues peacefully were combined with every possible strengthening of border troops as important link in the general system of safety of our state, increase in vigilance of workers of border areas. All this considerably increased reliability of protection of frontiers.

I See: Chronicle of border troops of KGB of the USSR. M, 1981; Sentries of the Soviet borders: Short essay of history of border troops of the USSR. M, 1979; 60 years guard frontiers of the USSR: Sb. metro station, 1979; Guard Fatherland borders: History of the border service of M., 1998; G.P. Sechkin. Soviet border troops. M, 1976; Soviet border troops. M, 1987; Sentries of the Soviet borders: short essay of history of border troops of the USSR. M, 1983; A.I. Chugunov. Fight on border. 1917-1928: From history of border troops of the USSR. M, 1980; It. Guard the Soviet boundaries: Border troops guard the Soviet boundaries. 1929-1938. M, 1981, etc.

See: From history of the Soviet border troops. 1921-1927: Documents and materials. M, 1973; Border troops of the USSR. 1918-1928: Sb. documents and materials. M, 1973; F.E. Dzerzhinsky and protection of borders of the Soviet state: Sb. documents and metro station, 1977, etc.

3 See: Patrol western boundaries: Documentary essays on stories of troops of the Western boundary district Decorated with the Order of the Red Banner. Kiev, 1972; Northwest boundary district Decorated with the Order of the Red Banner: Essays on stories of troops of the district. L., 1973; The Far East boundary: Essays about a fighting way of troops of the Far Eastern boundary District. Khabarovsk, 1983 Decorated with the Order of the Red Banner; Decorated with the Order of the Red Banner Transbaikal. Kyzyl, 1988; Guard east boundaries of the Homeland: Short essay of a fighting way of border troops of the district. Alma-Ata, 1969; Guard the southern boundaries of the Homeland: A short essay on stories of troops of the Transcaucasian boundary district. Tbilisi, 1969, etc.
4 V. Matrosov. In a permanent patrol//Voyen. - an east. zhurn. 1976. No. 5; F. Shchuptiyev. About moral shape of the Soviet frontier guard//the Frontier guard. 1959. No. 9.
5 Truth. 1924. February 22.
6 See: Sentries of the Soviet borders. Page 61.
7 Central boundary archive FSB of Russia (CPA FSB of Russia), t. 14, op. 5, 3460, l. 38, 72, 95.
8 See: Border troops of the USSR. 1918-1928. Page 58.
9 RGVA, t. 4, op. 3, 2720, l. 1.
10 See: Foreign trade of the USSR. M, 1957. Page 159.

II It is counted by the author: Documents of foreign policy of the USSR. M, 1963. T. 7. Page 728-729.


See: History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. M, 1970. T. 4, prince 1. Page 264.

13 Documents of foreign policy of the USSR. T. 7. Page 47.
14 See: Border troops of the USSR. 1918-1928. Page 75.
15 See: Military encyclopedia: In the 8th TM, 2002. T. 6. Page 427.
16 See in the same place. T. 6. Page 421.

See: Fighting way of the Soviet border troops. Page 54.

18 RGVA, t. 4, op. 3, 2481, l. 9.
19 In the same place, l. 12.
20 Central museum of the border service (further CMPS), dock. f., item 16, 31, l. 55.
21 Counted by the author: RGVA, t. 4, op. 3, 2481, l. 9-12.
22 See: Fighting way of the Soviet border troops. Page 55.

See: Northwest boundary district decorated with the Order of the Red Banner. Page 52.

24 See: Military encyclopedia. T. 6. Page 427.
25 CMPS, dock. f., item 16, 3, l. 55.
26 CMPS, dock. f., item 12, 2, l. 62.
27 See: Border troops of the USSR.1918-1928. Page 360.
28 See: Fighting way of the Soviet border troops. Page 56.
29 RGVA, t. 4, op. 1, 672, l.13.

See: Fighting way of the Soviet border troops. Page 56.


See: Sentries of the Soviet borders. Page 46.

32 See: Fighting way of the Soviet border troops. Page 78.
33 RGVA, t. 4, op. 1, 473, l. 31.
34 RGVA, t. 4, op. 3, 2927, l. 78.
35 CMPS, dock. f., item 4, 2, l. 12.
36 See: Border troops of the USSR. 1918-1928. Page 220.
37 RGASPI, t. 17, op. 16, 202, l. 182.
38 CPA FSB of Russia, item 14, 2, l.12.
Holmes Walter
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