Vladimir Dekanozov
Vladimir Georgievich Dekanozov (Dekanozishvili) ( (Деканозишви́ли)) (June 1898, Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 - 23 December 1953, Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, USSR) was a Soviet senior state security operative and diplomat.

Before Second World War

Vladimir Dekanozov (Dekanozishvili) was born in the family of Giorgi Dekanozishvili, founder of the Party of Georgian Social-Federalists. While Dekanozov self-identified himself as a Georgian
The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

 some sources suggested that he might be Armenian
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 by blood.

Dekanozov studied in the medical schools of Saratov University
Saratov State University
Saratov State University is a major higher education and research institution in Russia. Founded in 1909 as Imperial Saratov University, the university is located in the Volga River region in the city of Saratov...

 and Baku University
Baku State University
Baku State University is a public university located in Baku, Azerbaijan. Established in 1919 by the Parliament of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic, the University started with faculties of history and philology; physics and mathematics; law and medicine with an initial enrollment of 1094...

. In 1918 he entered the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

, and in 1920 he joined the Bolshevik Party. From 1918 he worked as a secret agent in Transcaucasia, first in the People's Commissariat for Health of the short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic was the first successful attempt to establish a democratic and secular republic in the Muslim world . The ADR was founded on May 28, 1918 after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917 by Azerbaijani National Council in...

, then in private oil companies. After the invasion of Azerbaijan by the Red Army, Dekanozov worked for the Cheka
Cheka was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat-turned-communist Felix Dzerzhinsky...

 of Azerbaijan SSR
Azerbaijan SSR
The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic , also known as the Azerbaijan SSR for short, was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union....

, where he befriended Lavrenty Beria, who subsequently supported Dekanozov. In 1921-27 Dekanozov worked for the Cheka in Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Transcaucasia
Transcaucasian SFSR
The Transcaucasian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic , also known as the Transcaucasian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, the Transcaucasian SFSR and the TSFSR for short, was a short-lived republic of the Soviet Union, lasting from 1922 to 1936...

. In 1927 he became an instructor of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia. In 1928-1931 he worked as one of the leaders of the Georgian and Transcaucasian OGPU. In 1931 he became a secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Georgia. From 1936 he was the Narkom of the food industry of Georgia, and from 1937 he simultaneously worked as the Chairman of Gosplan
Gosplan or State Planning Committee was the committee responsible for economic planning in the Soviet Union. The word "Gosplan" is an abbreviation for Gosudarstvenniy Komitet po Planirovaniyu...

 of Georgia and a deputy Chairman of Georgian Sovnarkom. He was a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR in 1937-50.

He was transferred to the NKVD
The People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Joseph Stalin....

 in November, 1938, when Lavrentii Beria was appointed its head. Dekanozov was the deputy chief of GUGB and at the same time headed both its foreign intelligence and counterintelligence departments from 1938 to 1939. Dekanozov was responsible for purges
Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin from 1936 to 1938...

 of the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 as well as for purging Nikolai Yezhov
Nikolai Yezhov
Nikolai Ivanovich Yezhov or Ezhov was a senior figure in the NKVD under Joseph Stalin during the period of the Great Purge. His reign is sometimes known as the "Yezhovshchina" , "the Yezhov era", a term that began to be used during the de-Stalinization campaign of the 1950s...

's supporters from the NKVD.

In May 1939 he was appointed deputy chief of the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs (NKID). His sphere of responsibility before 1941 included Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, and Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

, as well as the consulates, cadres, and finances of NKID.

Incorporation of Lithuania into USSR

Soviet military forces crossed the Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

n border on June 15, 1940, with the military of Lithuania
Military of Lithuania
The Lithuanian Armed Forces consist of ~14,500 active personnel . Conscription was ended in September 2008.Lithuania's defence system is based on the concept of "total and unconditional defence" mandated by Lithuania's national Security Strategy...

 being ordered not to resist. Dekanozov arrived on the same day to organise the incorporation of Lithuania into the Soviet Union. The Communist Party of Lithuania
Communist Party of Lithuania
The Communist Party of Lithuania was a communist party in Lithuania, established in early October 1918. The party was banned in December 1926.-History:...

, headed by Antanas Sniečkus
Antanas Snieckus
Antanas Sniečkus was First Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party from August 1940 to January 22, 1974.- Biography :Antanas Sniečkus was born in 1903, in the village of Būbleliai, near Šakiai. During the First World War, his family fled to Russia where he observed the Russian revolution of 1917...

, was at his disposal. The Soviet military established a controlling presence that allowed Dekanozov to fulfill his function as representative of the Communist Party
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

. The process creating the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was Dekanozov's work. He installed himself in the Soviet embassy and imposed on Lithuania the Soviet party-state structure in which the traditional governmental forms were of only secondary importance. Dekanozov restructured the Lithuanian government, naming Justas Paleckis
Justas Paleckis
Justas Paleckis was a Lithuanian journalist and politician. He was acting president of Lithuania after the Soviet invasion while Lithuania was still ostensibly independent, in office from June 17 – August 3, 1940....

, a Lithuanian leftist who was not yet a member of the Communist Party, as Prime Minister.

Aided by specialists for Soviet administration and Soviet security organs sent in from Moscow, Dekanozov worked through the Lithuanian Communist Party, while the cabinet of ministers, headed by Paleckis, served an administrative function. Dekanozov and Paleckis brought a number of non-members of the Communist Party (but still pro-communists) into the first "people’s government", but in retrospect it is clear that they constituted window dressing for the Soviet takeover. For his part, Dekanozov pushed his program carefully, concentrating first of all on denouncing the Smetona
Antanas Smetona
Antanas Smetona was one of the most important Lithuanian political figures between World War I and World War II. He served as the first President of Lithuania from April 4, 1919 to June 19, 1920. He again served as the last President of the country from December 19, 1926 to June 15, 1940, before...

 regime in Lithuania, then promising to respect private property, assuring Lithuanians that agriculture would not be collectivized, and restraining any discussion of the possibility of joining the Soviet Union until mid-July.

On July 6, Dekanozov’s government announced that on July 14 there would be elections for a new parliament, a so-called People's Seimas. The Lithuanian Communist Party announced the formation of the Union of the Toiling People of Lithuania, which offered a slate of candidates, including some ten non-members of the Communist Party, with as many people as there were seats in the new parliament up for election. On July 11 and 12, the Soviet authorities reduced the possible points of opposition by arresting leading figures of the old regime and deporting some of them to the interior of the Soviet Union, although Lithuania was still formally an independent state.

Dekanozov used the Lithuanian government, and the Communist Party of Lithuania, as his instruments to carry out the will of the Soviet party leadership. Throughout the process, Soviet propagandists insisted there was only one acceptable path for the country, and all were obliged to follow it. They concentrated on creating an image of mass support, and they called for determined measures against those who somehow opposed the new order and wanted to sabotage the elections of July 14.

Lithuania became a part of the Stalinist Soviet party-state, administered within the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) structure, long before it was formally incorporated into the governmental structure of the Soviet Union. By the time the new Soviet state structure in Lithuania had been formalized, Dekanozov had long since left Lithuania. In July 1940 he had returned to Moscow, his job completed, when the People's Seimas voted to ask for membership in the USSR. In barely more than a month, he had reorganized the Lithuanian state, set the social and economic development on Lithuania onto a new course, and contributed to the enlargement of the Soviet state. The Sovietisation of Lithuania started by Dekanozov was carried on by Nikolai Pozdniakov.

Work in Berlin

From November 1940 Dekanozov, remaining the deputy chief of NKID, was also the Soviet ambassador to Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

. In September 1943, he made a mysterious visit to Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 that was interpreted by German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop
Joachim von Ribbentrop
Ulrich Friedrich Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop was Foreign Minister of Germany from 1938 until 1945. He was later hanged for war crimes after the Nuremberg Trials.-Early life:...

 as a sign of Soviet interest in making a separate peace
Separate peace
The phrase "separate peace" refers to a nation's agreement to cease military hostilities with another, even though the former country had previously entered into a military alliance with other states that remain at war with the latter country...

 with Germany. Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, however, refused von Ribbentrop's plea that he be allowed to dispatch an envoy to Sweden.

After the Second World War

Dekanozov continued to be the deputy chief of NKID and then of the Foreign Affairs Ministry until 1947. He held other senior positions before being appointed the Interior Minister of Georgian SSR (after Beria became the Interior Minister of the USSR) in April 1953. A close associate of Beria, Dekanozov was arrested in June 1953 and was sentenced to death and shot in December 1953.
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