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Cheka, Russian abbreviation of “Extraordinary Commission for Combatting Counter-Revolution, Speculation, Sabotage, and Misuse of Authority,” the secret police set up by the Bolsheviks in 1917 to eliminate their opponents. Reorganized by Lenin in 1922 and renamed the GPU (State Political Directorate), it was the ancestor of the modern KGB.

See also: KGB.

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov [next] [back] John Cheever

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