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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(full name, Okhrannoe Otdelenie, Protection Department; prior to 1903, Department for the Protection of Public Security and Order), in tsarist Russia, a local agency of political investigation under the jurisdiction of the Police Department. The first Okhranki were established in St. Petersburg in 1866 and in Moscow and Warsaw in 1880. By 1914 there were 26 such agencies operating in provinces or oblasts. Between 1906 and 1914, there were ten regional Okhranki, each coordinating the work of Okhranki and provincial police administrations in several provinces. The Odessa regional Okhranka, for example, controlled three provinces, and the Moscow regional Okhranka, 12 provinces.

The Okhranka’s main function was to investigate revolutionary organizations and individual revolutionaries. Arrests and further investigations were carried out by the provincial police on the basis of material gathered by the Okhranki. The Okhranki had a large group of special agents—both detectives for “external observation” and secret agents “in the investigated milieu,” including informants and agents provocateurs who worked in revolutionary organizations. The main part of the Okhranka was the general office, which was subdivided into several “desks,” each having a separate function. From the late 19th century, the seven major Okhranki (St. Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw, Kiev, Odessa, Kharkov, and Tbilisi) had secret censorship departments at post offices, called black offices, which opened and inspected correspondence. The Moscow Okhranka claimed to be the organizer of political investigation for all Russia and the “methodological” center for political investigation. The Okhranki of the two capitals had special groups of detectives (the “flying” detachment in Moscow from 1897 and the “central” detachment in St. Petersburg from 1906) which operated throughout Russia, as well as special registration bureaus to verify the loyalty of all newcomers to the capital. The Okhranki were abolished after the February Revolution of 1917.


Eroshkin, N. P. Istoriia gosudarstvennykh uchrezhdenii dorevoliutsionnoi Rossii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This monograph conveys nicely the Okhrana's almost "feverish desperation" to combat the "great emigre threat" (56) it had perceived, at least until the emergence of more organized political parties inside Russia caused the government and the police organs to rethink the degree of relative threat to the Imperial state.
Since forming the first Foreign Bureau of the czarist secret police, Okhrana, in 1883, Russia has pursued its foreign policy objectives through subversion.
It was not just the tsarist Okhrana, a secret police force, who behaved in this way.
For statistics for 1980, see Gosudarstvennyi komitet SSSR po statistike, Okhrana zdorov 'ia v SSSR: Statisticheskii sbomik (Moscow: Finansy i statistika, 1990), 203.
The Russian secret service has been active in London since the Tsarist Okhrana hunted dissidents in the East End in the 1870s.
Synopsis: Major General Konstantin Ivanovich Globachev was chief of the Okhrana, the Tsarist secret police, in Petrograd (now St.
They even managed to hold periodic meetings abroad that those sought by the czar's secret police, the Okhrana, attended.
Bobachev, "Electron tomography with standard electro complexes, exploration and protection of mineral resources," Razvedka i Okhrana Nedr, vol.
The communist Okhrana picked them up one by one ...
In three breathtaking days of pogroms and horrific violence, the Okhrana, the Tsar's secret police, chase a motherless 17-year-old across the steppes of 1881 Russia.
Didukh, Y.P.--1992--Rastitelny pokrov Gornogo Kryma (struktura, dinamika, evolyutsyya, okhrana) (Vegetation cover of the Gorny Krym (structure, dynamics, evolution, protection)--Naukova Dumka, Kyiv.