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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(literally, guard, watch), in prerevolutionary Russia, a body for protection.

(1) Zemskaia Strazha (Land Guard), a local police force in the Transcaucasus from 1862 and in the Kingdom of Poland from 1866. The Zemskaia Strazha was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior and the governors-general.

(2) Convoy Guard, for the escort of arrestees. The Convoy Guard was designated from among regular troops and special commands, whose number was increased from 63 to 567 in 1886. The Convoy Guard was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior.

(3) Quarantine Guard, in the Black Sea ports, for the prevention of the entry from abroad of people afflicted with infectious diseases; from 1832 such duties were performed by special sub-units in Odessa, Feodosiia, and Kerch’ and by teams of troops in the Caucasus. The Quarantine Guard was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior.

(4) Border Guard, for the protection of borders. The Border Guard was created in 1811 in the form of a cossack frontier guard and civilian customs guard. In 1827 the two were joined together and organized in military fashion, that is, organized into brigades, half-brigades, companies, and detachments; in 1832 they were given the name Border Guard. The Border Guard was recruited from among troops: from 1861 from among recruits, and from 1874 from among draftees. From 1909 it had eight okrugs, 31 brigades, six infantry regiments, and six mounted regiments. It was under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance (seeFRONTIER TROOPS).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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