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Spotted this picture of a Korovin in the KGB's Museum in Moscow. Korovin is strongly identified with NKVD and KGB, but I have never seen any specific accounts.
Any board members who can help in the translation?
 

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Spotted this picture of a Korovin in the KGB's Museum in Moscow. Korovin is strongly identified with NKVD and KGB, but I have never seen any specific accounts.
Any board members who can help in the translation?
Let me try... It says "6.35mm Korovin pistol, model of 1926. This piece was awarded to the commander of a communistic regiment Govorov I. E. for liquidation of guerrilla bands in 1930".

Judging by the time period (late 20th), it's probably the organized crime units Comrade Govorov was fighting, not political enemies of the regime... ;)
 

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Doesn't say guerilla bands -- just band. This is stretching my Russian a bit, but the word "bandeet" means "bandit" in much the same sense as in English. It makes sense that "Band" would then mean criminal gang. In Russian, adding "eek" to the end of a noun generally makes it into a male individual that is defined by belonging to that noun -- so -- the words Bandeet probably fell into acceptance as an intuitively close match on that same pattern with Band. Hmmm. Dunno. Don't have the time to dig for that one. Good luck. Thanks for posting the photo. And yeah -- to those who aren't familiar with this phenomenon -- the Soviets did present very small numbers of pistols to highly trusted individuals as tokens of appreciation for high service. There was also some limited availability of accurate high power rifles out in the hinterlands, by the way. It's important to understand this. It's important to understand that the Soviets were able to run a terror state without entirely doing away with private firearms ownership. Double barreled 12 gauge shotguns (and other smaller gauges) were relatively common in civilian posession, for example. One had to complete a year-long hunter's course to get a purchase permit for those long guns. I don't think they were terribly expensive. Quality was good -- about like you'd expect from a working man's double gun back in the 1940s or 50s here in the US. I don't remember there being any limit on number of purchases. I know that by the early 1990s they were often transferred or sold between individuals. Only special stores sold them, and the one I visited had very sparse offerings. Kinda like -- which gauge and double or single. You might get a choice between exposed or internal hammers. I'm sure all of this regulation was sold as "reasonable" restriction. It was far more relaxed than current gun laws in the U.K. And while those guns made excellent crime weapons -- especially against an almost entirely disarmed public -- they were of no tactical consequence to the Communist Party. The Party really didn't care much about the lives of a few police officers anyway. The point would simply have been to guarantee that the general public did not have access to the types and quantities of guns necessary to take power away from the State. And this, of course, is why we're not supposed to let anyone infringe on the second ammendment. The founding fathers of US government had already had quite a rough time trying to get American armaments on par with the British. They would have known that restricting publicly held guns to some set of downgraded designs or getting a chokehold on ammunition or taxing guns out of the reach of most people were possible dictatorial tactics. Anyway. I'll step off my soap box now (if anyone's even slogged though all of this post).
 

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While I agree with you on the general meaning of the word "bandit", in this context it can mean two different things, I guess. Either a member of a criminal gang or, nore probably, a guerrilla resistance member in Turkestan, Caucasus or Siberia, for example. The Civil War was officially over in 1922, although some resistance still existed in Turkestan well into the 30s, in Caucasus -- until 1924 and in Siberia -- up to 1928. Communists generally referred to these guerrilla forces as "bands", although in reality they were somewhere in the middle between criminal gangs and political resistance forces, like mojahedin in Afghanistan...

Given the circumstances of Comrade Govorov receiving his award, I would guess he got it for fighting this kind of "bandits", not criminal gang members, being a regular army commander and all that... But it's just a guess. :)
 

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hmm, 1930's - most likely these were anti collectivization elements that often would form small bands back then. Turkestan bands were more or less organized force and were always referred to as basmachi, i've seen several awards including engraved shashkas, pistols, and time pieces that will mention - "for participation in elimination of basmachi" or "for the fighting against basmachi", etc.
For the fight against criminal bands - awards would usually say - " for the fight with (or against) banditism"
But then of course there are really no rules on that and the actual text - is the decision of local authority.

BTW, commander of the communist detachment in this case has nothing to do with the regular army. These paramilitary formations were something of a militia forces like ChON and were directed initially by Central Party Committee and specifically by VChK, then by GPU, OGPU, and lately NKVD.

Cheers,

Me.
 
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