On December 20th 1917, the first Soviet security organisation, Cheka, was founded. While the KGB is the stereotypical Soviet secret police in modern society, the Cheka were the first of its kind, created by Lenin in 1917 in order to stabilise Russian society after the Bolshevik Revolution and the dismantling of the Russian monarchy.
Cheka’s full translated name is “All-Russian Extraordinary Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage.” The organisation was originally led by Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, a Polish Communist revolutionary who spent the majority of the twenty years previous to the Bolshevik Revolution in various prisons. Apart from being a leader of the Cheka, he is also known for several scientific advancements, among them a Soviet camera known as “FED.”
While not necessarily secret in its functioning, the Cheka were methodical and sought out bourgeois members of post-Bolshevik Russian society. Many were found guilty without proper trials, and the Chekas performed many mass arrests, imprisonments and even executions of those considered to be a threat to society.