Historical story

Secrets of the Stalinist elite. How the red executioners had fun

Fresh vegetables, fruits and exotic flowers in the middle of Siberian winter? You're welcome! Private cinemas and travels in tsarist salons? On call. Champagne, caviar, gourmet dishes and excess kilos when everyone is starving? Of course. We present the high life of the Soviet pre-war elite.

After the Bolshevik revolution and the end of the civil war, Russia's society turned upside down. The former elites either fled the country or were simply exterminated and replaced by a new aristocracy under the sign of the hammer and sickle. Simple peasants, workers and Red Guards with revolutionary merits very quickly became omnipotent apparatchiks who like to emphasize their new status with lavish life.

Among these people, the leaders of the infamous WCZK, later transformed pro forma in the OGPU and, finally, in the worst of them all, the NKVD. Agness Mironov will take us to inaccessible oases of Soviet luxury. First a lover, and then the wife of a prominent NKVD activist, Sergei Mironov.

Agnessa Mironov had that gleam in her eye that made her men crave ...

Pruderia? What's that?

Before we get down to business, let's mark one thing. The red elite did not have modesty and prudishness, as if they were trying to make up for everything else (e.g. education).

The function of the head of the political police (OGPU) in Kazakhstan was performed by a certain Vasily Karucki. An overweight widower, abusing alcohol, and a terrible womanizer. Karucki himself did not look for women's company, he had people for it. His helper constantly threatened him with more women.

He won them by asking, threatening, bribing and persuading (depending on the situation). As Mironowa recalls, the head of the local OGPU had a dacha near Alma-Ata, where he organized a bachelor party in a rather specific setting.

I saw some pornographic postcards there, made by some very good French artist, I can't remember by whom. I still remember one of them. Bulgaria, church. Turks have invaded and raped nuns. (Quote from:Mira Jakowienko, "The Wife of the NKVD. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa")

It can be assumed that many Soviet dignitaries traveled in such luxurious conditions. The photo shows one of the carriages of the tsarist train, confiscated after the revolution for the needs of the new government.

Also Mironowa, a beautiful and elegant woman, was supposed to fall victim to the harassment and devote herself to Karucki. In order to facilitate the entire operation, her husband Sierioża was sent on a monthly mission. Meanwhile, Agnessa had no thought of giving in and set out on her journey with him.

Voyage, voyage…

The article is based on the book by Mira Jakowienko “Żona enkawudzisty. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa ”(Znak Horizon 2014)

They traveled around Kazakhstan moving along the railroad tracks with not just anything. Soviet dignitaries traveled comfortably in ... carriages from the times of Tsar Nicholas, upholstered in velvet, heated and comfortable.

The proletarian revolution did not prevent them from enjoying truly imperial luxuries. Ideologically, driving in a wagon with a bedroom and a lounge, furnished with splendor, had nothing to do with the slogans of proletarian equality. It was warm and cozy, though frost crackled outside. The dignitaries were also cared for in those unpleasant moments when they had to leave the convenient warehouse. In the wagon warmth was provided by heating, outside the new aristocracy wore fine furs… confiscated from the old one.

Another time, in the middle of winter, Agnessa went with her "mansion" by train from Siberia to Moscow for shopping . Of course, she had no intention of traveling like an ordinary human.

Sergei Mironov in his office around 1930. It was thanks to his position that Agnessa could lead the life of a "red princess", while at the same time the citizens of the USSR were starving.

Instead, she went to the station manager and asked for a special wagon belonging to her husband to be prepared. On the way, also in terms of food, she did not rely on fate and took a large supply of food prepared by the servants.

The heating was on full blast on the train, and the ladies, dressed quite lightly, fiercely played poker for money to the capital itself. They were so preoccupied that they did not even notice their entry into Moscow, which ended up in hasty packing.

At the same time, in Ukraine and throughout the Soviet Union, millions of people were starving to death, and tens of millions more were vegetating in fear for their lives and any future.

The officials' wives didn't have to worry about anything. When there was a shortage of necessities in the country, they were plagued by a defeat of fertility and they could not decide which luxurious fabrics to make outfits for the new season. After all, their brilliance was supposed to add splendor to husbands! Also, raging hunger, which was killing the poor and gray citizens en masse, was not their problem.

There was plenty of food for party officials and political police officers along with their families.

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You have to eat well to have the strength to catch the enemies of the revolution!

There were no exceptions, even in the middle of the Siberian winter, with several dozen frosts. The red elite was to eat tasty, healthy and plentiful.

The article is based on the book by Mira Jakowienko “Żona enkawudzisty. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa ”(Znak Horizon 2014)

When a delegation from Moscow came to visit Mironów, Agnessa's husband wanted to welcome her with all honors, preferably a sumptuous dinner. The guests barely entered the banquet hall when an unusual sight saw their eyes. Years later, Mironowa recalled:

Sierioża has organized a party in their honor. It's winter and we serve greenhouse vegetables from special greenhouses in Novosibirsk. They all rushed for these vegetables ... and fruit, of course ... (Quote from:Mira Jakowienko, "The Wife of the NKVD. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa")

When winter receded and the vacation season began, Soviet prominent guests would go to the dacha, to the Black Sea resorts, or to special sanatoriums. Agnessa and Sierioża Miron spent their holidays no differently. They traveled to the Black Sea, to Grozny, Tiflis, or Vladikavkaz. On the spot, Mironov met his colleagues from work, and the staff everywhere jumped on him.

In sanatoriums, attempts were made to guess what the "dogs of Stalin" (functionaries of the Soviet system of repression) might want. The tables for them were bending with the fruit ripening in the sun. The bowls were full of mandarins, grapes, sharon and all kinds of imported fruit.

The country is starving, the NKVD is feasting. The privileged red aristocracy did not have to worry about such mundane things as daily bread.

The special Cheka sanatoriums were like a cornucopia with an inexhaustible collection of delicacies. And here, in addition, you had to take care of the line so that the uniform does not tighten too much! Preferably under the care of a doctor who prescribes the appropriate diet and monitored its progress.

Holiday for red executioners

Apart from filling their stomachs with delicious things and regenerating their strength for further ominous work, the vacationed encavourists, staying with their families in sanatoriums, did one more thing. They spent a lot of time with their colleagues. And there was only one rule:don't talk about work. After all, such discussions could turn out to be - literally - deadly.

So that the rest was not limited to taking a nap in the shade of trees, the staff of the centers prepared various attractions for their guests.

November 7th was a holiday. The manager announced that they would soon deliver the cars so that we could go on a picnic in mountains and they will prepare everything for the evening before we return.

We got into the convertibles, and there were already baskets full of all kinds of dishes and win. We went to the fair in Adler, then we bathed in by sea, then we went to mountains, we walked and had a great day. We came back decorated with garlands of cypress branches.

And the festive tables were already set and there were flowers next to each place setting, and the cutlery was supported by bunches of flowers (Quote from:Mira Jakowienko, "The Wife of the NKVD. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa")

Dolce vita in the Soviet way

When the moment of leaving the hospitable thresholds of the resorts finally came, it was necessary to return to everyday life, which in itself was no less fabulous. Mironov, standing high in the hierarchy, had a beautiful villa at his disposal in Novosibirsk, with a huge garden, an open-air stage and a cinema, as well as a 24-hour guard in the form of a policeman guarding the house. And all of this in a country with six million homeless children!

Agnessa and Sierioża Miron. In love and carefree. Unaware of the imminent end of the idyll.

In addition, servants were bustling around the house, trying to guess the wishes of the hosts. Agnessa and Sierioża, like other officials, threw parties, and that had their own cinema room , also screenings, combined with quite unusual catering.

So they bring us cakes, do you know what? Ice cream with hot spirit inside, but you could eat it without getting hot. Just imagine it is dim in the room, and here the blue cake flames are burning. It is true that I did not eat them much, because I kept my body, most of the time I only ate oranges. (Quote from:Mira Jakowienko, "The Wife of the NKVD. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa")

The Miron family with their adopted daughter Agulia in Alma Ata.

The red aristocracy played, danced and lived completely carefree. Of course, all until now. With the successive reshuffles at the top of power, more and more people disappeared.

More than one prominent formerly throwing money and having fun in charming company ended up in prison. He usually ended his epic in three possible ways - in a labor camp, sentenced to years of hard labor, rotting in the depths of a prison cell, or with the sentence of "10 years of a labor camp without the right to correspond". The latter variant was just a nice and rather evasive term for the true end. In fact, it just meant a bullet to the head.


  • Mira Jakowienko, The NKVD's wife. Confession of Agnessa Mironowa , Znak Horyzont, Krakow 2014.