A police organization of the former Soviet Union. Together with the MGB (Ministry of State Security), it replaced the NKVD (People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs) in 1946. The MVD controlled all police forces and administered forced prison camps. During the last years of Stalin's rule it became a significant factor in the Soviet economy, one of its most notorious chiefs being Lavrenti Beria. The powers of the MGB were extended to supervise and control police agencies throughout the Soviet bloc, and to eliminate all anti-Soviet, anti-communist opposition in the satellite countries. Both agencies were drastically reduced and decentralized between 1953 and 1960, when they were replaced by the KGB.
Subjects: World History.