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Vasily Blokhin, History’s Most Notorious Killer

Ravi loves writing within the realm of relationships, history, and the bizarre—where boundaries are blurred and possibilities are immense.

Vasili Blokhin  was arguably the most prolific executioner in modern history.

Vasili Blokhin was arguably the most prolific executioner in modern history.

The Man Who Enjoyed Killing

I am sure anybody who knows a bit about Soviet history would have heard about Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria.

Beria was the longest-surviving and the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD). The responsibility of the NKVD was to ensure the internal security of the Soviet Union and it systematically did so through massive political repression, authorized murders of many thousands of politicians and citizens, kidnappings, assassinations, and mass deportations.

And besides being the "ambassador of death," not many know that Beria was also a serial rapist. Every day, Beria would drive in his armored Packard limousine slowly through the streets of Moscow, looking for girls who could fulfill his lust.

Once he zeroed in on a girl, his henchmen would escort her to his mansion where food and wine would be set up for the night. There, in his soundproof bedroom, he would rape her throughout the night.

After the rape, she would be given a bouquet and instructed never to speak about it. If she protested, she was arrested and sent to the Lubyanka, one of the most infamous buildings in the USSR. Beria was a serial rapist who abused the state apparatus for his personal benefit.

And on those rare occasions when a girl managed to escape his mansion, Beria would simply call his most trusted henchman to do what was needed. The trusted henchman would ensure that she disappeared from the face of the Earth.

The henchman was Vasili Blokhin and he was arguably the most prolific executioner in modern history. Blokhin not only oversaw mass executions but is said to have personally killed more than 7,000 people, though others contend the number may be as high as 15,000.

Beria was the longest-surviving and the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).

Beria was the longest-surviving and the most influential of Stalin's secret police chiefs of the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD).

The Story of Vasily Blokhin

Blokhin was born in 1895 into a peasant family. He started his career as a non-commissioned officer in the 82nd Infantry Regiment with the Russian Czarist Army and in 1921, he joined the Cheka, the political police created by Lenin to persecute, torture, and execute all kinds of dissidents.

Here, with his remarkable killing abilities, he caught the attention of Stalin, who asked him to lead the ‘Kommandatura’, a small section of the Executive Administrative Department of the NKVD responsible for intimidation and murder.

Blokhin’s moment of nationwide fame came with the Katyn massacre. The gruesome mass executions, initiated by Beria on orders of Stalin, claimed the lives of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia. The massacre is named after the Katyn, where Nazis first discovered the mass graves.

Blokhin was charged with carrying out the brutal operation and he did so with great planning and precision.

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The responsibility of the NKVD was to ensure the internal security of the Soviet Union and it systematically ensured it through massive political repression and authorized murders of many thousands of politicians and citizens.

The responsibility of the NKVD was to ensure the internal security of the Soviet Union and it systematically ensured it through massive political repression and authorized murders of many thousands of politicians and citizens.

One Execution Every Two Minutes

Blokhin procured large quantities of German Walther pistols, which he preferred over the Soviet Tokarev TT-30 that he believed to be inferior for such operations. He killed two birds with one stone doing this; the pistols were not only effective and comfortable, but later on, if the crimes were discovered, the Soviets could deny any involvement and blame the German Gestapo.

He set an ambitious target of 300 executions per night. The killings were carried out in 10-hour shifts for 28 nights, at a rate of one execution every two minutes. He engineered an efficient killing system in which every prisoner was led individually into a small, red room called ‘Leninist room’.

The room was specially designed with padded soundproofed walls, a sloping concrete floor with a drain and hose, and a log wall for the prisoners to stand against. Inside the room, Blokhin would be waiting along with the NKVD guards, dressed like a self-styled executioner in a long leather apron, brown leather gloves, and a brown leather hat.

The guards held the prisoner down as Blokhin would shoot him expertly at the base of the skull with his Walther Model 2 pistol in such a way that less blood spilled out. The corpse would then be removed through another door and dumped into a common grave. At the end of the night, Blokhin provided vodka to all his men to ‘celebrate’ the success.

Blokhin personally executed more than 7,000 Polish officers, thus becoming the greatest executioner in history.

Blokhin’s moment of nationwide fame came with the Katyn massacre. The gruesome killings were initiated by Beria on orders of Stalin in which a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia were carried out.

Blokhin’s moment of nationwide fame came with the Katyn massacre. The gruesome killings were initiated by Beria on orders of Stalin in which a series of mass executions of nearly 22,000 Polish military officers and intelligentsia were carried out.

The Downfall of Blokhin

The executioner of the NKVD became a hero of the Soviet Union. In addition to other awards, he received the Order of Lenin, the highest civil decoration furnished by the USSR, and the Order of the Patriotic War of 1st class, along with a generous pension of 3,150 rubles—in a country where the average salary was 700 rubles.

Blokhin’s fortunes changed after the death of Stalin, when Nikita Khrushchev came to power condemning all the brutal policies of Stalin. Blokhin was stripped of his rank, eight of his decorations, and his pension. Blokhin could not bear the humiliation heaped on him and gradually sank into insanity and alcoholism.

He died in 1955. The official reason given was myocardial infarction. However, many people believe that he committed suicide using his own Walther pistol. He was buried in the Muscovite cemetery of Novodevichy and to this day, his portrait continues to adorn the walls of the cemetery as a national hero.

The most brutal perpetrator of the Katyn massacre is still unpunished to this day.

Blokhin is buried in the Muscovite cemetery of Novodevichy and to this day his portrait along with several others in his team continues to adorn the walls of the cemetery as national heroes.

Blokhin is buried in the Muscovite cemetery of Novodevichy and to this day his portrait along with several others in his team continues to adorn the walls of the cemetery as national heroes.

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2021 Ravi Rajan

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