Decree on Establishment of the Extraordinary Commission to Fight Counter-Revolution

Written: December 7/20, 1917
First Published: Pravda, No. 290, December 18, 1927, p. 2.
Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, The Bolshevik revolution, 1917-1918: Documents and materials, Stanford University Press; London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934, pp. 297-298.
Translated: Emanuel Aronsberg
Transcription/Markup: Zdravko Saveski
Online Version: 2017

The Commission is to be named the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission and is to be attached to the Soviet of People's Commissars.[1] [This commission] is to make war on counter-revolution and sabotage ....

The duties of the Commission will be:

1. To persecute and break up all acts of counter-revolution and sabotage all over Russia, no matter what their origin.

2. To bring before the Revolutionary Tribunal all counter-revolutionists and saboteurs and to work out a plan for fighting them.

3. To make preliminary investigation only-enough to break up [the counter-revolutionary act]. The Commission is to be divided into sections: (a) the information [section], (b) the organization section (in charge of organizing the fight against counter-revolution all over Russia) with branches, and (c) the fighting section.

The Commission will be formed tomorrow ..... The Commission is to watch the press, saboteurs, strikers, and the Socialist-Revolutionists of the Right. Measures [to be taken against these counter-revolutionists are] confiscation, confinement, deprivation of [food] cards, publication of the names of the enemies of the people, etc.


[1] This commission will be referred to as the Cheka, which is the Russian abbreviation of Chrezvychainaia Komissiia. The commission was also known as Chrezvychaika.