Lavrentiy Beria

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Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (1889 - 1953), was a Georgian (more specifically, Mingrelian) and notorious director of the Moscow-based Soviet secret police (NKVD), after first serving as head of the Transcaucasian NKVD. He played a major role in Joseph Stalin’s persecutions and murders, overseeing the trial and execution of his immediate previous boss, Nikolai Yezhov. He was also responsible for the extensions of the Gulag network. After Stalin's death, he was arrested in the Kremlin during Nikita Khrushchev's power struggle.

Amongst the charges levelled against Beria at his show trial in Moscow in 1953, was Beria's suggestion to his assistants that to improve foreign relations it was reasonable to transfer the Kaliningrad Oblast to West Germany, part of Karelia to Finland, the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic to Romania and the Kuril Islands to Japan. He was found guilty and executed in Moscow.

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