Report No. 13 :

The Murder

On 2 December 1934, 'Pravda' announced that:

Having entered the building, the assassin went up to the second floor and: Then, as Kirov walked along the corridor to his office, the assassin emerged from his hiding place: The murder was premeditated: The assassin was arrested at the scene of the crime: The Assassin

On 3 December 1934, it was announced that:

He: He ultimately got: He: He had developed a single-minded hatred of authority: Nikolayev later admitted that in the period August-November 1934, he had: And it emerged during the investigation that: The Investigation

On the evening of 1 December, a high-level delegation, consisting of three members of the Political Bureau - Stalin, Kliment VOROSHILOV*, Vyacheslav MOLOTOV* - and Andrey ZHDANOV* set out from Moscow to head the investigation into Kirov's murder. Lower-level members of the delegation included Aleksandr KOSAREV*, General Secretary of the Communist Youth League (Komsomol), Genrikh YAGODA* , USSR People's Commissar of Internal Affairs, and Yakov AGRANOV*, Deputy People's Commissar of Internal Affairs. The delegates from Moscow reached Leningrad

It was already apparent that there were several odd circumstances about the murder: While the behaviour of the security police had been even stranger. They: It was discovered that, when Nikolayev visited the Smolny in December 1934 (a few days before Kirov was murdered), his brief-case had been searched and: However, as the defendant Pavel BULANOV* testified at the 1938 treason trial, Zaporozhets had ordered him to be released: Stalin himself interrogated the assassin, Nikolayev. According to Alexander ORLOV* who defected from the Soviet security police in July 1938, when the prisoner was brought from his cell, Stalin asked him: and: The Murder of Borisov (1934)

A vital witness in the case was clearly the head of Kirov's personal bodyguard, a man named BORISOV:

Late in the morning of 2 December, in response to a request from Leningrad NKVD headquarters, Borisov was driven to the Smolny: The Arrest of the Leningrad Security Police Officers (1934)

During the day (2 December):

Yakov Agranov: Kirov's Funeral (1934)

Stalin left Leningrad on 4 December to return to Moscow,

On 4 December 1934: The Anti-Terrorist Legislation (1934)

On the evening of 1 December 1934, the day of Kirov’s murder:

However: The Trial of the Whiteguard Terrorists (1934)

On 4 December 1934:

On 2 January 1935, Ivan MAISKY*, the Soviet Ambassador in London, responding on 2 January 1935 to representations on these cases, declared: It was not suggested that the terrorists involved in these cases were involved in the murder of Kirov. As J. Arch Getty comments: The 'Leningrad Terrorist Centre'

(1934) Yakov Agranov, as temporary head of the Leningrad NKVD:

In fact: Further investigation established that: and that the Kotolnyov group: On 22 December 1934, Nikolayev, Kotolnyov and 12 other people: On 22 December 1934, the NKVD announced that: The indictment in the case of the 'Leningrad Centre', published on 27 December 1934, named Ivan Kotolnyov as among: The Arrests of Members of the Moscow Terrorist Centre (1934)

Ivan BAKAYEV*, Zinoviev's former Leningrad security police chief, and Grigory YEVDOKIMOV*, Kirov's predecessor as Leningrad 1st Secretsry, were:

Grigory Zinoviev and Lev KAMENEV* and five of their associates were: But on 23 December it was announced that: Their cases had: The Trial of the 'Leningrad Terrorist Centre' (1935)

On 28-29 December 1934, the trial took place of Nikolayev, Kotolnyov and 10 other defendants accused of conspiracy to murder Kirov:

The First Trial of Kamenev and Zinoviev (1935)

In January 1935 it was announced that further investigation had produced:

relating to the activities of Kamenev, Yevdokimov, Zinoviev and others, and on 13 January they were indicted as members of the: It was admitted that the further investigation had: nevertheless, said the indictment, the facts proved: and so: From 15 to 16 January 1935, the first trial of Kamenev, Zinoviev, Yevdokimov, Bakayev and 15 other defendants took place in Leningrad in camera before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court.

The defendant Yevdokimov admitted in court:

A summary of the trial was published in 'Pravda': In short, at the trial, Kamenev and Zinoviev: The accused were found guilty. Zinoviev and three minor figures were sentenced: Most of the others were sentenced: while Kamenev and two other defendants were sentenced to five years as: In addition: The Trial of the Leningrad Security Police Officials (1935)

On 23 January 1935,

The 12 defendants, who included the head of the Leningrad NKVD Filip MEJDVED and his two deputies Ivan Zaporozhets and Fedor FOMIN, were charged with varying degrees of: and were sentenced to terms of imprisonment of between ten and three years. (Robert Conquest (1989): op. cit.; p. 70).

The convicted police officials were in fact treated very leniently:

The Second Trial of Kamenev (1935)

The Yenukidze Affair (see Report No. 12) in the summer of 1935, involved:

He was: The Trial of the Trotskyite-Zinovievite Terrorist Centre (1936)
In the late spring of 1936: The Indictment: The seven principal defendants were: and there were ten minor defendants, making 16 in all. ('Report' (1936): op. cit.; p. 38-39).

Leon TROTSKY and his son Leon SEDOV* were indicted in absentia:

14 of the defendants (including all the major figures except Ivan Smirnov): Smirnov and one of the minor defendants denied: The defendant Sergei Mrachovsky testified that at the end of 1932, a unified terrorist bloc was formed between the Trotskyites and the Zinovievites and: The defendants Grigory Zinoviev, Grigory Yevdokimov and Lev Kamenev admitted that Kirov's murder had been organised by this unified Trotskyite-Zinovievite terrorist centre: Both Grigory Yevdokimov and Grigory Zinoviev admitted that they had lied at their previous trial in January 1935 when they had denied involvement in planning Kirov's assassination: Defendant Ivan Bakayev admitted conspiring with the assassin, Leonid Nikolayev, to murder Kirov: The defendants waived their right to speeches in their defence, but made their last pleas to the court, as follows: All 16 accused were found guilty and sentenced: "to be shot". ('Report' (1936): ibid.; p. 180);
On 25 August 1936: The 1937 Treason Trial (1937)

At the second public treason trial in January 1937:

At this trial, But Yuri Pyatakov and Karl Radek testified that in July 1935, after the murder of Kirov, this 'Reserve Centre' has discussed the question of multiple assassinations of the Party leadership as a whole: The 1938 Treason Trial (1938)

In February 1937:

and the 1938 treason trial, like those of 1936 and 1937 held in public, From the point of view of the Kirov murder: It was now revealed that Cenrikh Yagoda, who had held the post of People's Commissar for Internal Affairs (in charge of the NKVD) from July 1934 to September 1936, had been a leading member of the conspiracy. Yagoda's secretary, Pavel Bulanov, testified that: Yagoda himself confirmed that, on orders from Avel Yenukidze, the Secretary of the Central Executive Committee and a member of the conspiracy, he had instructed Zaporozhets to facilitate the assassination of Kirov by Nikolayev: Bulanov also testified that Yagoda and Zaporozhets had arranged the murder of Kirov's bodyguard, Borisov: and explained the privileged treatment accorded to the convicted security police officials as having been ordered by Yagoda: The 20th Congress of the CPSU (1956)

In his secret speech to the 20th Congress of the CPSU in February 1956, the revisionist First Secretary of the CPSU Nikita KHRUSHCHEV* recounted a garbled version of the murder of Kirov in such a way as to imply that Stalin had been responsible for organising it:

Even Robert Conquest*, who maintains that: feels compelled to admit that: The 22nd Congress of the CPSU (1961)

In October 1961, at the 22nd Congress of the CPSU, Khrushchev again referred (this time publicly) to 'suspicious' features of the murder of Kirov:

    As Robert Conquest comments:     However, although no direct accusation was made, the implication of Khrushchev's diatribe was that:     and that these were headed by Stalin.     that Stalin had organised the murder of Kirov.     In 1956-57 the Politburo of the Central Committe of the Party set up a Commission of Inquiry into the murder of Kirov:     However, one must presume that it proved impossible to reconcile the draft report with hypothesis desired by the revisionist leaders -- that Stalin had master-minded Kirov's murder -- for     In addition to the Commission of the 1950s, there were     In 1989 a further Commission -- the YAKOVLEV* Commission -- was organised, charged with filling the 'gaps' left by the earlier inquiries:     True, Olga Shatunovskaia:     And yet:     The myth that Stalin masterminded the murder of Kirov first appeared in the West in 1953 as a propaganda weapon in the 'Cold War':     The usual motive attached to the myth was that Kirov was a 'moderate' political opponent of Stalin:     On Orlov, the revisionist historian Roy MEDVEDEV* writes:     while BUKHARIN*'s widow Anna LARINA* writes of Nikolaevsky:     In fact, most historians agree that there is no evidence that Kirov was a 'moderate' or had any political differences with Stalin:     Indeed, documents recently released with the intention of charging Stalin with organising Kirov's murder have, paradoxically, tended to establish his non-involvement:     And other anti-Soviet defectors agree. For example, Grigory TOLKAEV*     while Genrikh LIUSHKOV*