Memoires of the NKVD colonel

This article is the english version of the memoires of engineer-colonel Ivan Ivanovich Svetlakov, which have been published here in Polish earlier.

Letter from the Central Archive of the MVD Interior Troops to col. I. I. Svetlakov
First Page of the memoires

A short introduction:
Ivan Ivanovich Svetlakov was born around 1917 and was one of the three children of colonel Ivan Svetlakov, WW1 and Civil War participant, who was awarded Order of the Red Banner. It is possible that this descendancy (Ivan Svetlakov Sr. worked in the OGPU Railway Security Troops after the wars) had a decicive influence on Young Vanya’s career. But let him speak for himself:

I. I. Svetlakov in his school years.

Retired colonel-engineer Svetlakov Ivan Ivanovich

In reply to the letter nr. 8/A-189 of 12.87 from the Central Archive of the Interior Troops,  107150. Moscow City, B-150.

Copy: for the Archives of the  VV MVD  for Ukrainian and Moldovan SSR.

On certain issues. Personal memoires of the armored support of the combat actions of the Interior and Border Troops in the years of the Great Patriotic War on the 2nd Ukrainian Front and of the Chekist-military operations in the Baltic Republics.

Ivan Svetlakov (first to the right) with friends, Evpatoria, 1935.

In 1937 I was called for the military service to the Armored Troops School for the Interior and Border Troops of the NKVD in the city of Leningrad. After finishing the learning course, the headmaster of the school – captain Kovalchuk and chief of staff captain Knyazev asked me in a private conversation, why did I start my military service with a two-year delay. I told them that I had been working in the repair plant nr. 104 as a foreman – head of the department. The chief of staff asked: ‘If it’s not a secret, what was your department’s area of work?’ I told him, that we would repair T-27, T-26 and BT-2, 5 tanks as well as GAZ-AA, AMO-3 and ZIS-5 cars. The chief of Staff replied: ‘Looks like this is exactly what we were looking for.’

Ivan Svetlakov (standing) with his collegues from the platoon

2 or 3 days later, the chief of staff met me personally and put me into a car. I immediately [on arrival] recognized the Lenin factory, called for the head of the department and introduced him to the chief of staff. I had been in the factory few times before on delegations, so I personally knew the head of the department – an engineer 2nd grade. The chief of staff received answers to his questions related to the repair process of T-27 tanks and we went to the Voroshilov Factory, where we also got answers to all questions of interest.

In the next 2-3 days I had to say goodbye to the second platoon of the first squadron [and] with lieutenant Kartashov and captain Yutkin and move to the technical unit of the school.

In accordance with the order, a group was formed in the school in order to control the technical condition of the T-27 tanks. The control revealed a terrible truth. In the pursuit of “jumps” and “record” setting on all the hulls the dented or even cracked bottoms were revealed. The headmaster of the school (predecessor of captain Kovalchuk) was arrested and convicted. The repairs of the T-27 tanks was undertaken by a military workshop and thanks to the repaired generators received from the Lenin Factory, all 110 tanks were restored into working order.

During the winter of 1937-1938 the new batch of BT7-A has arrived and the commanders were retrained to handling the most modern –at that time – tanks. Throughout the summer the technical unit was busy organizing, operating and providing technical support for the new vehicles. In the preparation and servicing of the BT7-A tanks an important role was played by the head of the workshops Fadyeyev, extended service starshina Kavarenskiy and me.

In winter 1938 a group of commanders with mid-grade technical education started to prepare to enroll the institutes. Major Knyazyev – the headmaster of our school and the commissar (whose name I don’t remember) learned about our plans, so they gathered us and read to us a communiqué about the new enrollment in 1939, to the military academies. Major Knyazyev himself wanted to join us, but unfortunately the medical commission did not allow him because of poor health.

The preparations carried at the unit and later, since 15th of August carried at the academies for: Armored Troops, Chemical Defense, Air Force, Communications and Artillery assured enrollment to engineering faculties for Svetlakov, Bykov, Solovev and Guzyeyev. Unfortunately, our fifth colleague, best-prepared of us all, failed the first exam and did not get into the artillery academy. The persistent learning had begun. These years were the most solemn period and at the same time – the hardest years of my life. The end of the education was additionally heated up by the Great Patriotic War.

Kursant I. I. Svetlakov in the Academy, ca. 1938-41

In May 1942 the GUVS NKVD USSR[1] has assigned me to the newly-created Central Automobile Repair Base 3 (TsARB) in the buildings of an evacuated factory that used to produce machines for fur treatment. In TsARB I became acquainted with the newly-created collective, whose members were: the chief – captain Amelin, senior lieutenants Kashin and Gitskiy, Lieutenant Prokhorov and others. With support of engineer 1st degree Mantsvetov, engineer 1st degree Gushchin, Rusakov, Skalattskiy and other workers of the automobile department of the GUVS, we managed to place the equipment, put the technological process to order and master the design capacity in May. As the fronts moved, the role of TsARB would decrease. The need for moving the means of repair closer to the units engaged in the combat operations would became more and more evident.

Jr. lt. Svetlakov, 1941

In May 1944 I was promoted to senior assistant of the chief of the department and in Kiev I was included in the Operational Group under command of colonel A. L. Zareckiy. As members of the operational group we arrived at the HQ of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in the city of Beltsy. The following tasks were given to the operational group:

  1. Make contacts with the proper directorates of the 2nd Ukrainian Front’s HQ, organize undisturbed supply of the NKVD units in supplies, armor equipment, technical repairs, GSM[2] and other technical equipment and materials.
  2. Provide direct help to the unit in the field of transport and other equipment to the new deployment points, carry the control of the technical condition of the equipment. Remove all unusable means of transport from units and take all measures to supply those units with means of transport, GSM reserve and spare parts.
  3. Prepare the arriving newly-formed border regiments in the field of material-technical supply in order to deploy them in the border detachments for further deployment on the border with Romania.

During May 1944 we had managed to make contact with the automobile directorate of the Front and the OSG[3] of the Front and later:

  • Receive automobiles and engines for general overhaul, all the unusable machines were collected and left at the SPAMs[4] of the Front, including those of the arriving border regiments;
  • Aforementioned means of transport treated once with the GSM supply, border regiments prepared for GSM storage and repairs. Measures taken in order to increase transport combat readiness;
  • In connection with equipment of the aforementioned units with new types of automobile transport by the Automobile Directorate of the Front in June-July the preliminary training of the officers in the fields of construction and operation of the Chevrolet, Ford, Studebacker, Dodge 3/4 and Willys vehicles was carried in the 3rd Training Automobile Regiment of the 2nd Ukrainian Front;
  • The reserve of 20 tons of GSM was accumulated in the city of Beltsy in the 20th border regiment, renamed 20th Border Detachment, as well as 19th, 21st and Chernovtsy border regiments.

In the second half of June the operational group was reorganized to be the Moldovan OUVS. The Chief of automobile service major Shalmiyev, captains Tryakin, Butov, lieutenants Popov, Bruyevich and others have arrived. By the end of July the material part of the operational and border units was prepared and treated with the double reserve of the GSM and the border units [were prepared] to relocate to the new places in order to protect the state border.

The preparation of the aforementioned units was being carried on in especially harsh conditions of the 2nd Ukrainian Front during the constant bombardment of the Beltsy railway junction during the relocation of marshal Rotmistrov’s 5th Armor Army.

                August 1944 [saw] successful relocation of the 2nd Ukrainian Front on the Romanian Territory, which has put new tasks ahead of the OUVS in terms of securing the combat operations of the aforementioned units:

  • The border regiments (detachments) were left unsupplied by the 2nd Ukrainian Front, while OUVS – still being at the stage of  organizing itself – was unable to supply the aforementioned units with GSM and means of technical repair. The situation of the Interior Troops units remaining on the territory of the Moldovan SRR was analogical.
  • The aforementioned Interior Troops units operating as the parts of the 2nd Ukrainian Front were cut off from the supply organs – separated by the state border with all the restrictions connected ith the border control. In these issues the automobile department of the OUVS had to undertake two tasks:
  • Organize operation and assure supply of the Armored Troops units with equipment and the GSM, gather mobile means of automobile transport repair and other technical equipment.
  • Continue to provide help to the aforementioned Interior Troops units stationed on the other side of the state border.

To deal with that issue, a group was formed consisting of Colonel Zareckiy, major Shalmiyev S. M., engineer-captain Svetlakov I. I. with the task to maintain contact with the rear of the 2nd Ukrainian Front in terms of supplying the aforementioned Armored Troops units located in the territory of Romania, Hungary as well as on the territory of the Moldovan SRR with equipment, GSM and means of repair. Providing the GSM supply for the aforementioned units in Moldovan SSR was especially complicated. The group would take orders from the automobile directorate and the OSG, distribute them between the aforementioned units dislocated in the 2nd Ukrainian Front and the aforementioned units on the territory of the Moldvan SSR and would carry their fulfillment. In order to do so, major Shalmiyev, captains Tryakin and Butov would form automobile columns of cargo trucks, the formed columns they would take to the border detachments’ KPPs[5], where I would meet them and with the column would go to Ploesti to one of the petrol bases or to “Astroromania” and “Columbia” Works, the column with the loaded cargo I would take to the border post. At the post, the column would be disbanded, the vehicles would go to the assigned units. It would happen sometime that the column would Only have enough fuel to get to the Romanian town of Khushyi (20km from the border) [Town unidentified]. In that cases, the remains of the GSM would be poured into one vehicle, which with the additional cruise would bring fuel from Ploesti, the vehicles would be refueled and we would proceed forward. The analogical cruises for fuel would happen 2-3 times a month.

In one of the cruises to Chişinău stationary equipment and a diesel-powered 40kW main electrical station was delivered. In the first days of September in Chişinău, on the basis of OARM-92[6] it would power-up electricl lightning (the city had no electrical lightning at that time yet). In October new restrictions concerning crossing of the border were implemented and the problem of providing support for the aforementioned units had arisen again on the territory of the Moldovan SSR as well as in Romania and Hungary. In order to solve these problems, by the order of the GUVS NKVD USSR nr. 25/31666 of 24th of October 1944 I was assigned on 4th of November 1944 to Bucharest to the 23rd Brigade of the NKVD Interior Troops. During August, September and October I would constantly be in the 23rd Brigade, from where I had contact with the automobile service directorate and the OSG as well as repair bases of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. After arrival to Bucharest I was briefed on the operational situation and, with exception of a special ordinance, the commander – colonel comrade Aleksyeyev forbade any departures and I was assigned to the operational work, as there was no automobile service chief in the brigade.

In the middle of November, in the allied committee in Bucharest an order was issued to dismantle a repair base that belonged to the Romanian Army before situated in Chişinău, moved together with its civilian workers from the Moldovan SSR to the city of Timashory [Timisoara?]. In May, the commander of the Brigade assigned a junior sergeant and two privates to my assistance and we went to Timashory to dismantle the repair base and move it to Chişinău. In ten days the base was disassemblied and the fact was confirmed by a proper document signed by a Romanian Army commander Flor and the captain of the Moldovan OUVS Svetlakov. This document was handed on to the allied committee.

The equipment was unloaded and the Workers – citizens of the Moldovan SSR were promised employment after carrying a control.

By the decision of the City Council of the Chisinau the buildings, that were earlier occupied by the Romanian  repair base were passed to the Moldovan OUVS, which meant that the equipment was also passed to it.

From the city of Timashory we went to Hungary to the cities of Bekescsaba and Bekesszentezs [the names are more of a guesswork of mine, the transcription to Russian done by Svetlakov was far from perfect], were AVTU [?] and OSG of the 2nd Ukrainian Front were located in order to supply them with GSM, technical support and other automobile equipment.

The orders for automobile and their engine repairs were handed on in the city of Arad, in Ford factory to the representative of the AVTU. For a unit [in Moldovan?] SSR an order was placed for 50 tons of gasoline and the need to transfer it had arised. After returning to the 23rd Brigade and recovering from a strong cold in the sanitary unit I went to Ploesti in order to transport fuel to Chişinău. In Bucharest in Ford factory I managed to get a car thanks to the AVTU representative lt. colonel Butov and colonel Aleksyeyev, having regard on my health condition assigned two drivers at my disposal to drive the car to Chişinău. And thus, on 13th of December my journey has ended.

Captain Svetlakov, 1945

After my arrival to Chişinău, the chief of the UVS comrade Popov appointed me the chief of OARM-92. Having the facilities, equipment brought from Romania, hard-working lieutenants Krokhmal, Smyelyanets, Fadyeyev, Muravchenko, extended servicemen and qualified workers, citizens of our country, with constant help of colonel Popov and major Shalmiyev we have managed to put OARM-92 back to work in a relatively short time and started to provide support to the border and interior units in preparing the technical readiness of the automobile parks and conducting chekist operations.

At the end of December during the meeting hosted by the chief of the OUVS, the deputy unit commanders complained that the kitchens, officer quarters, barracks and HQs freeze with the shortages of combustible material  and that OUVS does not provide heating installations and does not increase the norms of combustible materials (during their withdrawal, the Romanians have dismantled and taken away the heating installations). Colonel Popov pointed his hand at the furnace in his office, where no doors were present. Before I would inform colonel Popov that we have assembled a cast iron furnace and plan to cast thimbles for engine cylinders, which were much in need and the risk of engine repair stop exists, as the works are on hold because of coke shortages.

The chief of the OUVS colonel Popov asked me if I can help anyhow in the current situation. I answered, that yes, provided that we receive coke. I can’t remember which of the deputy commanders promised [and delivered coke] and in a few days the furnace was filled. Second smelt concluded in casting 25 sets of doors for indoor furnaces and flues and the doors had the inscription cast: “OARM-92”. During winter we equipped the furnaces in barracks and officer and employees quarters.

In July 1946 I was called to Moscow – at that time a plan was formed in the automobile directorate of the Guvs MVD USSR to create a group with aim to design 7 plants and up to 10 OARMs and I was intended for this work. As the personnel recruitment delays occurred and not to waste time, I was sent to the TsARB-based, newly-formed central ARZ GUVS MVD SSSR[7] with the task to pick equipment for the plants still waiting to be built (without any project documentation), counting on my experience.

At that time echelons brought equipment captured in Germany to the Aviation Works. The industrial plants of the Ministry of Aviation Industry didn’t have special machines to unload and transport the equipment. The automobile Directorate of the GUVS had a Voroshilovets tractor, 10-ton automobile crane and three 10-ton off-road vehicles. According to the agreement, the Ministry of Aviation Industry would pass 10 machines to GUVS, picked from the echelon on unloading for every echelon unloaded by GUVS. With such machines, in 25-40 minutes it was possible to unload 25-30 railway cars. The aviation works (in the towns of Khimki and Stupino) would avoid fines and we would receive machines we have never dreamed of.  We acquired 500 machines total. I was, under priceless guidance of lt. colonel Karev and colonel Goryachev, responsible for picking and acquiring the equipment.

From 15th of November to the 26th of December 1946 I was, as part of the group of deputy minister Apollonov, sent to Vilnius, where we were (in group consisting of captains Semerikov, Tyutyunnik, Svetlakov and Yemec) given the task to help in the work preparation and carrying of large-scale military-chekist operations. Our group was to provide support and increase combat readiness of the automobile parks of the motor rifle regiments of the UMSD. The group had controlled 5 regiments and started the construction of the ARZ-11.

The chief of the GUVS MVD USSR, while reporting the completed work said that ‘the command of the 4 MSD of the Baltic OUVS MVD has asked for you to be assigned to the Baltic OUVS as a head engineer of the ARZ nr.11. You have examined the situation and you will solve the noticed problems.’

On the 2nd of January 1947 I was sent to the Baltic OUVS to take the post of the head engineer of the ARZ-11. In the automobile department of the OUVS I met again with major Shalmiyev, chief of the ARZ major Amelin and my friends from the Armored Troops Academy – captains Grishin N. M., Melnichkov and Rutkovskiy.

The ARZ was situated in the buildings of the Armored Troops technical school. It’s personnel consisted of a collective of 28 officers, 20 extended servicemen, workforce of 1200 German POWs and a sentry company responsible for guarding the POW camp and the ARZ itself. This team was exceptionally well-integrated. The large part of the machines acquired from the Ministry of Aviation Industry was trasfered to the AR[Z]-11, also the machines, which were, with the help of the POWs recovered from the ruins of Koenigsberg factories were repaired and installed in the mechanical department. The ARZ worked better and better and in September 1947 it provided significant support for the military units of the 2nd, 4th, 5th and the 7th divisions as well as the units stationed in Ukraine.

 In 1949 the production capacity had increased and a decision was made to move the ARZ. By the decision of the Council of Ministers of the USSR the supply of the repair resources was passed to the Ministry of Forest and Paper Industry and the Ministry of Semifabricates.

In 1947 the Interior Troops were subordinated to the MGB and ARZ-11 was subordinated directly to the GUVV[8] and passed to at the disposal of the Baltic OUVS and later – GUVS MGB USRR. Thanks to the nomination of colonel Shub, the work of ARZ-11 and the whole Automobile and Armored service became much easier.

In May 1948 I was appointed the chief of the 1st automobile department of the Baltic OUVS and in August 1950 – chief of the automobile-armor department of the Baltic OUVS of the MGB.

From May 1948 to August 1952 we carried a major reorganization, and only thanks to the organizational skills, virtue and willpower of the colonel Shub V. P. we have managed to implement the following organizational changes without any special problems:

1.By the decision of the command, the POW camp was shut down, the POWs were sent back to Germany and the ARZ-11 remained with no workforce. By the decision of the Council of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR, the vocational school graduates were assigned to the production line. It required a lot of effort to prepare the young workers, providing living conditions for them and recruit the workforce from outside the schools.

2.The reunion of the MVD and the MGB into one ministry created the need of taking over all the means of support for both Border Troops [subordinate to the MVD before] and the Interior Troops and provide them with assistance in terms of repair, organization, operation and servicing of the automobile parks of the military units.

3.The introduction of the new types of vessels in the naval Border Guards units lead to the need for organizing in the 9th and 15th naval squadron and the naval base huge warehouses for the GSM.

For example, the SK “Korshun” required 300 tons of naval mazut and 10 tons of turbine oil for one maintenance cycle, and there were 4 of them. The refueling of a large hunter vessel

12-18 tons of diesel fuel. Small hunters required their gasoline engines to be replaced with diesel ones. The M-50 engine’s maintainance was carried by Leningrad works. The constant need to remove them from the vessels and send them to Leningrad after 20, 30, 50, 150 and so on workhours [was problematic]. An especially difficult issue was the constantly decreasing amount of lubricant. The building of a tank by our own means became a necessity.

4.the creation of a chain of posts equipped with searchlights with overlapping ranges from Kaliningrad to Ventspils required securing the proper territories as well as choice of instruments and spare parts.

5.Disbanding of the Baltic OUVS in August 1952, passing the ARZ-11 to the Ministry of Forest and Paper Industry, liquidation of the district warehouse in Vilnius.

6.Disbanding of a number of Interior Troops regiments and border detachments created the need to rally automobiles, armored vehicles and other equipment in the pre-set points and securing them.

Mjr. Svetlakov, 1952

In April 1954 the Latvian OUVS MVD USSR was disbanded. All the disbandments would bring the problem of employment changes in the officer and extended service personnel. After the work connected with the disbandment of the Latvian OUVS, I was appointed a deputy [commander] of the 36 detachment upon request of the command of the 4th Motor Rifle Division and from September 1955 by the order of GUVV I was appointed a deputy commander of the 105th Motor Rifle Regiment  in Germany, and in November 1955 I was appointed the chief of the automobile service of the MVD Interior Troops in Germany.

Lt. col. Svetlakov, 1955

After I was appointed the chief of the automobile service of the VV MVD in Germany, the Chief of [Interior] troops lieutenant-general comrade Bunkov ordered me to thoroughly examine the state of affairs in the technical units of the regiments in 15-20 days and prepare a report and conclusions.

The control of the condition of the technical services of the regiments revealed the following:

  • Means of automobile transport and other combat machines [were] in operational condition, the KTG[9] exceeds 0,90, external appearance of the automobiles [was] good; technical units and sub-units had the full personnel;
  • Technical services [were] equipped in spare parts, tires, batteries, the reserve of tires and batteries for 2-3 years. Large number of the equipment written off was not disposed of;
  • In the course of operation of and repairs there’s no evident order;
  • In the combat preparations of the personnel insufficient stress is put on march preparations of the automobile columns and railway transport of the machines.
  • The warehouses were in a mess, full of written-off machines, disused devices, parts, including GAZ-AA automobiles, captured trailers, cargo containers, tires, batteries, spare parts and other equipment.
  • Significant excess of spare tires (5-6 times exceeding the norms) for cars, overestimated requests for tires to cargo trucks. overestimated requests for spare parts sent to the GDR government.
  • The training of NCO’s and preliminary driver training in the area of GDR traffic regulations as well as combat training of all the personnel were very good and yet the marching exercises for the transport of a company, battalion, regiment were practically never conducted, more stress was put on individual training. No attention was given to the problem of transferring the motor rifles subunits by the means of railway transport;
  • The contacts between the specialists were not made with the automobile directorates of the Group of Forces in Germany [of the Soviet Army]. Regiment deputy commanders did not participate in the training courses organized by the automobile and armor directorates, even though the deputy commanders for technical affairs were obliged to participate in them.
  • The means of repair of the Group of Forces [in Germany of the Soviet Army] were not used [by the Interior Troops in Germany] and vehicles and engines were repaired by the GDR companies and the bills were all paid in currency.

After having heard the report, the chief of the [Interior] Troops lieutenant-general [Bunkov] ordered the preparations of a plan that will improve the revealed problems, and after firm actions were taken, he personally participated in the next control, in first place checking if the technical services got rid of redundant equipment.

Training courses were conducted at the troops command in all the topics that were not yet practiced and the deputy regiment commanders for technical affairs would participate in the courses organized at the automobile and armor directorates. The vigorous support and help from lieutenant general Bunkov assured the proper preparations to transfer technical means of the Interior Troops from the territory of the GDR.

After the Interior Troops were moved out, the commander of the Group of Forces in the GDR marshal Grechko called for a meeting, on which he praised the well-organized transfer of the [Interior] Troops. The transfer of the vehicles was conducted correctly, he specifically praised the transfer of the vehicles onto the Soviet Railways. He also highly praised the personnel for securing the vehicles on platform cars.

 In March 1957 the Interior Troops were moved out to the territory of the Soviet Union. In April 1957 I was appointed the chief of the automobile service [of the Interior Troops] for Ukrainian and Moldovan SSR.

On the first examination of the condition of the technical services it was noticed that:

1.In all units the technical condition of the vehicles would exceed KTG 0,90 and the fact that the ARZ-5 and ARZ-12 were passed to the  state economy [=ministries responsible for various branches of industry] gradually led to the aging of the automobile parks and the delays in the repair schedules. The process of vehicle repairs would complicate. Regiments’ workshops, with insufficient number of work units, could not handle military repairs. Lack of district repair bases caused the disturbances which were becoming evident.

2.There were no contacts with the automobile and armor services of the [Soviet Army of the] Kiev, Odessa and Carpathian Military Districts. The officers would not participate in the training courses.

3.While the training of drivers and NCO training was well-organized, no attention was given to the preparation of moving automobile columns on company, battalion and regiment levels.

4.With quite good staffing of the automobile services of the convoy regiments and industrial plant security regiments, the technical units of them were organizationally weak.

5.The automobile service of the Directorate of the [Interior] Troops was generally weak. The technical units of the regiments and automobile services had antiquated equipment, in the technical units and automobile services there were practically no officers with higher education.

The arrival of the lieutenant-general Buldovich R. E. and the attention he would give to the problems of the automobile services and technical units of the regiments resulted in taking the following actions in order to improve units’ automobile parks and technical services:

1.Funds were risen and young officers were sent to study at the Military Transport Academy of the Armed Forces. In the first year, 6 young officers were prepared and sent, they all passed the exams and became students of the Academy, in the following years 2-3 officers were prepared a year, who, after fulfilling the perquisites would start their studies in the extramural academies and civilian road transport institutes.

2.The organizational stati of the automobile services were improved and the function of deputy commander for technical affairs were introduced in convoy units and industrial plant security regiments.

3. Organizational status of the command’s automobile service was improved.

4.Modernization of the automobile parks was carried and new vehicles were introduced, especially in operational units.

5.The preparedness of the units’ automobile parks and personnel for conducting columns and marches for the distances of 200-500 km per day was improved.

6.Work was carried in order to re-arming and creation of the automobile parks.

7.In automobile sub-units more attention was given to combat and political training as well as specialist training.

8.10 military units of the militia were formed, the conditions of the automobile parks were set.

Training session for the deputy regiment commanders and Ciefs of Automobile Services of Ukrainian and Moldovan SSRs, Kharkov, 1958. Col. I. Svetlakov – 4th from left, 4th row. At that time he was already the chief of Automobile service for the aforementioned republics.

All the aforementioned actions were taken to improve the way the service and operational work was conducted by the [Interior] Troops and improve their combat readiness.

A wide range of wonderful officers-automobile specialists were gathered in the regiments, and we must not forget the distinguished activity of the regiments’ deputy commanders – lt. colonels: Sivokobylskiy, Dolzhikov, Bulyshev, Polishchuk, Dolgikh, Yemets, Dzhokich, Gurevich, Strazhkin, Belyi, Lepekhin, Pugachev, Antonov, Pashkyevich, Savieliev, Shalamov, Kravchenko; majors: Leontyev, Popov and many more. The successful work of the young officers replacing the old guard is also worth mentioning.

Training of the officers of the Interior Troops of USSR and MSSR, ca. 1960.

Ending my memoires I would like to wish them further successes and above all:

Meeting of the deputy unit commanders and chiefs of automobile services of the VV MVD of the USSR and MSSR. The photograph comes from col. Svetlakov’s collection, but I am unable to identify him here.

1.In terms of perfecting of the technical services and automobile subunits – strengthen the earlier achievements and set the new ones.

2.Because of the fact that ARZs were passed to the state economy take actions in order to create effective means of repair able to assure the repairs of all types of vehicles in every independent regiment.

3.Make full use of our experience from the years of work in the war years and at carrying the military-chekist operations always remember [that] without automobile subunits well-trained it is impossible to assure undisturbed operation of military units.

Presentation of the new technical means on the meeting of VV MVD of the USSR and MSSR unit commanders. Col. Svetlakov – right.


Retired colonel-enineer                                                             Svetlakov I. I.

12 April 1988r.

Translation from Russian by Kamil Szustak

[1] Main Military Construction Directorate of the NKVD.

[2] Goriuchie-Smazochnyje Materialy – Fuel and Lubricant Materials.

[3] Otdel Snabzheniya Goryuchim – Fuel Distribution Department.

[4] Sbornyi Punkt Avariynikh Mashin – Damaged Vehicles Rally Point

[5] Okruzhnaya Avto-Remontnaya Masterskaya – District Automobile Repair Workshop

[6] Kontrolno-Propusknoy Punkt – Border Control Point.

[7] Automobile Repair Plant of the GUVS of the Minstry of Interior Affairs of the USSR.

[8] Glavnoye Uprlevnyenye Vnutryennykh Voysk – Main Directorate of the Interior Troops.

[9] Kozefitsent Tekhnicheskoy Gotovosti – Technical readiness coefficient.

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