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The Cheka (ЧК - чрезвыча́йная коми́ссия Chrezvychaynaya Komissiya, Extraordinary Commission Russian pronunciation: [tɕɛ.ˈka]) was the first of a succession of Soviet state security organizations. It was created by a decree issued on December 20, 1917, by Vladimir Lenin and subsequently led by aristocrat turned communist Felix Dzerzhinsky. After 1922, the Cheka underwent a series of reorganizations into bodies whose members continued to be referred to as "Chekisty" (Chekists) into the late 1980s. From its f...

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