Lavrentiy Beria

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Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria (or Beriya; Georgian: ლავრენტი პავლეს ძე ბერია, Lavrenti Pavles dze Béria; Russian: Лаврентий Павлович Бéрия; born on 29 March 1899) is a Georgian politician and the current Chairman of the Central Committee of the Menshevik Party of Georgia.

Early Life

Beria was born in Merkheuli, near Sukhum, in the Sukhum district of Kutaisi governorate of modern Georgia (then part of Imperial Russia). He was a member of the Georgian Mingrelian ethnic group and grew up in a Georgian Orthodox family. Beria was educated at a technical school in Sukhumi and joined the Bolsheviks in March 1917 while an engineering student in Baku.

Political Career

In 1919, Beria worked in the security service of the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. In 1920, Beria joined the Cheka - the original Bolshevik secret police. Georgia declared neutrality in the Russian Civil War and was recognized by the White Forces whereas the Red Army were too busy fighting in the war to threaten its existence. In 1921, a Bolshevik revolt took place in the Menshevik-controlled Democratic Republic of Georgia, but was quickly controlled. Beria decided to join the Mensheviks and his assistance was very useful in overpowering the revolt.

From there on, Beria started to climb the political ladder, gaining more and more support. He was appointed Secretary of the Menshevik Party of Georgia in 1931. From his position he strengthened the power of the state and pushed for industrialization and the creation of a massive bureaucratic administration that, according to him, was needed to keep the control of the country. All real power is now concentrated in the hands of the Supreme Economic Council, which is said to be almost completely under the control of Beria.

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