Articles

Знак “Сельский исполнитель”

“Rural Executive” Badge

Institution of rural executives, who in fact were compulsory police helpers, was based on experience of local authorities of Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) of involvement of peasantry in assistance to police. Thus, as early as the beginning of the 1920s numerous rural settlements raised night watch squads that assisted local police stations in combating thieves, burglars, horse stealers, hooligans and other criminals. In various regions of the country Soviets of settlements initiated creation of public order squads, prototype of institution of rural executives. That practice flourished in Siberia, where elective rural executives were appointed by local Soviets of settlements. They carried out orders of the Soviet of settlement chairman aimed at implementation of decrees issued by superior executive committees and regulating governance; protection of revolutionary order and suppressing criminal activities; combating illicit trade and illicit distilling; enforcement of established taxes; detection of unrecorded objects of taxation, etc. 

It’s worth being mentioned here that maintaining public order in rural areas inherited challenges and problems caused by insufficient staffing level of local police. Thus, in 1921 All-Russian Central Executive Committee assigned three policemen only to each rural district and fifteen officers to chief town of a district.

Institution of rural executives was officially introduced by the Decree No.266 of March 27, 1924 issued by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR, the highest government authority of executive power, “in order to assist Soviets of settlements in successful and timely realization of tasks aimed at maintaining public order, personal and property security of citizens, improvement and development of social performance”.

Institution of rural executives as “an organizational form of working peasantry in maintaining of public order” grew into auxiliary law enforcement structure in rural areas, akin to institution of “temporary district police officers” in a situation of a critical shortage of qualified personnel in the ranks of the Workers’ and Peasant’ Police in the early 1920s. As for the then police manpower, situation kept on deteriorating, both quantitatively and qualitatively. People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) pointed out with regret that “numerous documented cases of crimes – embezzlements of funds, briberies, secretions of illicitly distilled vodka, and even thefts and armed robberies – were committed by policemen who tried to create conditions for their normal existence”. Failure to issue uniforms, rations and living allowances was common practice almost everywhere.

In order to retain at least part of qualified personnel, local authorities initiated staff reductions, thus increasing salaries of remaining officers. By September 01, 1923 RSFSR police personnel numbered 74,240 operatives and 18,056 administrative officials; by May 01, 1924 – 52,690 and 14,649, respectively; by January 01, 1926 – 39,842 and 9,011; by January 01, 1927 г. – 36,208 and 6,105. Quantity of criminal investigation personnel reduced from 10,500 by May 01, 1923 to 5,151 by October 01, 1925. Come 1929, they numbered 4,722 men only.

At the same time such potential source of additional qualified staff as recruitment of former Tsarist police officers was hardly used due to highly politicized approach to that issue. Thus, according to regulations adopted in 1922, former police and gendarmerie officers were allowed to get a job in the Soviet police provided they had their citizenship rights reinstated. However, particular attention was given to take upmost caution in reinstating rights of such individuals as “each mistake in that regard would discredit Soviet government with vast masses of workers. Therefore, only those former Tsarist police officers who have their citizenship rights reinstated according to the Decree of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, could be accepted to more or less important Soviet service”. As a result of those sentiments, recruitment of former professionals gave way to their identification and expulsion from internal affairs agencies. Ultimately, total number of Tsarist-era police officers was negligibly small. Thus, by October 01, 1924, criminal investigation units of 43 provinces and regions of the RSFSR numbered 79 former policemen only, equal to 1,7 per cent of a total manpower. Employees of the Tsarist police made up 1 per cent of top officials; 1,7 per cent of Criminal investigation inspectors and agents; 1,4 per cent of office workers. However, they made up 3 per cent of auxiliary personnel, e.g. watchmen, delivery men, street cleaners, etc.

Among the attempts made to overcome that impasse were revision of legal status of police and involvement of workers in maintaining public order either on a voluntary basis or through compulsory service. 

The need to respond to country-wide high incidence of crime also played an important part in introduction of institution of rural executives.

The very first document regulating rights and obligations of rural executives was Instruction No.103 “On Appointment and Functions of Rural Executives” dated May 14, 1924. It was approved by the Order of the Central Executive Department of the NKVD of the RSFSR, the same authority that would institute the badge in question in two and a half years (see below). Text of that Instruction appeared in confidential departmental publication, “NKVD Bulletin” No.17, 1924. 

Responsibilities of rural executives determined by the founding document were quite broad:

“- Supervision of order within borders of surveyed territory and adoption of measures aimed at restoration of violated order;
- Protection of state and public property as well as valuable items dispatched by state and public agencies;
- Convoy and escort to local Soviet of the settlement of those detained by police personnel or authorized public officers;
- Announcement of orders issued by lawful authorities to rural population;
- Surveillance of strangers entering settlement; checking of documents, where appropriate;
- Assisting on monitoring law and order in markets and fairs;
- Secret surveillance of those suspected of committing crimes who were not arrested due to insufficient evidence in support of charges, with further reporting to local Soviet of the settlement and police station;
- Reporting to local Soviet of the settlement or police station on all the crimes committed or accidents, adoption of measures aimed at seizure of criminals, protection of vestiges of a crime;
- Reporting to local Soviet of the settlement and police station on appearance of deserters, horse stealers, thieves, burglars; on detected cases of illicit distilling; on detection of stray cattle;
- Reporting to local Soviet of the settlement on all the cases of epidemic diseases and livestock diseases in the settlement;
- Detecting acts of deforestation; damage caused to fields, meadows and gardens by grazing cattle; submittal of written or verbal reports to local Soviet of the settlement and police station whenever such violations were exposed”. 

It’s worth mentioning here that escorting of detained was entrusted to those rural executives who have proven their worth in handling of weapons only.

Every four months district police chief organized meetings with representatives of small rural districts who expected to take over duties of rural executives and familiarized them with their future responsibilities. However, it would be a mistake to conclude that rural executives were totally subordinated to law enforcement agency. On the contrary, they have been placed under the jurisdiction of the local Soviet of the settlement and were held responsible to it for all their activities.

NKVD of the RSFSR subsequently issued several instructions specifying conditions of appointment and responsibilities of rural executives, thus altering provisions of the afore-mentioned Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 27, 1924.

Thus, Instruction of NKVD of the RSFSR adopted in 1927 listed duties of rural executives as follows.

- Assisting police in maintaining public order and crime control;
- Guarding of crime scenes upon detection of such up to arrival of policemen;
- Escorting of detained and arrested to the nearest police station;
- Informing police and Soviet of the settlement on appearance of criminals, suspect and deserters in the settlement; on detected cases of storage and dealing in home-distilled vodka;
- Assistance to public officers in the line of their duties;
- Monitoring order in markets and fairs;
- Monitoring cleanness and sanitary state of the settlement as well as monitoring condition of country roads;
- Reporting to local Soviet of the settlement on all the cases of epidemic diseases or epizooty in the settlement;
- Assisting sick villagers, victims of crime or natural diseases, accident victims, as well as those who need assistance;
- Receiving and sending mail of the local Soviet of the settlement in case the latter don’t have a full-time postman or letter carrier;
- Announcement of orders issued by government bodies by means of notification during gatherings, congresses and meetings as well as by putting up orders in specially designated places.

In September 1926 NKVD of the RSFSR hold special meeting that decided “to urge trade unions and other public organizations to assist in combating hooliganism; to raise the question with the Soviets of the cities of formation of Public order commissions within factories; focus rural executives, street cleaners and watchmen on fight with hooliganism; authorize police officers to involve citizens into arrest of resisting hooligans and drunks”.

On June 25, 1927 Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR issued Decree “On Extracurricular Activities to Combat Hooliganism”. The document suggested Councils of People’s Commissars of the autonomous republics, Executive Committees of regions, areas and provinces to safeguard public order “in places of cities and rural settlements where open air events and games take place, ...carrying out these law enforcement activities on their own initiative”.

Echoing sentiments of law enforcement agency, All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), or VKP(b) declared stepped-up campaign to combat hooliganism aimed at reducing terms of eradication of hooliganism outbreak and at improving the effectiveness of police in restoring public order. Soviet community was assigned an important part in realization of that immense task. Thus, resolution of the XV Congress of the VKP(b) that was held during December 2-19, 1927 in Moscow stressed that “all proletarian public organizations must be involved in that work”. As for rural executives, they were not left out.

Attaching considerable importance to performance of rural executives, Central administrative board of the Workers’ and Peasant’ Police noted positive affect of their activities, emphasizing particular significance of their efforts that allowed enforcement agency to concentrate on major tasks without distraction on secondary issues.

In the middle of 1929 appointment of rural executives was extended to the tribal population of the Extreme North region. Their duties being the same, official designation they have got was, however, different, viz. “indigenous executives” (“туземные исполнители”).

Appointment of aboriginals was regulated by the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR dated May 27, 1929.

Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of May 27, 1929

“On Addendum of the Article 36.1 to Provisional Regulations on Governance of Indigenous People and Tribes of Northern Outlying Districts of RSFSR”

Hereby All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR decide:

To supplement Chapter VI of the Provisional Regulations on Governance of Indigenous People and Tribes of Northern Outlying Districts of RSFSR adopted by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR on October 25, 1926 (Collection of Statutes, 1926, No.28, Article 575) with the Article 36.1 of the following content:

“36.1. In compliance with the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR on Rural Executives dated March 27, 1924 (Collection of Statutes, 1924, No.28, Article 266), tribal and appropriate indigenous Soviets are authorized to appoint indigenous executives from among inhabitants of areas of their responsibilities.

Central executive committees of Autonomous Republics and subordinate regional executive committees are authorized to make amendments to Regulations on Rural Executives referred to in the Article hereof with regard to indigenous executives appointed by tribal and appropriate indigenous Soviets in accordance with local conditions. Aforementioned amendments are to be reported to the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee without delay”.

All-Russian Central Executive Committee Chairman M.Kalinin

Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR Vice Chairman A.Smirnov

All-Russian Central Executive Committee Secretary A.Kiselev

As a result of the large-scale organizational work carried out by Soviets of settlements and rural executive committees, institution of rural executives was turned into an integral part of law enforcement system throughout the territory of RSFSR. By 1928, approximate number of rural executives totaled more than 300,000 villagers.

On May 10, 1932 All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR issued Decree “On Rural Executives”. That document extended competence of Soviets of settlements concerning various aspects of arrangement of the institution of rural executives, e.g. having enshrined legislatively the right to determine independently quantity of rural executives within their jurisdiction. Functional interests of collective farms (Kolkhoz) have been taken into consideration as well, as the latter were given the opportunity to determine by their own categories of kolkhoz members to be charged with duties of rural executives.

Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR “On Rural Executives”

of May 10, 1932

Hereby All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR decide:

1. Rural executives are attached to Soviets of settlements and are entrusted with assisting the latter in maintaining revolutionary order and public security, protection of state and public property, securing sanitary state and improvement in the territory of Soviet of settlement as well as in implementation of laws and decrees of Soviets of settlements and superior bodies.

2. Rural executives report directly to Soviet of the settlement and are responsible to it for their activities.

In conducting activities aimed at maintaining revolutionary order and public security as well as protection of state and public property, rural executives act jointly with police following the guidance of the latter.

In this part rural executives are instructed by Soviets of settlements and police.

3. Total number of rural executives in the territory of the Soviet of the settlement is determined by the latter. However, that number must not exceed one rural executive in 75 farms for the areas where complete collectivization was enforced, and one rural executive in 50 farms for the areas where complete collectivization is not enforced yet.

4. Duties of rural executives are conducted by men aged between 18 and 50, and women aged between 18 and 45 residing in the territory of the Soviet of the settlement except for persons mentioned in the Article 5 hereof.

5. Disenfranchised individuals, those disqualified from acting as civil servants by a court, exiled or deported by a court and administratively, those on trial and under investigation as well as citizens not cleared of a criminal record in due course can not be appointed rural executives.

Categories of citizens exempt from responsibilities of rural executives for working conditions, health reasons, by family status, etc. are determined by the Central administrative board of the Workers’ and Peasant’ Police under Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR by agreement with the People’s Commissariat for Labor, People’s Commissariat for Agriculture and All-Union Alliance of Agricultural Bodies, and with the approval of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR.

6. Rural executives are appointed by Soviets of settlements in priority order from amongst citizens mentioned in Article 4 hereof.

Members of collective farms are appointed rural executives from amongst candidates nominated by board of a collective farm.

In appointing rural executives from members of collective farms Soviets of settlements must take account of the interests of collective farms, particularly not impose above-mentioned duties on members of collective farms’ boards, heads of economic sectors, heads of cash farms and team leaders.

While distributing separate assignments to rural executives Soviets of settlements must take into account possibility of their accomplishment after hours.

7. Term of duties of rural executives is determined by the Soviet of the settlement within two to three months.

8. In income distribution at collective farms, working hours spent by collective farm member on responsibilities of a rural executive are calculated as his routine work in a collective farm reckoning in workdays. 

9. Citizens that are not allowed to be appointed rural executives being disfranchised according to the Constitution of the RSFSR (Paragraphs “a”-“d”, Article 69), are liable to special local charges imposed on persons disentitled to be appointed rural executives. Charges rates are determined by Article 79 of the Local Finances Regulations (Collection of Statutes, 1929, No.84, Article 824).

Persons disentitled to be appointed rural executives are liable to special local charges upon the occurrence of their turn to be appointed rural executives.

10. Rural executives are entrusted to assist Soviets of settlements in the following tasks:

a) Conducting of electoral campaign of Soviets;
b) Public announcement of orders issued by government bodies;
c) Monitoring order in the corresponding territory and taking measures of its restoration in case it had been violated;
d) Monitoring cleanness and sanitary state of the settlement as well as monitoring condition of country roads and melioration constructions;
e) Monitoring implementation of fire safety regulations;
f) Protection of state and public property as well as valuable items dispatched by state and public agencies;
g) Convoy and escort to Soviet of the settlement of persons detained by police personnel or authorized public officers;
h) Monitoring order in public places and other sites of mass gatherings;
i) Supervision of implementation of binding enactments and drafting of protocols on violations of the latter.
In addition, rural executives are entrusted with:
j) Reporting to Soviet of the settlement or police station on all the crimes committed or accidents, adoption of measures aimed at seizure of criminals, as well as protection of vestiges of a crime;
k) Reporting to Soviet of the settlement or police station on detected cases of illicit distilling, storage of home-distilled vodka and its distribution, as well as of illegal dealing in alcoholic drinks;
l) Participation in enforcement of sentences, court decisions and rulings.

11. Imposition of other duties on rural executives except those specified in Article 10 is permitted with the authorization of district executive committees only.

12. While performing their duties rural executives enjoy the rights of public officers and are accountable as such.

13. Rural executives performing their duties are obliged to carry with them identity documents of the stipulated type issued by Soviets of settlements.

14. Instruction on the implementation of the Decree hereof is issued by the Central administrative board of the Workers’ and Peasant’ Police under Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR by agreement with the People’s Commissariat for Justice of the RSFSR.

15. With the promulgation of the Decree hereof the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of March 27, 1924 “On Rural Executives” (Collection of Statutes No.28, Article 266; 1927, No.68, Article 404, Paragraph 13; 1928, No.2, Article 27) is declared null and void.

As can be derived from the text, “special local charges” rates (see Paragraph 9 of the Decree) were determined by Local Finances Regulations issued in 1929. Three Articles of those Regulations are adduced below.

“77. Citizens disentitled to be appointed rural executives (Article 43, Paragraph “j”) according to the Article 5 of the Decree of All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars of March 27, 1924 (Collection of Statutes, 1924, No.28, Article 266) are subject to charges.

Note. Those relieved of obligations to be appointed rural executives according to the Article 6 of the same Decree, are exempt from charges.

78. Charges specified in the previous Article (77) could be collected only in areas where institution of rural executives had been set up. Charges are excised from payers upon the occurrence of their turn to be appointed rural executives.

79. Charges rate (77) is established not exceeding 10 rubles from each person disentitled to be appointed rural executive, provided particular settlement follow the practice of appointment of rural executives for the two-month period. In settlements appointing rural executives for the period less than two months, levy charges reduce proportionally estimated at 2,50 rubles per each two weeks”.

Particular importance was attached to the voluntary, i.e. non-paid nature of work performed by rural executives. According to the book “Rural Executives” (1930) written by V.A.Vlasov and V.V.Pirogov, “Rural executives do not receive any remuneration and must not get any as the main aim of introduction of that institution is seen as extensive involvement of the population in operation and development of public activities, but not creation of cadre of new officials”.

Appointment and duties of rural executives were subsequently regulated by the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936 “On Rural Executives”.

Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936 “On Rural Executives”

In compliance with directives issued by the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR on November 23, 1935, All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR decide:

1. Main functions of rural executives attached to Soviets of settlements are reinforcement of revolutionary order and public security, as well as protection of state and public property.

2. Rural executives are appointed by decrees of Soviets of settlements in priority order from amongst permanent residents of settlement based on the following ratios:

a) In settlements were Soviets of settlements are located – one rural executive for every 300 residents of settlement;
b) In remaining settlements – one rural executive in each settlement.

Service terms of rural executive is established in three months.

3. Duties of rural executives are conducted by men aged between 18 and 50, and women aged between 18 and 45 except for persons mentioned in the Article 5.

4. Members of collective farms are appointed rural executives from amongst candidates nominated by board of a collective farm.

In appointing rural executives from members of collective farms Soviets of settlements must take account of the interests of collective farms, particularly not impose above-mentioned duties on members of collective farms’ boards, heads of separate economic sectors, heads of cash farms and team leaders.

5. Individuals deprived of right to elect in Soviets, those disqualified from acting as civil servants by a court, exiled or deported by a court and the Special Council of the NKVD of the USSR, those on trial and under investigation as well as citizens not cleared of a criminal record in due course can not be appointed rural executives.

Instead of being appointed rural executives afore-mentioned individuals are subject to special local charges at a rate determined by District executive committee, ranging from 30 to 50 rubles per year paid by those who should have had their turn to be appointed rural executive.

6. Rural executives report directly to Soviet of the settlement and are responsible to it for their activities.

7. In conducting activities aimed at maintaining revolutionary order and public security, rural executives following the guidance of police.

8. Rural executives are entrusted to assist Soviets of settlements and police in the following tasks:

a) Maintaining public order in the territory of settlement;
b) Combating hooliganism and other crimes, particularly by informing police on all the crimes and incidents;
c) Monitoring of state, collective farm, cooperative and other public property protection;
d) Escorting of arrested individuals to the nearest destination, where they could be handed over to police, or to the place of imprisonment;
e) Monitoring implementation of fire safety regulations and sanitary state of the settlement;
f) Carrying out activities to combat violations of binding regulations;
g) Participation in enforcement of sentences, court decisions and rulings.

9. Imposition of other duties on rural executives except those specified in Article 8 is prohibited.

10. Individuals performing duties of rural executives are exempted from other obligations for the whole period of performance.

11. While distributing assignments to rural executives Soviets of settlements and police must take into account possibility of their accomplishment mainly after hours.

In case duties of rural executives having been performed by collective farm members during working hours, time spent for such activities is calculated as their routine work in a collective farm reckoning in workdays. 

12. While performing their duties rural executives enjoy the rights of public officers and are accountable as such.

In the line of duty they are obliged to carry with them identity documents issued by Soviets of settlements and breast badges of the stipulated type.

13. Those guilty of evading obligations of rural executives are criminally liable.

14. Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of RSFSR of May 10, 1932 “On Rural Executives” (Collection of Statutes, 1932, No.44, Article 194) is declared null and void.

Central Executive Committee Chairman M.Kalinin 

Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR Vice Chairman T.Ryskulov

Central Executive Committee Secretary A.Kiselev

Decree issued on March 20, 1936 preserved fundamental principles the institution of rural executives was based on, i.e. provisions of the Decree issued on May 10, 1932. However, number of rural executives was considerably reduced in order to achieve the best possible combination of productive necessity of collective farms, personal interests of kolkhoz members and public duties of rural executives.

Categories of citizens to be appointed rural executives were reduced in 1937.

Decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR No.114 and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR No.1985 of November 04, 1937

“On Exemption of Some Categories of Persons from Responsibilities of Rural Executives”

Central Executive Committee and Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR decide:

To suggest that Central Executive Committees and Councils of People’s Commissars of the union republics:

1. Exempt from responsibilities of rural executives the following categories of citizens:

a) workers, office employees and cooperative artisans working in communal cooperative workshops, as well as members of their families in case the latter do not have their own farms in the vicinity;
b) students;
c) disabled persons.

2. Enact that the following categories must not be involved in performance of duties of rural executives:

a) women – within 56 days before delivery and 56 days after childbirth, breastfeeding women – during the whole period of breastfeeding;
b) women having children before the age of eight in the absence of persons able to nurse them;
c) temporarily disabled persons due to illness or injury – until recovery;
d) persons whose farms have fallen into decay as a result of natural hazard (fire, flood, etc.) – according to ruling of corresponding Soviets of settlements on a case-by-case basis pending period determined by the latter.

Central Executive Committee of the USSR Chairman M.Kalinin 

Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR Chairman V.Molotov

Secretary of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR per pro A.Andreev, Presidium member of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR

Those regulations resulted in review of the text of the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936

“On Rural Executives”.

 Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of December 10, 1937

“On Amendment to the Article 3 of the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936

“On Rural Executives”

All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR decide:

In compliance with the Decree of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR of November 04, 1937 “On Exemption of Some Categories of Persons from Responsibilities of Rural Executives” (Collection of Statutes, 1937, No.71, Article 334), Article 3 of the Decree of the Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936 “On Rural Executives” (Collection of Statutes, 1936, No.7, Article 40 and 1937, No.4, Article 20) should be amended to read:

“3. Duties of rural executives are conducted by men aged between 18 and 50, and women aged between 18 and 45, except for the following:

a) workers, office employees and cooperative artisans working in communal cooperative workshops, as well as members of their families in case the latter do not have their own farms in the vicinity;
b) students;
c) disabled persons;
d) women – within 56 days before delivery and 56 days after childbirth, breastfeeding women – during the whole period of breastfeeding;
e) women having children before the age of eight in the absence of fathers able to nurse them;
f) temporarily disabled persons due to illness or injury – until recovery;
g) persons whose farms have fallen into decay as a result of natural hazard (fire, flood, etc.) – according to ruling of corresponding Soviets of settlements on a case-by-case basis pending period determined by the latter.

In addition, duties of rural executives can’t be assigned to persons mentioned in the Article 5”.

All-Russian Central Executive Committee Chairman M.Kalinin 

Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR Chairman N.Bulganin

All-Russian Central Executive Committee Secretary per pro A.Artukhina, Presidium member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee

Institution of rural executives existed in the USSR until late 1950s and was officially disbanded in spring 1961 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the highest legislative body of the Soviet Union, issued on March 28, 1961. That document entitled “On Revision and Recognition of Acts of Law of RSFSR as Null and Void in Connection with Enactment of the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure of RSFSR as well as of the Law on Judicial System of RSFSR” had approved list of fully and partially expired constituent acts of the RSFSR. Thus, Paragraph 20 of the Decree revoked “Article 13 of the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936 “On Rural Executives” (Collection of Statutes, No.7, Article 40)”.

“Rural Executive” breast badge was instituted by the Order No.212 of December 31, 1926 issued by the Central Executive Department of the NKVD of the RSFSR. However, it is mentioned for the first time a decade later, in the text of the Decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR of March 20, 1936 “On Rural Executives” (see above).

The badge had a shape of a vertically elongated slightly embossed roundish complex figure topped with a five-point red-enameled star measuring 10 mm in diameter with gilt border. Crossed sickle and hammer superimposed on a wheat sheaf against rising sun with radiant rays was the central element of its design. Red-enameled horizontal curved ribbon inscribed “Rural Executive” (“Сельский исполнитель”) in two lines in gilt capital letters was situated at the bottom of the badge.

Badge measuring 83 mm in height and 59-60 mm in maximum width was manufactured of bronze and had goldish tint. The vast majority of survived badges lack red enamel that peeled off due to harsh conditions of usage.

“Rural Executive” badge had strong counter relief (“mirror”) reverse. It was attached to outer clothing with a screw soldered to the centre of the backside and round nut made of brass or bronze. It’s worth being mentioned here that attachment method was highly unsatisfactory as large badge clung to folds of the clothes and surrounding objects while his holder was moving.

Upon resignation of the rural executive the badge had to be surrendered to the issuing authorities and would subsequently be handed over to another villager. Thus one and the same badge was used for its intended purpose during fairly long period of time suffering considerable wear, including loss of nut and screw damage. The latter was the main reason some badges were altered into non-regulation sew-on pieces by drilling several holes along the perimeter. Unprofessional attachment mechanisms soldered to reverses are also sometimes found on survived badges.

If lost, “Rural Executive” badge was replaced with a new one by issuing authorities.

Reliable data on total number of badges manufactured remains unknown.

Rural Executive Badge 1