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NKVD Order № 00593, also known as NKVD Order about Harbinites (приказ НКВД о харбинцах, ("Харбинский приказ") by September 20, 1937, undersigned by Nikolai Yezhov regulated arrest and prosecution of former personnel of the China Far East Railway (KVZhD), who had lived in Harbin and reemigrated into the Soviet Union after 1935, when the KVZhD was sold to Manzhouguo.

The order stated that of 25,000 registered "Harbinites" the majority were former White Guardists, "emigre spying-fascist organizations", former policemen etc. and worked for the Japanese intelligence service.

It was ordered to perform arrests (from October 1, 1937 to December 25, 1937) of all Harbinites that fell into 13 pre-defined categories. Those who didn't match any of the listed categories were to be immediately removed from all jobs related to transport and industry.

Paragraph 10 of the order recommended to use the "Harbin operation" for the recruiting of (intelligence) agents.

Families of the arrested Harbinites were to be processed according to the NKVD Order № 00486.


The operation took time beyond the deadline of December 25.

According to the data collected by the Memorial Society, 48 133 Harbinites were repressed, of which 30 992 were shot.

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