Vasiliy Averin

Vasiliy Kuzmich Averin (Russian: Васи́лий Кузьмич Аве́рин; 1884 – 28 December 1945) was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary, a leading member of the Cheka and a member of the Soviet government in Ukraine.


Averin was born in 1884 or 1885 near Rognedino in the Roslavlsky Uyezd of the Smolensk Governorate of the Russian Empire (today Rognedinsky District, Bryansk Oblast, Russia) in a poor peasant family. In 1903 he joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party and in 1904 sided with Bolsheviks. Averin was uneducated and worked as a mechanic. His revolutionary career, he started in Yekaterinoslav where in October 1905 Averin headed a factory committee of RSDLP. During World War I in 1915 Averin was arrested and exiled to the Irkutsk Governorate. He was released in April 1917 on amnesty due to the February Revolution in Russia and returned to Yekaterinoslav.

Averin was a member of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets, the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and the Russian Constituent Assembly. Along with Yakov Peters, Felix Dzerzhinsky and others, he was a member of the original Cheka. In December 1917 Averin was appointed in charge of the military revolutionary headquarters of the Yekaterinoslav Soviets and actively participated in the Yekaterinoslav Bolshevik Uprising.

With advance of the German troops, Averin was placed in charge to defend the Yekaterinoslav district. He later was placed as a chief of political department for the Ukrainian Front (also referred to as Ukrainian Soviet Army or Forces of Kursk direction). There are some evidences that he also headed a commissariat of internal affairs of the Soviet Ukraine in the beginning of 1919. In 1919 Averin chaired the Yekaterinoslav council and later he was a governor of Volhynia and Kharkiv governorates. In 1921-23 Averin was a governor and mayor of Odessa, while at that time being a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine. In 1923 Averin became the Left Opposition of Bolsheviks (Trotsky's followers). Sometime then he also was a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Ukrainian SSR and the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union.

In 1935 Averin was appointed the chief of Lena River Shipping Company and transferred to Yakutsk. There in 1937 he was arrested and sentenced to eight years in correctional camps. Averin was released after World War II in November 1945. On 28 December 1945, he was strangled to death by an unknown person. On 29 November 1955, Averin was rehabilitated by the Supreme Court of the Yakut ASSR.