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Events Leading to Kirov's Murder

The events surrounding the death of Sergei Kirov are now made dim by the passage of time. All the major participants and witnesses are now dead. (Many were subsequently liquidated in Stalinist purges.) Yet there were several investigations subsequent to the event that shed light.

The verifiable information from NKVD (KGB) investigations and the rootings of historians tells the following story:

On 1 December 1934 Kirov arrived at his office in Leningrad (Petersburg). It was about 4:30 in the afternoon. He was preparing for a speech to be given later to party officials. He was met by four plainclothes NKVD guards. He was greeted also by his usual bodyguard, Borisov.

Kirov's office was on the third floor of the Smolnyi. Kirov was accompanied by this group of guards up the stairs. The four NKVD guards left Kirov when he reached the third floor of the building because there was another guard post at the top of the stairs. However, his usual bodyguard, Borisov, remained with him.

Borisov seems to have dallied quite far behind Kirov as they went down the hall. Kirov's office was around a corner to the left. As he walked by a lavatory, near the 3rd floor guard post, a man came out and then turned to face the wall. Kirov took no notice of the man and neither did Borisov who by this time was some distance behind. The man from the lavatory was one Nikolaev. He followed Kirov around the corner out of site of Borisov.

Suddenly shots were heard...

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