NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
10th July, 1953 : Lavrenti Beria, the Soviet secret police chief has been arrested at a Politburo meeting and charged with being a “Western agent” and plotting to seize power. Beria, who had been second in the Soviet hierarchy after Georgi Malenkov, was arrested at gun point last month at a meeting which called for his resignation. Soviet marshals carried out the arrest on a pre-arranged signal from Malenkov. A purge is taking place in Beria’s secret police. He has been in charge of security since 1941.