The NKVD Order no. 00486 (full name: Operational Order of People's Commissar of Internal Affairs of the USSR by August 15, 1937 # 00486, Оперативный приказ народного комиссара внутренних дел СССР № 00486) instructed about repressions of wives of "traitors of the Motherland, members of Right-Trotskyist spying-diversional organizations convicted by first and second category since Augist 1, 1936". It was signed by Nikolai Yezhov acting both as chief of NKVD and General Commissar of State Security (KGB).
While the preamble of the order spoke only about the wives, the body set instructions with respect to wives, "socially-dangerous children of age over 15 years" and children under 15 years. Therefore this order is known as Order about Traitor of Motherland Family Members (Приказ о ЧСИР).
This order was a base element of the legal system of the Great Purge. It introduced a new category of the inmates and was referred in many subsequent NKVD orders. The NKVD Order no. 00689 partially recalled some of its extremities.
All cases were to be considered by the Special Council of the NKVD.
Wives were subject to imprisonment into labor camps for terms "at least 5-8 years".
"Socially dangerous" children were to be placed in labor camps, corrective labor colonies, or special-regimen orphanages (детские дома особого режима).
The remaining orphaned children were to be placed in ordinary orphanages or to non-convicted relatives (if the latter ones wish).
The order had elements of humanism: wives with breast-fed children, ill or with ill children were not arrested. They were moved to labor camps later: breast-feeders after the verdict, those with illness after the recovery.
Personnel of the orphanages to house the children of the convicted was to be purged and refitted with politically reliable staff to properly supervise the "correction" of the children.
The order also instructed that in the future wives of the traitors of the Motherland should be arrested simultaneously with their husbands.
According to this order a number of specialized labor camps were installed, for different categories of relatives: for wives, for breast-feeding wives, for elderly wives, for children.
During the Great Purge the orphanages became overcrowded, and the country was flooded with runaway orphans, greatly increasing the juvenile delinquency, once again since the Russian Civil War.
As an element of the rollback of Yezhovshchina, on October 17, 1938 the NKVD Order no. 00689 signed by Lavrenty Beria instructed to arrest only those wives who were informed about the counter-revolutionary activity of their husbands or there was an information about their "political untrustworthy and socially dangerous attitudes or utterances". The requirement of simultaneous arrests was also reversed. The implementation for those who was not relieved by this order remained the same.
- Full text for 00486 in Russian language
- Full text for 00689 in Russian language