Mikhail Ryumin

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Mikhail Dmitrievich Ryumin (1913–1954) was Deputy Head of the Soviet MGB (Ministry of State Security) who engineered the "Doctors' Plot" in 1952–1953; the case was dismissed on Stalin's death and Ryumin was arrested and executed.[1]

According to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Ryumin personally tortured prisoners in the Sukhanovo Prison, beating them severely with a rubber truncheon and beating one "Aleksandr D." so badly (this is probably Alexander Dolgun, one of the few people to have survived to tell of Sukhanovka, although Solzhenitsyn only uses the first initial of his last name, apparently to protect the innocent), that he developed a hernia and had to be treated in the Butyrki prison hospital, thus escaping from Ryumin's tortures.[2]

In late 1952, Ryumin reported to Minister of State Security Viktor Semyonovich Abakumov that Professor Yakov Gilyarievich Etinger had committed malpractice in treating Andrei Zhdanov and Alexander Shcherbakov, allegedly with the intention of killing them. When Abakumov refused to believe the story, in spite of being present at a later interrogation of Etinger (Etinger died under interrogation the next night), Ryumin went over the head of Abakumov, directly to the Central Committee and Stalin, who saw the malpractice story as part of a wider conspiracy to kill off the Soviet leadership. As part of this Doctors' Plot Abakumov himself was arrested. However, when Stalin died in March 1953 the case unravelled and Ryumin himself was arrested. He was tried and executed in July 1954.[3]


  1. ^ His first name is given in the American Jewish Yearbook for 1955, p. 408.
  2. ^ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago (New York: Harper and Row, 1973), 126-127.
  3. ^ Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago, 157-158.