Georgia’s Tbilisi Dinamo: Under Stalin, a Soccer Team for the Secret Police

A photo of the 1937 Tbilisi Dinamo team shows 10 players lining up at the beginning of a match, but only nine player names are hand-written on the back of the photo. It has been claimed that Mikhail Aslamazov, the team captain and an NKVD officer, had his face scratched out from the photo. Aslamazov was arrested on Dec. 1, 1937, and, reportedly, two weeks later jumped to his death out of a window in the Tbilisi NKVD building. (Photo: National Library of the Georgian Parliament)

For Soviet Georgia, Tbilisi Dinamo was not just a soccer club. It was much more – a display of national pride and identity. From ordinary people to high-ranking politicians, the whole country was in love with soccer.

To read the full story

David Jishkariani is an historian and co-founder of the Soviet Past Research Laboratory (SovLab) in Tbilisi.

Georgia’s Tbilisi Dinamo: Under Stalin, a Soccer Team for the Secret Police

1 / 1
X
> <