English transliteration of a Russian title of a Communist political, administrative, or military leader. In other European languages it usually applies to a police investigator or officer in charge, and translates as commissioner.

In Russian, commissar is associated with the security or government apparatus after the Bolshevik Revolution and was used until 1946.

In the military, Commissar was a Communist Party official assigned to a unit to teach party tenets and promote party loyalty. In the Soviet Union and beyond, it came to refer to somebody who aims to control public opinion.

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