The history of the old Moscow district Lefortovo, on the Yauza River, began in the 17th century as a place where many foreigners in the service of the Russian state took up residence. The settlement was eventually called Lefortovo after the Swiss Franz Lefort, a favourite of Peter the Great. A number of magnificent palaces and public buildings were built on the banks of the river, including the immense Catherine Palace, which now houses the Armored Troops Academy. The Lefortovo park has ponds, streams and Dutch type canals as well as a sports facility for the Moscow military district with stadiums, playing fields, cafes, and ski rentals.
Another landmark of the district is the prison and investigation complex known as Lefortovo, long used by the KGB and its predecessors. Following the demise of the KGB the Federal Security Service was created, which lost its investigative apparatus in late 1993. As a consequence, in early 1994 Lefortovo was handed over to the MVD (Ministry of Internal Affairs). In 1996 the Lefortovo was taken away from the MVD and returned to its former owner, the Federal Security Service [FSB], a sucessor to the KGB.
Voslensky's most chilling revelation in the 544-page book, Das Geheime wird Offenbar. Moskauer Archive erzaehlen (Secrets Laid Bare. Moscow's Archives Speak Out), by Ukrainian historian Professor Dr. Michael S. Voslensky [who was an interpreter at the Nuremberg Trials and later for the Allied Control Council for Germany] is that in the KGB's notorious Lefortovo prison there was an outsized meat grinder in which the bodies of victims were ground to a pulp and sluiced into the city's sewers.