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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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End of the Cold War

This is a collection of primary source documents covering the collapse of the Soviet Union during the late 1980s. The collection contains documents from archives in most of the former Soviet bloc countries. They discuss the changes occurring in Eastern Europe and the Tiananmen Square events in China. See also Cold War Origins. (Image, East German border guards look through a hole in the Berlin Wall, 1989)

  • March 15, 1985

    Conference of Secretaries of the CC CPSU, Held in the Office of CC CPSU General Secretary Comrade M. S. Gorbachev

    Following general Secretary Konstantin Chernenko's death, Soviet officials discuss a Warsaw Pact meeting and conversations with various foreign leaders.

  • September, 1985

    CIA Intelligence Assessment, 'Gorbachev's Economic Agenda: Promises, Potentials, and Pitfalls'

    An analysis of Gorbachev's new economic policies.

  • September 05, 1985

    Transcript of the SED Politburo Session held on 5 September 1989

    A transcript of an SED Politburo Session discussing Hungary's decision to open its western border and allow East German citizens to cross into Austria.

  • November 19, 1985

    Memorandum of Conversation, 'Reagan-Gorbachev Meetings in Geneva'

    Department of State summary of Gorbachev and Reagan's discussions.

  • October, 1986

    Note on Proposals for Meetings between Chairman of the Council of State and Representatives of Opinion Making Social Groups

    Note on proposals for meetings between Chairman of the Council of State and Representatives of Opinion Making Social Groups regarding dialogue, mediation and questions regarding the set-up of such meetings

  • October 02, 1986

    Letter of Lech Walesa to the Council of State

    Letter of Lech Walesa to the Council of State calling for the end of martial law and the establishment of union pluralism

  • October 18, 1986

    Memorandum of Conversation of Polish Officials Concerning a Proposed Consultative Council

    Memorandum of conversation regarding the proposed Consultative Council and its goal to increase trust and develop recommendations and the inclusion of non-party people and members of the Catholic church

  • February 09, 1987

    Weekly Bulgarian State Security Review

    Based on intelligence sources, the Minister of Internal Affairs Dimitar Stoyanov reports on domestic political developments. Among the issues covered in the memo are the domestic repercussions of the January 1987 Plenary Session of the CPSU Central Committee, as well as the Western allegations of human rights violations in regard to Bulgaria’s policy toward the Turkish ethnic minority.

  • April 24, 1987

    Information from D. Stoyanov to M. Balev on Propaganda Against People's Republic of Bulgaria

    The Minister of Internal Affairs, Dimitar Stoyanov, reports on the coverage in the Western media of the alleged repressions against six Bulgarian dissidents who sent an open letter to the 1986 CSCE Meeting in Vienna. The letter claimed that Bulgaria does not comply fully with the Helsinki Accords on Human Rights of 1975. The Minister reports that although some measures have been taken to neutralize the activities of this particular dissident group, the official investigation has been suspended as there was a risk of further tarnishing Bulgaria’s image abroad.

  • June 12, 1987

    Speech by President Ronald Reagan at the Brandenburg Gate, West Berlin, 'Remarks on East-West Relations'

    Ronald Reagan's famous speech in which he advises Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

  • July 09, 1987

    Anatoly Chernyaev, Notes from a Meeting of the Politburo

    Gorbachev and other Politburo members discussed the pressing issue of the return of Crimean Tatars to Crimea.

  • August 07, 1987

    From Gr. Shopov to T. Zhivkov on European Economic Community's Evaluation of the Results of CC CPSU June Plenum

    Based on intelligence reports, the Minister of the Internal Affairs, Grigor Shopov, informs Todor Zhivkov about the European Economic Community’s assessment of the recent June 1987 Plenary Session of the CPSU Central Committee. According to the information, Brussels seems pleased with Gorbachev’s efforts to gather party support for the radical reforms he has recently announced.

  • August 28, 1987

    [Polish Government] Report, 'A Synthesis of the Domestic Situation and the West’s Activity,' Warsaw

    [Polish Government] Report, “A Synthesis of the Domestic Situation and the West’s Activity,” regarding the economic crisis, liberalization measures, growing discontent, American support of Solidarity and opinions from the West on the situation in Poland

  • October 13, 1987

    Information from D. Stoyanov to G. Yordanov on Discontent Among Sofia University Employers and Professors

    The Minister of Internal Affairs, Dimitar Stoyanov, informs the Education Minister, Georgi Yordanov, about intelligence reports regarding the rise of discontent among professors, employees and students at the University of Sofia.

  • October 23, 1987

    Minutes of a Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and the US Secretary of State G. Shultz

    Gorbachev Shultz discuss the ABM treaty and Soviet-US relations.

  • March 10, 1988

    Anatoly Chernyaev, Notes from a Meeting of the Politburo

    Politburo meeting centered on Comecon and the importance of maintaining fruitful trade relationships with other socialist nations.

  • March 24, 1988

    Anatoly Chernyaev, Notes from a Meeting of the Politburo

    Notes from a meeting of the Politburo regarding Nina Andreeva, a Soviet scientist and political activist who accused Gorbachev of not being true communists and abandoning the Soviet system in her essay " I Cannot Forsake My Principles."

  • April 05, 1988

    Record of Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and Fidel Castro

    Notes from telephone conversation between Gorbachev and Castro regarding advocating communist ideology through policy initiatives, and about Gorbachev's impending visit to Cuba.

  • May 11, 1988

    Speech by Mr. Józef Czyrek at a founding meeting of the Polish Club of International Relations

    A speech by Mr. Józef Czyrek at a founding meeting of the Polish Club of International Relations discussing the objectives of the Club – social support, dialogue and public evaluation

  • May 25, 1988

    Georgi Shakhnazarov, 'Comments on the Report of [Commander-in-Chief of the Warsaw Treaty Organization Marshal] V.G. Kulikov at the Conference of the PCC [Political Consultation Committee] of the Warsaw Treaty'

    Reaction to V.G. Kulikov's report at the Conference of the Political Consultation Committee of the Warsaw Treaty regarding arms sales and military armaments in socialist countries, compared to NATO military policies.