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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Mass Media and Censorship

Documents on propaganda and media control in the Soviet Union. The documents discuss Soviet attempts to control the flow of information, censoring media from both internal dissidents and external sources like the United States. See also Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (Image, Soviet stamp showing Ostankino TV Tower, Joseph Morris)

  • September 01, 1952

    Resolution of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (CC VKP(b))

    The draft resolution of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (bolshevik) (CC VKP(b)) printed below sharply criticized Soviet media that "inadequately mobilize Soviet people to raise their vigilance against the intrigues of imperialist aggressors" with "pacifist arguments," that ignore the "aggressive measures and plans" of imperialism, and neglect "Marxism-Leninist teaching on the character, sources and causes of war."

  • January 17, 1957

    Letter to Khrushchev from Radio Moscow Service Urging Creation of Warsaw Pact Radio Station

    The following letter to Khrushchev in 1957 by members of the German Service of Radio Moscow proposed establishing a Soviet international broadcaster structured along the lines of Radio Free Europe, with formal independence from the government. Indirectly it acknowledges the effectiveness of RFE broadcasts.

  • January 30, 1964

    Information Note from the Foreign Information Section of the ''Securitate'' with regard to encouragement from Radio Free Europe's broadcasts of "The tendency toward independence from USSR in Romania."

    Description of memorandum from Radio Free Europe's (RFE's) New York headquarters to the Paris RFE bureau directing the Paris bureau to use its broadcasts to subtly encourage Romania to adopt foreign policies which would lead to greater independence from the USSR.

  • February 16, 1968

    Gosteleradio Memo to Central Committee on Western Radio Propaganda against the USSR

    This document discusses Western radio programming aimed at the intelligentsia and dissidents, and cites the use of samizdat by Western broadcasters.

  • May 22, 1968

    Memorandum to CPSU Politburo on Western District Border Controls

    P. Shelest reports to the CPSU Politburo on the admission of subversive materials through the Western District border controls, and the lax state of those border controls.

  • September 07, 1968

    Report from the Political Department of Polish Second Army on the emotional-political condition of the soldiers taking part in Operation ‘Danube’

    Report states the morale of soldiers taking part in Operation Danube is still good. But there is still no change in the unfriendly relations between Czech people and Warsaw Pact soldiers. The report describes how the Czech people are under the influence of revisionist and reactionary propaganda. It also details the conflict between Czech soldiers and Polish soldiers. It also gives an update of propaganda being broadcast through Czech radio stations.

  • October 11, 1968

    Stenogram of a Session of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Moldavia

    Discussion in the Moldavian Communist Party Central Committee on the effects of Romanian mass media on the Moldavian population following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia

  • October 31, 1975

    CC CPSU Report, About Some Results of Preventive-Prophylactic Work of the State Security Organs

    The Committee for State Security reported on actions taken to increase preventive-prophylactic work for preventing crimes against the Soviet Union. The Committee cites drops in the number of people subjected to criminal punishment, severe crimes against the state, and anti-Soviet propaganda as results of strengthened morale, political awareness, policies, and preventative and prophylactic work. Attached is a table that numerically presents information in the report.

  • January 03, 1976

    Excerpt from Chernyaev Diary on Dissidents in the Soviet Union

    Chemyaev writes on a meeting of the Politburo when Andropov presented a memo on dissidents and political prisoners in the USSR.

  • March 13, 1976

    Committee for State Security Report, 'On the Results of Search for Authors of Anti-Soviet Anonymous Documents in 1975'

    The Committee for State Security reported on results in exposing authors and distributors of anti-Soviet propaganda during 1975. In comparison with results from 1974, the number of authors writing, distributing, and preparing these anti-Soviet documents was overall reduced, but due to copying technology, the volume of documents has grown.

  • November 15, 1976

    Committee for State Security Report, 'About the Hostile Actions of the So-called Group for Assistance of Implementation of the Helsinki Agreements in the USSR'

    This report by the Committee for State Security covers trends in anti-Soviet propaganda and the creation of the "Group for Assistance of Implementation of the Helsinki Agreements in the USSR" by Yuri F. Orlov. The purpose of the group was to promote the alleged failure of the USSR's efforts to implement the Final Act of the Conference for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

  • December 06, 1976

    On the Provocative Demonstration by Antisocial Elements on Pushkin Square in Moscow and at the Pushkin Monument in Leningrad

    The Committee for State Security reported on anti-socialist actions around Pushkin Square that occurred December 5, 1976. A group gathered around Pushkin Square to participate in a "silent protest" in order to bring attention to violations of constitutional rights and were photographed by several foreign correspondents.

  • January 20, 1977

    CC CPSU Proposal, 'On Measures for the Curtailment of the Criminal Activities of Orlov, Ginsburg, Rudenko and Ventslova'

    U.V. Andropov and R.A. Rudenko reported on hostile activities of anti-Soviet groups within the USSR. They stated that Western correspondents influence these organizations to openly protest the Soviet Union's policies. Finally, Andropov and Rudenko discuss preemptive measures that need to be taken in order to stop anti-Soviet propaganda disseminated by these groups.

  • March 01, 1977

    CC CPSU Draft of a Report for the Press in Connection with J. Carter's Reception of Bukovsky

    The CC CPSU drafted a report to present to the press on President Jimmy Carter's reception of Bukovsky, who was expelled from the Soviet Union as a criminal offender.

  • December 20, 1980

    Memorandum from the KGB Regarding the Planning of a Demonstration in Memory of John Lennon

    KGB memo on plans to stop unauthorized gatherings mourning the death of John Lennon.

  • February 12, 1984

    Report by Gen. Bryg. Zdzislaw Sarewicz, Chief of Polish Foreign Intelligence on the Use of Paris-Based Polish Bookstore by the CIA-Funded International Literary Center

    Report on George Minden and the International Literary Center (ILC) by chief of Polish intelligence general Zdzislaw Sarewicz, stating that the operation was funded by United States government and the US intelligence service.

  • November 07, 1984

    Report by Agent 'Gerard' on Paris-Based Polish Bookstore and Activities of CIA-Funded International Literacy Center

    Report by a Polish intelligence agent on the International Literary Center (ILC) in Paris which lists the types of Polish people who were given anti-Communist books at the store (number of engineers, architects, intellectuals, etc.)

  • June 15, 1985

    Report by Agent 'Tulon' on New Priorities of Western Anti-Socialist Propaganda

    Report by a Polish intelligence agent on the activities of the International Literacy Center (ILC) to distribute anti-Communist books to Poish youth.

  • September 25, 1986

    Memorandum to Central Committee from Politburo Members Ligachev and Chebrikov on Jamming of Western Radio Stations

    This memorandum from Politburo members Chebrikov and Ligachev describes in general terms the jamming situation in 1986 and the rationale for ending jamming on VOA, BBC, Radio Beijing and Radio Korea, while continuing jamming of Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Deutsche Welle and Kol Israel.

  • June 02, 1988

    Military Exercise Shchit-88 Intelligence Summary No. 2 for the period 0800 2 June to 1900 6 June 1988

    This document provides background information on a hypothetical political/military scenario leading up to the command staff exercise SHICHT-88 [TARCZA-88 in Polish]. In the scenario 'Blue' military leaders have begun to oppose the policy of detente pursued by their governments and consequently have raised their level of combat readiness by increasing the frequency of military exercises and pressured 'Blue' governments into ending the destruction of intermediate-range nuclear forces as required by the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe. In response the 'Reds' have also raised their combat readiness. The increased international tension has affected the situation within Poland, contributing to increased anti-government sentiment.