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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Warsaw Pact

Documents on the Eastern Bloc military and security organization dominated by the Soviet Union.Also known as the Warsaw Treaty Organization, or the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance. The documents span 1955 to 1988, and most come from archives in Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. Most discuss troop movements amongst the Warsaw Pact states. Topics discussed include military exercises, cooperatives agreements, Romania and Czech military formations, and relations with the United States. See also the 1956 Polish and Hungarian Crisis, the 1980-81 Polish Crisis, the Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia, and Warsaw Pact Military Planning. (Image, Warsaw Pact leaders, 1987, Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1987-0529-029)

  • October 20, 1983

    Protocol of the extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Ministers for Defense from the Warsaw Treaty member states

    The Warsaw Treaty Member States' Committee of Ministers for Defense discussed the situation resulting from the deployment of new American medium-range nuclear missiles in some Western European countries. Some general military planning was proposed in response.

  • October 20, 1983

    Statement by CPSU Central Committee and USSR Minister of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union D. F. Ustinov, at the extraordinary session of the Committee of Defense Ministers of Warsaw Treaty Member States on 20 October 1983 [in Berlin]

    CPSU Central Committee and USSR Minister of Defense, Marshal of the Soviet Union D. F. Ustinov make a statement to Warsaw Treaty member states addressing the decision by the US and NATO to deploy new American medium-range missiles in Europe. He appeals for improvement of the Unified Forces.

  • May 29, 1987

    Speech of Nicolae Ceausescu at the meeting of the Warsaw Pact leaders

    A speech by Ceausescu in which he addresses various security issues, including: the Vienna negotiations, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

  • November 30, 1987

    Information on the 20th Session of the Committee of the Ministers of Defense of Warsaw Pact Member States

    Report on the course and results of the 20th Session of the Committee of Ministers of Defense of Warsaw Pact Member States held in Bucharest on November 24-25, 1987.

  • January, 1988

    Information about the 6th Meeting of the Multilateral Group for Current Information of the Warsaw Pact Member Countries

    This document provides a summary of the settlement between the Warsaw Pact countries and Afghanistan. It discusses how the coalition of socialist countries could have influenced the future of Afghan politics.

  • April 14, 1988

    Lecture by Sergei Akhromeyev, 'The Current State of Soviet Military Doctrine'

    This is a transcript of a lecture delivered by Sergei Akhromeyev, the Chief of the General Staff of the Soviet Armed Forces, to the Polish General Staff about Soviet military doctrine in early 1988. The document defines what the Soviets meant by military doctrine, differentiating between the doctrine of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact by stressing the former’s wider range objectives, especially concerning the use of strategic nuclear weapons. In addition, it identifies contemporary issues facing Soviet doctrine and analyzes topics such as nuclear non-proliferation, reduction of nuclear stockpiles and refutes the idea that nuclear weapons should be used in a counter-offensive operation. It stresses the importance of defense, negating offensive military preparedness in lieu of purely defensive Warsaw Pact capabilities (albeit altogether sufficient to successfully deter a NATO attack from the West). It also discusses the results of the March 2-3 1988 NATO talks and concludes that the West is not willing to stop the arms race and is increasing its offensive capabilities. The Warsaw Pact’s response should include increased military research, better vigilance to capture signals of a possible attack and more tactical and technical training for the military command. It asserts that even though a war is less likely than in the past, quoting Gorbachev, “the nature of capitalism itself can be the cause of war.”

  • 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.

  • June 20, 1988

    Weekly State Security Review from the Ministry of the Interior to T. Zhivkov

    The Minister of the Internal Affairs, Dimitar Stoyanov, briefs Todor Zhivkov on the weekly domestic developments. Among the most pressing issues is the ongoing popular discontent in Ruse triggered by the unresolved problems with industrial pollution in the city. Another issue is the opposition of the Turkish minority to the revival process.

  • July 08, 1988

    Proposals of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party on Improving the Organization and Democratizing the Activities of the Warsaw Pact Organs

    Romanian proposal for reforms and reorganization of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact.