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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia

A collection of primary source documents from around the world related to the 1968 Prague Spring and the subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. The documents were originally obtained from the Central State Archive of Social Organizations of Ukraine, the Polish Institute of National Remembrance, the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, and the National Archives of the Czech Republic, among other archives. The collection traces development of the democratization movement, the eventual military intervention, and the aftermath of the Soviet invasion. See also the Digital Archive collection on the Warsaw Pact. (Image, tanks in Prague)

  • September 11, 1969

    Note of Conversation between Ion Gheorge Maurer and Zhou Enlai on 11 September 1969

    Zhou Enlai describes his his meeting with Aleksey Kosygin to Ion Gheorge Maurer. The Enlai and Kosygin agree that they will keep the status quo along the Sino-Soviet border, as to not let it come to violence. They also agreed verbally to rework the old border treaties, created in the imperial era. Enlai holds that there are too many differences between China and the USSR to work out easily, but Maurer states that it is a good start.

  • October, 1969

    Polish-Soviet Talks in Moscow

    Excerpts from Polish-Soviet talks that focus on the China question. Brezhnev posits that the Chinese were the source of ideological divergence, and more specifically that their attitude has progressed to anti-Sovietism and anti-communism. Included is a report from a meeting with Zhou Enlai, who in discussing Czechoslovakia said a "process of bourgeoisie transformation and corruption was taking place over there, which is normal for all of the socialist countries." He attributed the cultural revolution with cutting off the roots of corruption in China.

  • October 10, 1969

    Telegram Number 1930-33, 'China and the European Socialist Countries'

    Etienne Manac’h reports that although China may soon re-appoint ambassadors to Eastern Europe, officials from Poland and Czechoslovakia are skeptical of China's policies toward their countries.

  • October 10, 1969

    Working Material for the Preparation of a European Security Conference

    An analysis written by the GDR's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the respective positions of European socialist states, socialist states in general, and NATO and other capitalist European states, on the organization of a European security conference, as well as guidance for carrying out the CSCE negotiations based upon an analysis of each side's perceived strengths and weaknesses

  • March 19, 1970

    Report from the Meeting of Seven Parties on the China Issue

    A review of the 10-12 March meeting during which the CC International Departments discussed the China issue. A great deal of time was spent discussing whether or not China was still a socialist country. A "Protocol Note" was unanimously adopted as a result of the meeting.

  • June 16, 1970

    Brief Summary of Conversation between Comrades Zhou Enlai and Kang Sheng on 16 June 1970 with Myself [Kadri Hazbiu] and Cmrade Xhoxhi Robo

    Kadri Hazbiu has a wide ranging talk with Zhou Enlai, covering American imperialism, Sino-North Korean relations, Sino-Albanian relations, and Sino-Romanian relations, among other topics.

  • June 03, 1971

    Minutes of Conversation between Nicolae Ceausescu and Mao Zedong in Beijing on 3 June 1971

    Mao Zedong and Nicolae Ceausescu discuss China's international reputation as a dogmatic dictatorship, especially among other Communist countries. They also discuss ping pong and scientific progress, specifically nuclear weapons and space exploration.

  • June 20, 1971

    Conversation of Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu and Cde. Zhou Enlai at the Embassy

    Notes regarding the conversation of Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu and Cde. Zhou Enlai at the dinner organized by the [Romanian] embassy in honor of the Chinese leadership.

  • November 12, 1973

    Memorandum of Conversation between Mao Zedong and Henry Kissinger

    Secretary of State Henry Kissinger met with Chairman Mao and Zhou Enlai. The three discussed a large range of topics from Sino-Soviet relations to the Middle East to the influence of Chinese communism.

  • May 14, 1987

    Relations of the Chinese Communist Party to Some Fraternal Communist Countries

    The Hungarians evaluate China's relations with Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia.

  • March 24, 1989

    Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and Karoly Grosz, General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, March 23-24, 1989

    These conversations reveal Gorbachev’s contradictions, as the Soviet leader proclaims again that the Brezhnev doctrine is dead and military interventions should be "precluded in the future, yet at the same time, tries to set "boundaries" for the changes in Eastern Europe as "the safekeeping of socialism and assurance of stability."

  • May 06, 1989

    Memorandum of Vadim Zagladin to Gorbachev

    Memorandum from Zagladin to Gorbachev on Zagladin's recent trip to Czechoslovakia, in preparation for Gorbachev's upcoming trip there.

  • July 25, 1989

    Report of the President of Hungary Rezso Nyers and General Secretary Karoly Grosz on Talks with Gorbachev in Moscow (excerpts)

    President of People’s Republic of Hungary, Rezso Nyers, and General Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, Karoly Grosz, report on their talks with Gorbachev in Moscow, 24-25 July, 1989. The excerpts contains economic reformer Nyers’ assessment of the political situation in Hungary, and first among the factors that "can defeat the party," he lists "the past, if we let ourselves [be] smeared with it." The memory of the revolution of 1956 and its bloody repression by the Soviets was Banquo’s ghost, destroying the legitimacy of the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party, just as 1968 in Prague and 1981’s martial law in Poland and all the other Communist "blank spots" of history came back in 1989 to crumble Communist ideology. For their part, the Communist reformers (including Gorbachev) did not quite know how to respond as events accelerated in 1989, except not to repeat 1956.

  • December 28, 1989

    The Position of the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence Toward the Negotiations with Czechoslovak Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec, Prague

    The Position of the Civic Forum and Public Against Violence Toward the Negotiations with Czechoslovak Prime Minister Ladislav Adamec, Prague, discussing demands for condemnation of 1968 invasion and promises made by the Prime Minister to the Civic Forum