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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 13, 1981

CPSU CC POLITBURO PROTOCOL (EXTRACT), "ON INFORMATION ABOUT THE POLISH QUESTION FOR THE LEADERS OF THE FRATERNAL COUNTRIES"

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    Soviet ambassadors are informed that martial law has been declared in Poland.
    "CPSU CC Politburo Protocol (extract), "On Information about the Polish question for the leaders of the fraternal countries"," December 13, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 89, op. 66, d. 4. Translated by Mark Kramer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110481
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Proletarians of all countries, unite!

Communist Party of the Soviet Union
CENTRAL COMMITTEE

TOP SECRET

No. P40/26
TO: Comrades Brezhnev, Tikhonov, Andropov, Gromyko, Suslov, Ustinov, Ponomarev, Rusakov, Zamyatin
Extract from Protocol No. 40 of the session of the CPSU CC Politburo
on 13 December 1981

On Information about the Polish question for the leaders of the fraternal countries.
To affirm the draft instructions to the Soviet ambassadors in Bulgaria, Hungary, the GDR, Mongolia, Czechoslovakia, the Republic of Cuba, Vietnam, and Laos (see attached).
CC SECRETARY
Regarding point 26 of Prot. No. 40

Secret
SOFIA, BUDAPEST, BERLIN, ULAN-BATOR, PRAGUE, HAVANA, HANOI, VIENTIANE
SOVIET AMBASSADOR


CC: WARSAW -- SOVIET AMBASSADOR


Pay a call on T. Zhivkov (J. Kadar, E. Honecker, Yu. Tsedenbal, G. Husak, F. Castro, Li Duan, K. Phomvihan) and, referring to the CPSU CC's instructions, transmit the following:


"As our friends know, the Polish leadership has introduced martial law in the country, announced the formation of a Military Council of National Salvation, and detained the most extremist elements of 'Solidarity,' the 'Confederation for an Independent Poland,' and other anti-socialist groups.


"A good impression has been created by W. Jaruzelski's address to the people, in which, in our view, all the basic questions were given appropriate emphasis. In particular, what is especially important is that the address reaffirmed the leading role of the PZPR and the commitment of the PPR to the socialist obligations stipulated by the Warsaw Pact.


"To ensure the success of the operation, the Polish comrades observed strict secrecy. Only a narrow circle around Jaruzelski knew about the action.
1 Thanks to this our friends have succeeded in catching the enemy completely unawares, and the operation so far has been implemented satisfactorily.


"On the very eve of implementation of the projected operation, W. Jaruzelski communicated about it to Moscow.
2 We informed him that the Soviet leadership looked with understanding upon the decision of the Polish comrades. In so doing we ensured that the Polish comrades would resolve these matters solely by internal means.


"In our preliminary evaluation, the measures taken by the Polish friends are an active step to repulse counterrevolution, and in this sense they correspond with the general line of all the fraternal countries.


"In these circumstances the question arises about offering political and moral support to the Polish friends and also about giving additional economic assistance. The Soviet leadership, as previously, will act on the Polish question in close contact with the fraternal countries."


Confirm transmittal by telegram.

1. Translator's Note: This statement is confirmed by the lack of concrete discussion of the matter at PZPR Politburo meetings throughout the crisis; see the transcripts in Zbigniew Wlodek, ed., Tajne dokumenty Biura Politycznego: PZPR a "Solidarnosc," 1980-1981 (London: Aneks, 1992). The extreme secrecy of the planning also is emphasized in the interview with Ryszard Kuklinski, "Wojna z narodem widziana od srodka," Kultura (Paris) 4/475 (April 1987), esp. 11-13, 33-35.

2. Translator's Note: The text of this communication (by most accountsa phone conversation Jaruzelski had with Suslov and/or Brezhnev) reportedly exists in the Russian Presidential Archive, but has not yet been released.