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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 20, 1986

CPSU CC POLITBURO TRANSCRIPT (EXCERPT)

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    CPSU CC Politburo Transcript discussing Afghan plans to execute 50 people and Karmal’s weak psychological disposition
    "CPSU CC Politburo Transcript (excerpt)," March 20, 1986, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 89, per. 36, d. 18; provided by M. Kramer; trans. by V.M. Zubok. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111598
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SESSION OF CC CPSU POLITBURO
20 March 1986

Chairing: com. GORBACHEV M.S.
Attending: com Aliev G.A., Gromyko A.A., Zaikov L.N.,Ligachev E.K., Ryzhkov N.I, Solomentsev M.S., Chebrikov, V.M., Dolgikh V.I., Eltsin B.N., Yeltsin B.N., Sokolov S.L., Talyzin N.B., Biryukova A.P., Zimianin M.V., Medvedev V.A., Nikonov V.P., Razumovskii G.P., Yakovlev A.N.


GORBACHEV: Before we start discussing the issues on the agenda, I would like to inform you on some questions.
A troubling cable has arrived from Aden. They want to shoot 50 people there. I think we should issue an appeal, pointing out that the main thing today is unity. And the actions of this kind can aggravate internal strife.


GROMYKO: Right


GORBACHEV: Let Yegor Kuzmich [Ligachev], Viktor Mikhailovich [Chebrikov] and the MFA prepare the necessary instruction.


LIGACHEV: The Bulgarians refused to receive Muhammed.


GORBACHEV: We should not dramatize it. They have to face certain difficulties, too, regarding this question.
According to information from confidential channels, [East German leader Erich] Honecker let himself speak in a way that testifies to his misunderstanding of our point of view about Socialist self-government of people, that socialism itself is a self-government.


[pages missing-ed.]

GORBACHEV (reads a memorandum on Afghanistan). This is a strict party document. The situation is quite dramatic. B. Karmal is very much down in terms of health and in terms of psychological disposition. He began to pit leaders against each other.


SOLOMENTSEV: A correct position.


CHEBRIKOV: Karmal tells himself that he cannot cope with his functions (he reads a cable).


GROMYKO: One could instruct Mikhail Sergeevich to speak with him.