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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 04, 1956

ZHUKOV REPORT ON THE SITUATION IN HUNGARY AS OF 12 NOON

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    Zhukov reports on the progress made by Soviet troops entering Hungary. He writes that troops have recaptured key institutions and buildings in Budapest and the provinces. Zhukov notes that the government of Imre Nagy has gone into hiding and that to prevent the escape of insurgents and leaders the Soviet army has occupied the airports and closed off roads along the border with Austria. The report describes remaining areas of resistance such as the Corwin Theater in Budapest.
    "Zhukov report on the situation in Hungary as of 12 noon," November 04, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, F. 89, Per. 45, Dok. 23; translated by Johanna Granville. Published in CWIHP Bulletin 5, pp. 33-34. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111979
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At 6:15 on Nov 4, Soviet troops began to conduct the operation for restoring order and rehabilitating the government of the People's Democracy of Hungary. Acting according to an earlier thought-out plan, our units mastered the most stubborn points of the reaction in the provinces, as they existed in Dier [Gyor], Miskolc, Debrecen, and even in other regional centers in Hungary.

In the course of the operation Soviet troops occupied the most important communication centers, including the powerful, radio broadcasting station in Soinok, the depots of military supplies and weapons, and other important military objectives.

The Soviet troops operating in Budapest, having broken the resistance of the insurgents, occupied the Parliament building, the Central Committee of the Hungarian Workers Party, an even the radio station in the region near the Parliament building. Also seized were three bridges across the Dunai [Danube] River, joining the eastern and western parts of the city, and the arsenal of weapons and military supplies.

The whole staff of the counterrevolutionary government of Imre Nagy was in hiding. Searches are being conducted.

One large hotbed of resistance of the insurgents remains in Budapest around the Corwin Theater in the southern-eastern part of the city. The insurgents defending this stubborn point were presented with an ultimatum to capitulate. In connection with the refusal of the resisters to surrender, the troops began an assault on them.

The main garrisons of the Hungarian troops were blockaded. Many of them gave up their weapons without a serious fight. Instructions were given to our troops to return the captured insurgents to the command of Hungarian officers and to arrest the officers who were assigned to replace the captured ones.

With the objective of not allowing the penetration of Hungary by the hostile agency and the escape of the resistance leaders from Hungary, our troops have occupied the Hungarian airports and solidly closed off all the roads on the Austro-Hungarian border. The troops, continuing to fulfill the assignment, are purging the territory of Hungary of insurgents.

G. ZHUKOV

4 November 1956

Sent to Khrushchev, Bulganin, Malenkov, Suslov, etc.