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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • April 27, 1968

    Report, Embassy of Hungary in North Korea to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry

    Pak Seong-cheol voices North Korea's views on the capture of the USS Pueblo, relations among communist countries, and events in Czechoslovakia.

  • July 14, 1968

    Message of the SSSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Soviet Embassy in Poland regarding the Reaction of Some Communist Parties to the Information from the Central Committee of CPSSS of July 11 about the Situation in Czechoslovakia

    Romania warns against international intervention, while Bulgarian officials argue that Romania's argument disavows the Warsaw agreement. Urbany closes by recommending peaceful and, if need be, other means to prevent upheaval.

  • July 21, 1968

    Shelest's Account of His Secret Meeting on Lake Balaton with Vasil Bil'ak, 20-21 July 1968

    Excerpt from diary of the First Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, Petro Shelest. Shelest recounts his secret meeting with the Slovak Communist Party leader, Vasil Bil'ak, on the shore of Lake Balaton in Hungary. The meeting took place late in the evening of 20-21 July, exactly a month before the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.

  • July 24, 1968

    P. Shelest Reports on a Meeting Between Ukrainian and Slovak Party Officials

    Petro Shelest reports to the CC CPSU on a meeting between Cde. V. G. Dykusarov and a secretary of the KSC’s East Slovakia regional committee, Cde. Jaromír Hetteš. Cde. J. Koscelanský, who usually appears on behalf of the Slovaks, was on vacation.

  • July 27, 1968

    Directive of the Ministry of Defense for Exercise ‘OVERCAST SUMMER-68’

    Directive describes how the military exercise Overcast Summer-68 ["Pochmurne Lato"] will transpire on August 1 on the border of Poland and Czechoslovakia from 28 July to 5 August 1968 and states the logistics of the exercise. Information includes what groups will be used, their commanding generals, equipment, and first aid materials. The document also details how communications between all parties involved will function, as well as signal words and numbers that are to be used under various situations. Directive is signed by Minister of Defense and General of Divisions, Wojciech Jaruzelski.

  • July 29, 1968

    Note on the Farewell Visit of the Polish Ambassador to the DPRK, Comrade Naperei, with Comrade Jarck on 26 July 1968 between 11:00 and 12:30 hours

    The German and Polish ambassadors in North Korea review clashes along the DMZ, the capture of the USS Pueblo, and the connections between Prague Spring and events in Korea.

  • August, 1968

    Letter from Czech Communist Politicians to Brezhnev Requesting Soviet Intervention in Prague Spring

    In August 1968 a small group of pro-Moscow hardliners in the Czechoslovak Communist Party, led by Vasil Bilak, wrote two letters requesting urgent assistance from the Soviet Union to thwart the imminent "counterrevolution" in Czechoslovakia. Both letters were addressed to Leonid Brezhnev, the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party (CPSU), and both were written in Russian to ensure that they would be read promptly. The first (and more important) letter was signed by Bilak and four of his colleagues: Drahomir Kolder, Alois Indra, Oldrich Svestka, and Antonin Kapek. Brezhnev later used the letter as a formal justification for the impending military invasion of Czechoslovakia.

  • August 03, 1968

    Shelest's Account of the Transfer of the 'Letter of Invitation'

    Excerpt from diary of the First Secretary of the Ukrainian Communist Party, Petro Shelest. Shelest describes arrangements to receive a letter from Vasil Bil'ak, a written appeal for urgent military assistance from the Soviet Union to thwart an imminent "counterrevolution" in Czechoslovakia.

  • August 08, 1968

    Attaché Note from Prague on Events in Czechoslovakia from 28 July to 5 August 1968

    Memorandum from Chief of General Staff II General Oliwa to Chief of General Staff and Deputy Minister of National Defense, General Chocha. General Oliwa is sending a note from the Military Attaché in Prague assessing the events in Czechoslovakia from 28 July to 5 August 1968. The status of the party and public opinion on the party in Czechoslovakia is highlighted throughout.

  • August 20, 1968

    Secret Decree of the Council of Ministers of the PR of Bulgaria for the Participation of Bulgarian Troops in the Warsaw Pact Operation in Czechoslovakia

  • August 20, 1968

    Report No. 10 from Generals Pavlovsky and Kovalov to Brigadier General Florian Siwicki

    General Pavlovsky writes to the Commander of the Polish Second Army, Brigadier General Florian Siwicki. He lists preliminary steps in Operation Danube where the troops enter from Poland into Czechoslovakia.

  • August 20, 1968

    On the Troops’ State of Readiness

    Report given out by the Polish Army General Staff regarding the state of Polish combat troops for the intervention in Czechoslovakia. States that the armies are in full readiness and are ready to move toward Czechoslovakia at any time. An overview of the area in Czechoslovakia that they are invading is also given at length.

  • August 21, 1968

    Letter from the Central Committees of the Bulgarian, East German, Hungarian, Polish, and Soviet Communist Parties regarding the Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia

    Letter from the Central Committees of the Communist Parties of East Germany, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Soviet Union explaining the need for intervention in Czechoslovakia. The letter lays out the rationale behind the Brezhnev Doctrine.

  • August 22, 1968

    CIA-State Consultations on Czechoslovak Crisis

    Consulted by Cord Meyer, Deputy Undersecretary of State Charles Bohlen approves RFE’s cautious approach to covering the Soviet invasion and also agrees to use of RL transmitters to reach Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia

  • August 22, 1968

    Prague Embassy Urges Caution on Radio Free Europe and Voice of America

    In Prague Embassy Dispatch No. 3079, Ambassador Jacob Beam urges the US Radios to provide factual reporting and neither encourage nor discourage Czechoslovak youth opposed to the invasion

  • August 22, 1968

    Report on the Polish Second Army, August 22, 1968 at 7:00 AM

    Report states that Polish Second Army divisions are in good spirits and believe their mission to intervene in Czechoslovakia is a just cause. Report states that despite the good will of Polish soldiers, they face hostility from the Czech army and citizens alike. Report then states what actions should be undertaken.

  • August 24, 1968

    Report on the Polish Second Army division taking part in Operation Danube

    Report states there are no problems with the morale and political state of soldiers and officers of the Second Army, though the soldiers have faced open hostility from Czech citizens. Overall relations between Czech Army and Polish divisions are negative.

  • August 24, 1968

    Telegrams from Romanian Embassy, Beijing, to Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 22-24 August 1968

    A series of three telegrams reporting on a reception held at the Romanian Embassy in Beijing on August 23, 1968. Premier Zhou Enlai attended the event and gave a speech condemning the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

  • August 25, 1968

    Report from Political Board of Polish Second Army

    Report on the use of propaganda materials and how they have been distributed in Czech cities and villages. It also lists several incidents of hostility expressed by Czech soldiers/citizens towards Warsaw Pact soldiers.

  • August 26, 1968

    Report from the Second Army's Political Department at 19:00 hours

    Document continues reporting on relations between Czech citizens and Warsaw Pact armies as well as the state of Polish Second Army. Report describes propaganda dissemination in villages and cities as well as how unfriendly relations between Czech and Polish soldiers remain.