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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • October 01, 1963

    Report to Hungarian Politburo on Jamming of Western Radio

    This report prepared for the Hungarian Politburo in 1963 concluded that current jamming efforts were ineffective. It provided two options for the Politburo: to maintain and redirect jamming, focusing it on RFE, or to end it entirely.

  • October 23, 1963

    Soviet Ambassador Dorynin on Radio Liberty

    Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson reports Anatoly Dobrynin’s denunciation of Radio Liberty (and other “subversive” radios) while noting the Soviet Union had stopped jamming Voice of America Russian.

  • April 28, 1966

    Report of the Panel on US Government Radio Broadcasting to the Communist Bloc

    Panel commissioned by the White House and comprised of Zbigniew Brzezinski, William E. Griffith, John S. Hays, and Richard S. Salant recommends continuation of RFE and RL as covertly funded objective news services, along with VOA and RIAS, discontinuation of public solicitation of private financial donations to RFE, and (Hays dissenting) establishing a Radio Free China

  • November 26, 1966

    Gosteleradio Review of Western Radio Propaganda, 'Anti-Communism is the main weapon of imperialist radio propaganda in the Russian language'

    This lengthy review of foreign radio propaganda by Y. Novikov, an official of the USSR Gosteleradio [State Television and Radio] Guidance Department, pays particular attention to what it sees as Western broadcasters’ attempts to discredit Marxism-Leninism and Communist economics, as well as the notion of convergence between capitalism and Communism.

  • April 14, 1967

    Gosteleradio Memo to CPSU Central Committee, 'Ideological Subversion on the Airwaves of Foreign Radio Stations Broadcasting in the Russian language'

    This memo from N. Mesyatsev, Chairman, Broadcast and Television Committee, Council of Ministers, analyzes Western radio “propaganda” and credits Western broadcasts with being “an effective tool of ideological intervention.” The document notes that the broadcasts pay attention to Soviet dissidents, and mentions their use of humor and Western music.

  • February 16, 1968

    Memorandum to the CPSU CC from N. Mesyatsev, Chairman, Broadcast and Television Committee, Council of Ministers, USSR

    This document discusses Western radio programming aimed at the intelligentsia and dissidents, and cites the use of samizdat by Western broadcasters.

  • 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

  • November 12, 1975

    Record of Conversation With US Attaché In the USSR Jack Matlock

    US Attaché in the Soviet Union Jack Matlock was invited to discuss the Final Act of the European Conference in Helsinki. The Soviet Union publicized the text of the Final Act and faulted the United States for not doing the same. Looking at the principles of the Final Act, which the Soviet Union believes to be the bases for interstate relations in Europe, the government determined that radio stations such as "Liberty," "Free Europe," and "Voice of America" are not compatible with the goals and provisions. The Soviet government would like to improve relations with American journalists by first quickening the visa process and hope that the US would do the same for Soviet journalists.

  • January, 1976

    Institute for the Study of Contemporary Problems of Capitalism Report, 'Trends of Western Radio Propaganda Broadcast in Polish'

    This document is an example of the monthly analyses of Western broadcasting to Poland prepared by the Interior Ministry-affiliated Institute for the Study of Contemporary Problems of Capitalism (Instytut Badania Współczesnych Problemów Kapitalizmu). It is representative of the extensive cottage industry devoted to such analyses that developed in Poland in the 1970s.

  • 1977

    Bulgarian Interior Ministry Analysis of Foreign Propaganda against Bulgaria

    This document provides a detailed content analysis of the programs of individual Western broadcasters. It indicates particular sensitivity to broadcasts on Helsinki-related human rights issues, to the use of recent defectors with inside knowledge, and to Radio Free Europe's focus on domestic issues.

  • 1979

    Bulgarian Interior Ministry Note on Actions against Western Radio

    A Bulgarian Interior Ministry paper details coordinated actions against Western radio in the aftermath of the May 1977 Budapest meeting of Bloc security services. The paper identifies RFE, and notably several of its broadcasters who recently defected from Bulgaria, as a major threat. It accuses Western media of sensationalizing the murder of Georgi Markov (who was killed by the Zhivkov regime).

  • September 25, 1986

    Memorandum to Central Committee from Politburo Members Ligachev and Chebrikov on Jamming of Western Radio Stations

    This memorandum from Politburo members Chebrikov and Ligachev describes in general terms the jamming situation in 1986 and the rationale for ending jamming on VOA, BBC, Radio Beijing and Radio Korea, while continuing jamming of Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Deutsche Welle and Kol Israel.

  • June, 2007

    Once More about Radio Liberty. Folder 66. The Chekist Anthology.

    Contains information on KGB active measures to undermine the activities and credibility of Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America during the mid 1970’s and early 1980’s. In one operation, personally authorized by KGB Chairman Yuri Andropov, the Spanish journal “Arriba” and 42 other Spanish journals published articles stating that Radio Liberty broadcasts into the USSR violated the Helsinki Accords because they impinged upon Soviet sovereignty, and were contrary to Spanish national interests. Following this activity, the Spanish leadership decided not to extend its agreement with the US which allowed Radio Liberty to broadcast from Spain. During a 1976 operation, an East German agent who worked as an international lawyer spread disinformation about Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty’s ‘illegal’ activities in 35 foreign embassies in Vienna. In October 1977, the KGB sent letters to a variety of Western news outlets, including the Washington Post, claiming to be from a group of Radio Free Europe employees. These letters were directed specifically at US Senators Edward Kennedy, Charles Percy, and Frank Church, and Representatives Edward Derwinsky, Clement Zablocky, Herman Badillo, and Berkley Bedell. In 1981, with the help of the journal “Pravda,” the KGB exposed the role of Radio Liberty in the ‘events’ in Poland.