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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • October 31, 1980

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, "On the Results of a Visit to the USSR by the First Secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party, Cde. S. Kania, and the Chairman of the PPR Council of Ministers, Cde. J. Pinkowski," 31 October 1980

    A visit from Polish leadership reveals the extent of the crisis. Brezhnev believes that the Polish leadership is capable of maintaining control and quelling the counter-revolution, but that Poland is in dire need of economic assistance from the USSR.

  • December 05, 1980

    Stenographic Minutes of the Meeting of Leading Representatives of the Warsaw Pact Countries in Moscow

    Leonid Brezhnev and East European communist leaders discuss the strikes of the 1980-1981 Polish crisis and their aftermath and causes, including the formation of the Solidarity Union. The repercussions of the crisis for socialism in Poland and other Warsaw Pact countries is discussed, as well as possible measures to counter the anti-socialist uprising.

  • January 22, 1981

    Transcript of the CPSU Politburo Session, 22 January 1981 (excerpt)

    Delegation of CPSU Party Officials headed by L. M. Zamyatin discusses the political and social situation in Poland after Zamyatin’s trip there. Zamyatin gives an optimistic report about the PZPR’s efforts to regain control over society in Poland, and comments on the division in Solidarity as well as its strengths and weaknesses that can be exploited by the PZPR. The members of the Delegation discuss possible measures that the PZPR can implement in its counterrevolution against the growing power of antisocialist forces in Poland.

  • March 12, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 12 March 1981 (excerpt)

    Brezhnev summarizes his meeting with E. Honecker regarding the efforts of the PZPR to suppress the rise of antisocialist political opposition forces in Poland. K.V. Rusakov and A.A. Gromyko respond by expressing their worries about the situation in Poland and criticizing the PZPR for not taking decisive measures to restore order and control over the country.

  • March 26, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 26 March 1981 (excerpt)

    Soviet leaders discuss the results of negotiations with a delegation from the Polish People's Republic, where Poland requested increased import of raw materials.

  • April 02, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 02 April 1981 (excerpt)

    Brezhnev and the Politboro grow frustrated with the Polish leadership. They express fear of the Polish crisis spreading to Belorussia and Georgia, and question the health of Polish leaders.

  • April 09, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 09 April 1981 (excerpt)

    Soviet leaders discuss the results of a meeting held by Cdes. Yu. V. Andropov and D.F. Ustinov with the Polish, where the Polish reported that it was difficult to conduct business with the counterrevolutionary activity, but that the situation was begining to stabilize in the wake of CPSU 26th Congress. A discussion of Poland's situation and recommendations ensued.

  • April 30, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 30 April 1981 (excerpt)

    Soviet leaders discuss the results of negotiations between a CPSU delegation and the PZPR leadership, and express concern with the decisions of the Polish leadership.

  • June 18, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 18 June 1981 (excerpt)

    Discussion of conversation between Brezhnev and Kania regarding the counterrevolution and other matters.

  • October 29, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 29 October 1981 (excerpt)

    Soviet Politburo meeting discusses removing Cde. Kania due to uprisings in Poland. It also addresses shortages of oil and supplies for export and use within the Soviet Union.

  • December 10, 1981

    Session of the CPSU CC Politburo

    The Soviet Politburo discusses the Polish Solidarity movement and the possibility of imposing martial law in Poland to restore order and the communist party's authority.

  • January 14, 1982

    CPSU CC Politburo transcript, 14 January 1982 (excerpt)

    Brezhnev discusses Soviet talks with Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Czyrek. Brezhnev also informs the Politburo about the state of the PZPR, the Polish economy, the newly instituted Polish martial law, and the leadership of Jaruzelski.

  • May 31, 1983

    Meeting Minutes of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Regarding Western Plans for Deployment of New Nuclear Weapons in Europe

    Politburo discussion, presided over by Andropov, on how to respond to the Western decision to deploy new nuclear weapons in Europe.

  • September 08, 1983

    CPSU CC Politburo Session, Korean Air Flight 007

    Minutes from a Soviet Politburo meeting discussing the South Korean flight KAL 007 which was shot down by a Soviet interceptor on September 1, 1983.

  • August 29, 1985

    Meeting of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Regarding Yelena Bonner's Request to Travel and Andrei Sakharov's Situation

    The Politburo discusses whether to permit Bonner to visit the United States to receive medical treatment and visit relatives, a decision complicated by concern about the potential risk of an embarrassing uproar if her request was denied barely two months before Gorbachev’s planned summit meeting in Geneva with Reagan.

  • 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.

  • September 25, 1986

    Meeting Minutes of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Regarding Persecution of Political Dissidents and Spies

    In this September 1986 excerpt, Gorbachev receives a report from KGB chief Chebrikov that he had requested on “what kinds of people are serving sentences for crimes, which Western propaganda calls political.” Obviously following Gorbachev’s lead, Chebrikov proposes to alleviate the prison sentences of two-thirds of the 240 persons he lists under this category; but, in response to a question from Gromyko, he notes two cases where the guilty parties had already received a sentence that could not be reduced—execution for espionage.

  • October 09, 1986

    Decree of the Secretary of the CC CPSU, 09 October 1986

    Concerns the KGB in Kabul and the help of the Iraqi Communist Party.

  • October 22, 1986

    Meeting Minutes of the Politburo of the CC CPSU, Regarding the Aftermath of the Reykjavik US-Soviet summit

    The Politburo discusses what to do after the failure of the Reykjavik summit over Reagan's insistence on preserving the right to continue the SDI or "Star Wars" project, as well as the subsequent expulsion of Soviet diplomats from the US. In the angry, bitter meeting Gorbachev decides on the removal of 250 Soviets working in service positions at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

  • March 12, 1989

    CPSU CC Memo with excerpt from Protocol #149/23 and an attached report, 12 March 1989

    This memo concerns further measures for urgent military aid to Afghanistan.