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Mass Media and Censorship

Documents on propaganda and media control in the Soviet Union. The documents discuss Soviet attempts to control the flow of information, censoring media from both internal dissidents and external sources like the United States. See also Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty (Image, Soviet stamp showing Ostankino TV Tower, Joseph Morris)

Popular Documents

June 2, 1988

Military Exercise Shchit-88 Intelligence Summary No. 2 for the period 0800 2 June to 1900 6 June 1988

This document provides background information on a hypothetical political/military scenario leading up to the command staff exercise SHICHT-88 [TARCZA-88 in Polish]. In the scenario 'Blue' military leaders have begun to oppose the policy of detente pursued by their governments and consequently have raised their level of combat readiness by increasing the frequency of military exercises and pressured 'Blue' governments into ending the destruction of intermediate-range nuclear forces as required by the 1987 Treaty on Intermediate Nuclear Forces in Europe. In response the 'Reds' have also raised their combat readiness. The increased international tension has affected the situation within Poland, contributing to increased anti-government sentiment.

March 23, 1989

Bulgarian Secretariat Resolution on Termination of Jamming of Foreign Broadcasts for Bulgaria

The BCP CC passes a decision to stop jamming the broadcast of Western radio stations airing programs in Bulgarian. This decision however does not apply to Radio Ankara, whose Bulgarian programming continues to be blocked.

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.

May 22, 1968

Memorandum to CPSU Politburo on Western District Border Controls

P. Shelest reports to the CPSU Politburo on the admission of subversive materials through the Western District border controls, and the lax state of those border controls.

January 3, 1976

Excerpt from Chernyaev Diary on Dissidents in the Soviet Union

Chemyaev writes on a meeting of the Politburo when Andropov presented a memo on dissidents and political prisoners in the USSR.