By December 1989, the economic hardships, chronic shortages, and unwillingness to reform created the same pressures on the Yugoslav Communist Party as it had elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Popular protests had emerged throughout the country, only growing larger as word spread of similar problems in nearby Romania. This report by the Yugoslav Ambassador to Russia, Milan Veres, to the Soviet….
At a March 10, 1988, Politburo meeting, Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) delineated his concerns about the growing influence of Western goods on Eastern bloc countries. He recognized that there existed minimal economic trade within Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, and indicated the importance of rebuilding trade within COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) to ensure….
In the midst of a chaotic year of economic and political reforms, Communist Party General Secretary (and head of state) Mikhail Gorbachev addressed the politburo on the delicate issue of the Soviet military presence throughout Europe. Conventional Soviet military thinking was that any troop buildup by NATO countries must be met by tit-for-tat by the Warsaw Pact countries; to act otherwise was….
As Gorbachev’s reforms began to take hold across the Soviet Union, various Soviet Republics became hotbeds of nationalist, anti-Soviet movements The Georgian SSR was one of the centers of such acitivties with protests in Georgia reaching their peak on April 4, 1989, when tens of thousands of Georgians gathered in the city of Tbilisi. Local Soviet authorities lost control over the situation….
Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity Movement and outspoken critic of the communist party and state, a shipyard worker in the city of Gdansk, and later president of Poland following the collapse of Communism (1990-1995), wrote this note prior to the Roundtable Talks that eventually took place in February to April 1989. During the historic Roundtable Talks, Polish communist leaders met….
During the significant changes that were brewing in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev (leader of the Soviet Union) met with members of the Trilateral Commission, a nongovernmental organization founded in 1973 by private citizens of Japan, North America, and Europe to foster mutual understanding and cooperation. In these notes from a Politburo meeting in January….