In this excerpt from the Mikhail Gorbachev's remarks to the Soviet Union's Defense Council, his chief foreign policy advisor Anatoly Chernyaev lays out the argument by Gorbachev that the Soviet Union can no longer sustain the arms race with the west that had raged as a part of the Cold War since the 1940s. Despite this rational observation that the Soviet Union can no longer compete with the….
Czechoslovak Defense Minister Milan Vaclavik wrote this report on the "Vltava-89" military training exercise conducted by Warsaw Pact forces in May 1989. The Warsaw Pact was the Eastern Bloc regional security organization founded in 1955 as a challenger to the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The NATO-Warsaw Pact rivalry symbolized the heights of aggression between the United….
Following the historic roundtable talks that took place in Poland from February to April 1989 between Communist and opposition leaders, Polish Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski met with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Moscow to discuss the unfolding events in Poland and Polish-Soviet relations. The tone of this document is not one of dissatisfaction on the part of the Soviet leader but….
Just a few days after Soviet leaders met with two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania (first party secretary) and Josef Pinkowski (prime minister), to discuss the critical situation in Poland, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev wrote an urgent letter to Erich Honecker, first party secretary in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). This letter shows the grave concern on the part of the Soviet….
On October 30, 1980, two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania (first secretary of the Communist Party) and Josef Pinkowski (prime minister), visited the Soviet Union to engage in discussions with the Soviet leadership about the ongoing critical situation in Poland. The next day, at a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union (CPSU), Soviet leaders met to talk….
Andrzej Stelmachowski, a Solidarity activist, engaged in secret negotiations between the opposition and communist party and state leaders in Poland regarding the preparations for the historic Roundtable Talks that eventually took place in February through April 1989. In this document, he reported to Lech Walesa, the leader of the Solidarity Movement, about his discussion with Secretary Jozef….
Prior to the historic Roundtable Talks between the opposition and the communist party and state officials in Poland, negotiations occurred on many levels, as shown in this document. Not only were participants in the opposition negotiating with communist leaders, but they were also negotiating among themselves. Leaders of the opposition held numerous meetings in the fall of 1988 to discuss the….
This report, from September 1, 1988, details the meeting of a diverse coalition of Polish opposition members, consisting of trade unionists, academics, journalists and representatives of the Solidarity movement. They agreed that their major priorities were for talks with the government regarding the status of unions, pluralism, and economic and political reforms. They agreed to the….