This February 1989 report by the Bogomolov Commission analyzes the current situation in Eastern Europe for Alexander Yakovlev, key foreign policy advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev. The Bogomolov Commission was the largest Soviet think tank conducting research on the East European countries. This document can be compared with the memorandum by the International Department of the CC CPSU (document….
In the following memorandum to Alexander Yakovlev, one of Gorbachev's chief advisors, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) analyzes the effects of Gorbachev's reform program in Eastern Europe. The document reflects the complexity of the issues raised by the new Soviet policy. In the excerpt below, the CPSU assesses the current situation and identifies some of….
In 1990, the Yugoslav Communist Party divided into several separate parties, one for each of the six Yugoslav Republics. Tensions among the ethnic groups of Yugoslavia, divided among the republics, led to an outbreak of a civil war by 1991. In order to prevent a general escalation of the violence throughout the Balkan Region, the United Nations' Security Council committed its resources to….
After gaining the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party, Mikhail Gorbachev set the Soviet Union on the path of reform with perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost' (openness). He had followed his domestic changes with a general arms reduction throughout Eastern Europe in 1988, extending the reach of his reforms. On 6 July 1989, in a speech made in front of the Parliamentary….
Margaret Thatcher held an impromptu press conference outside of her official residence, No. 10 Downing Street, on the morning following the initial opening of the Berlin Wall. In her remarks, it is clear that she is hesitant to reply directly to the idea of a unified German state. Instead, she expressed a desire to move slowly and to facilitate the internal growth of democracy from within East….
In the spring and summer of 1989, Chinese protestors occupied Tiananmen Square in Beijing in order to achieve some political concessions from the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, the Soviet Union under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev continued to follow along their path of political reforms with glasnost' (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). In September 1989, Prime….
As part of a public demonstration of support for the newly-elected governments in Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, traveled throughout the region in September 1990. Not only did this provide her an opportunity to discuss important matters for Britain's foreign policy but also she could use the attention she brought with Western journalists to allow the new….
In August 1980, a worker's strike began in Gdansk, Poland in reaction to the struggling economy and massive shortages. In a compromise, the Communist government legalized Solidarity, but this only increased tensions. Imports from the Soviet Union and the West failed to improve the economy, with more strikes becoming endemic throughout 1980 and 1981. Fearing a Soviet military invasion to restore….
In February 1990, the newly-elected president of Czechoslovakia, Vaclav Havel, became the first Czechoslovakian leader to visit Washington and meet with a US president. A former dissident and playwright, Havel was “an enigmatic figure” in his own country, according to National Security Council staff member Robert L. Hutchings, and his meeting with President George H. W. Bush was helpful in….
In July 1989, President George H. W. Bush visited Poland and Hungary, the two countries in Eastern Europe in which substantial political and economic reform seemed most likely to occur first. In a series of speeches during the spring, Bush had set out his hope for a Europe “whole and free.” In April, at Hamtramck, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit heavily populated by Polish-Americans, Bush had….
In July 1989, President George H. W. Bush visited Poland and Hungary, the two countries in Eastern Europe in which substantial political and economic reforms seemed most likely to occur first. Pursuing a new US policy he referred to as “beyond containment,” Bush wished to show US support for a movement toward the integration of Eastern Europe into the “community of nations.” During a….