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Brezhnev and the Warsaw Pact


In August 1980, a worker's strike in Poland led to a compromise known as the Gdansk Agreement, in which the Communist government agreed to allow democratic changes within the government, including the legal formation of a worker's union—which became Solidarity. This agreement may have brought stability inside Poland, but created a strong reaction from the Soviet Union. The following is a report to the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party about the recent agreement of the Warsaw Pact to stop all political changes in Poland. Stanislaw Kania, the Polish Party Secretary, and Brezhnev gave speeches at the meeting. In this excerpt, Kania is apologetic for the recent events in Poland, but Brezhnev is inspirational for demanding a crackdown on "antisocialist forces," in other words, Solidarity.

M. A. Suslov, "Brezhnev and the Warsaw Pact," 11 December 1980, Making the History of 1989.


CPSU CC Politburo, "On the Results of a Meeting Among Leading Officials of the Warsaw Pact Member-States, in Moscow," 5 December 1980, Cold War International History Project, Virtual Archive, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).

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