Brezhnev Gets Forced to Make a Decision
During the developing economic and political crisis in Poland in the early 1980s, Polish and Soviet leaders communicated regularly to discuss the situation in Poland. Following a telephone conversation in June 1981 with Stanislaw Kania (first party secretary of the Communist Party in Poland [PZPR]), Leonid Brezhnev (first party secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union [CPSU]) presented a report about that conversation at a meeting of the Central Committee of the CPSU. As revealed in these meeting notes, Brezhnev grew increasingly frustrated with the leadership in Poland and its lack of action as well as its neglect to follow the advice of Soviet leaders. Brezhnev's report also points to the tensions that erupted within the Polish Communist Party during its recent plenum, as described by Kania. The document shows Soviet involvement in the Polish crisis, Polish leaders' hesitancy to adopt Soviet advice, and the tense relationship not only between Soviet and Polish leaders but also among Polish Communist Party members.
Leonid Brezhnev, "On Cde L. I. Brezhnev's Information About His Discussion with Cde. S. Kania," 18 June 1981, Cold War International History Project, Virtual Archive, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).