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Brezhnev's Decision on Poland


In the midst of the ongoing economic and political crisis in Poland in the early 1980s, Soviet leaders frequently communicated with top Polish officials. At a meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC CPSU) on April 16, 1981, Leonid Brezhnev, then first party secretary, recounted his recent telephone conversation with Stanislaw Kania, first party secretary of the Communist Party in Poland. As this report indicates, Soviet officials continued to put pressure on Polish leaders to act decisively in response to the opposition, and they showed concern about Polish officials' attitudes and confidence in dealing with the resistance. In addition, these meeting notes show that Communist Party leaders in other parts of the region watched the events unfolding in Poland with alarm. Their concern about the tense situation in Poland resulted in the decision at this meeting to keep party officials throughout the region informed about secret discussions with Polish leaders.

Leonid Brezhnev and Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, "Brezhnev's Decision on Poland," 16 April 1981, Making the History of 1989.


CPSU CC Politburo, "On Cde. L. I. Brezhnev's Discussion with the PZPR CC First Secretary, Cde. S. Kania (by telephone)," 16 April 1981, Cold War International History Project, Virtual Archive, CWIHP (accessed May 14, 2008).

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Brezhnev's Decision on Poland in World History Commons,