THE CRISIS IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA

Created: 7/12/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

MPIIOVIO FOR RELEASE UILIUI1II18

INTELLIGENCE AGENCY OFFICE OP NATIONAL ESTIMATES

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INEXRANDUM PGR THE DIRECTOR

SUBJECT: The Crisis Id Czechoslovakia

Relatioos between Moscow and Prague have deteriorated to the lowest point since the change in the Czechoslovakin January. The situation appears to be movingecisive stage.

During tho Warsaw Pact exercise in June, the Sovietsseveral thousand military personnel Into Czechoslovakia. The bulk of these remain in the country, concentrated northwest and northeast of Prague. Western military attache sightings have not confirmed the presence of such large numbers of Soviet troops. Some four to six divisions have apparently been moved Into positions in close proximity to the Czechoslovak frontier. The number of Soviet troops which have actually entered the country cannot be determined.

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1 Excluded from automatic downgrading end dse laaaifleation

3. SlPf* aboutuly five new communications links controlled by the Soviet General Staff have been established: two terminals appear to be located lohird is located near Budapest; another is near Uzhgorod on the Soviet -Czechoslovak border; the last is southwest of Magdeburg, East Germany. These additional links indicate an expectation by the Sovietsubstantial increase in coanunicatlons. Theof these terminals suggests, though It does notovement or preparationsovement of Soviet troops into Czechoslovakia from the USSR, Hungary, and East Germany

k. Within the last two weeks Increased propaganda indicates that Moscow has made some new decisions regarding Czechoslovakia. Onuneords" Declaration of the Czechoslovak liberals (cany of them Communist Party members) was published in several Czechoslovak newspapers. Onune TASS announced that the Warsaw Pact exercise was ended, then cancelled thea few hours later. In early July Moscow, Warsaw, Pankow, Budapest^ and Sofia sent private letters to Prague, apparently warning the Czechoslovak Party leadership and summoning the Czechseeting; the Dubcek regime refused to attend. uly Pravda attackedords" Declaration as being

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nd la the aplrlt of theelements" who "attempted to undermine the Hungarian people's socialist achievements" The moat ominous part of the article is that It judges guilty by"certain leading figures in Czechoslovakia" who have made "ambiguous statements In which they try to minimize the danger Inherent In theOO Words'." This probably points to Dubcek himself.

5. The heightened Soviet pressureemand on Dubcek to halt or reverse tbe basic current of politicalIn Czechoslovakia since last January. They are backing up this demand with an evident threat of military force. To satisfy the Soviets now, Dubcek would have to make some risible concession, such as the re imposition of press censorship; or the arrest of tbe authors ofr the purge of some of Dubcek's liberal associates who have been criticized by the Sovlot preso, such as Claar or Krlegel; or his acquiescence In tho permanent stationing of some foreign troops on Czechoslovak soil. It would be extremely difficult for Dubcek to make any of these concessions at thle point withouterious risk of public disorder,trong ant1-Soviet cast. Thus the most recent developments

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that the chancesiolent Soviet Intervention have sharply Increased.

FOR THE BOARD OF NATIONAL ESTIMATES:

ABBOT SMITH Chairman

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