SOVIET TROOP MOVEMENTS

Created: 8/23/1968

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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DCI BRIEFING FOR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

SOVIET TROOP MOVEMENTS

I. The Soviet Union began deploying tha forces which eventually invaded Czechoslovakia to their assembly areas near the Czech border as early ashese movements, which amountedobilization and deployment phase, were completed abouthen the Soviets terminated what had been describedear services exercise. II. In this preliminary period, the following force deployments took place:

armies of the GSFG--the Group ofinto theof East Germany, near the Czech frontier.

These were the First Guards Tank Array andh Guards Array.

In addition, two East German Array divisions--the 7th Tank andh Motorized Rifle-also moved near the Czech border.

Soviets noved into Polandhfrom the Baltic Military District, andwhich had recently been attached toArmy in the Carpathian Military District.

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his movement into Poland probably also included two divisions ofh Army from the Belorussian Military District.

Hungary, all four Soviet divisions ofGroup of Forces moved from theirareas to the Czech border region.

the Carpathian Military District, theDivision was noved up to the borderthe eastern tip of Czechoslovakia.

1. h Army was probably mobilized and brought up to full strength, but there is no indication that it moved out of its normal area.

III. As soon as these deployments were completed, the Soviets and their hard-line Warsaw Pact alliesommand post exercise which amountedehearsal for 'the move into Czechoslovakia. IV. The actual intervention haso

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roops, most of them Soviet forces. There are elements, at least, ofight note parenthetically that the Czech Army :onsists ofivisions in all, two of them well below combat strength.

The main non-Soviet forces00 Poles in two or three Polish divisions.

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1. We cannot confirm that either Hungarian III

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Czechoslovakia, but there are low level reports that some Soviet elements, with token Hungarian detachments in company, have crossed tho border.

There is apparently some Bulgarian participation, probably under Soviet control. One report indicatesulgarian regiment is in eastern Czechoslovakia, at Kosice.

There may be small East German units with the Soviet forces in western Czechoslovakia, but the East German divisions which deployed to the border area apparently remain in reserve on the Gorman side of the frontier.

Since the intervention began, we have traced the following movements:

h Guards Army moved from Eastwestern Czechoslovakiaine ofthe West German border, and isof Prague.

First Guards Army moved into and south ofmay have pushed on to the Austrianwould cut Czechoslovakia in two.

1. We have indications that the Soviet troops have been ordered toew miles short of Western frontiers.

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DCI BRIEFING FOR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

CIERNA AND BRATISLAVA

leaderships of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union confronted each other for four days--fromh through August Cierna in extreme eastern Czechoslovakia.contrast, the meeting at Bratislava on Augustnvolved all of the East Europeans except Rumania, was brief, and served mainlyoint ratification of agreements that had been reached at Cierna.

Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia last Tuesday is evidence enough that the meetingsailure from Moscow's point ot view. II. The Russians were not able to wring the concessions

they wanted from the Czechs at Cierna. They discovered that verbal pressure, even backed up by tho threat of military force, was not enough to make the Czechs give in. In the end, the Russians got little more than Czech pledges of good intentions.

A. Unsatisfactory though this was, some of the Soviet leaders were probably prepared to wait,and see how the Czechs would carry through on their promises.

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a time, this may even have been the

ajority of the Soviet politburo.

By Tuesday, obviously, it was .the minority

view

III. We have many accounts of what went on at Cierna. They agree that the Soviets made three principal demands:

the Czechs must accept Soviet militaryin Czechoslovakia to defend theWest Germany-

he Czechs must restore complete control of their press andother words, reinstitute the censorship which the Dubcek regine had abolished.

Three. they must purge certain individuals objectionable to the Russians from party and government posts.

Czechs were prepared to satisfy theon the second point--control ofthen only partially.

1. Dubcek said he could not reimpose censorship.

but that he was certain he could persuade the

Czech press toore "positive" 1ine

toward the Russians.

C. Assurances were sought and given that the Dubcek regime would maintain the predominance of the

Communist party in Czechoslovakia, and would

remain closely tied into the East European

military and economic systems.

1. If the Czechs spelled out for the Russians

just what they would do specifically to fulfill such promises, this would have amounted to some further concessions. We have no evidence that the Czechs went this far. D. The Cierna meeting endederse communique, implying that there was much that the two sides

still disagreedthat they had finished on

a fairly amicable note. IV. The subsequent meeting at Bratislava wasatter of getting signaturesong declaration cf principles, witheavy accent on orthodoxy.

Russians in effect told the other EastMoscow had worked out an agreement withit was up to the others to go along.

seems that Ulbricht put up someotherwise the meeting was proforma.

declaration repeated standard SovietCommunist unity, the leading role ofParty, and the threat of imperialism.

1. esture to the Czechs, it also acknowledged that all Communist states were entitled to equality, sovereignty, and national independence

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V, it quickJy became evident from what the Soviet

press said about Bratislava that the Russians had every intention of insisting on the obligations which the Czechs had undertaken by signing, without much respect for the rights ackowledged in the same declaration.

if the Czechs had been given more timeout an accommodation, there would havelcng and bitter struggle between Moscowover the meaning of the declaration.

time between the end of theand lastecision wasMoscow against letting this struggle drag on.

c. Our present judgment ishift if opinion and influence within the Soviet politburo itself had much to do with the decision.

D. In any case, the conclusion had been reached that the cierna and Bratislava meetings had settled nothing, and that the Soviet Union was not prepared to run the risk of Czech defection from the Soviet blcr, or of contamination by the reformist ideas in Prague.

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CONFLDEJSfnAL

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DCI BRIEFING FOR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

THE WARSAW LETTER

I. The Warsaw Letter sent to Dubcek on Julyy the leaders of the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria set forth charges and demands which foreshadowed Soviet demands at the Cierna meeting. These same points presumably will be at the heart of Soviet efforts now to re-moldch party and state to Soviet satisfaction.

1. The signatories stated that the letter had been prompted by the failure of the Czech party to oppose activities designed to overthrow Conraunism and remove Czechoslovakia from the Communist alliance system. Basically, there were six charges, elaborated at great length:

One, the Communist Party in Czechoslovakia was being weakened and tu*nedind of "debatingwo, "Forces of reaction" had been permitted to form clubs and organizations outside the framework and control of the Communist-dcninated National Front. Three, The Social Democrats were trying to take over leadership of the country.

Four, anti-Communists wjyp<*in control of the information

media.

Five, the liberal0 Words" Manifesto, representing the 'platform ofas being supported .by members of the Communist Party. Six, attempts were being made to revise Czech foreign policy, particularly with regard to West Germany and to Czechoslovakia's position within the Communist alliance.

with these charges, the letterdemands, virtually ordering the Czechtake these steps:

One, take the offensive againstthat is,

Two, mobilize the administrative powers of the state to suppress these forces.

Three, eliminate all non-Communist political organi zations.

Four, Reassert control over the information media, and

curtail freedom of speech and press.

ci^!: liberal opposition

letter warned that if the Czech party failedwith these demands, the signatories"take the necessary steps to block the path

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DCI BRIEFING FOR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

THE VLBRICHT-DUBCEK MEETING

I. The Ulbricht-Dubcek meeting on Augustccording to all the available evidence, amounted to nothing more than an attempt by the East German party boss to explore details of some routine bilateral problems, and improve his own somewhat tarnished image within East Germany.

Czech National Assembly presidentthe talks that discussions had"thend had emphasized

bland and polite description glossedbackground of the talks.

hadighly hostile line

at Bratislava, with no success. He went home with his nose out of joint.

subsequent visit, ending in ain polite diplomatic language,to give the impression back home

in East Germany that he and Dubcek were still on speaking terms and that Ulbricht's views on the Czech crisis were important.

As it turned out, textual analysis of the communique, backed up by innuendos in press conference remarks by both Dubcek and Ulbricht, makes it pretty clear that there was little agreement on any of the discussion points.

implied that Dubcek had madeonain bugaboo, the

Czech moves to improve relations with West Germany.

1. Press leaks in Prague, however, possibly inspired by Czech leaders, indicated that Dubcek had yielded no ground to any of Uitricht's criticisms.

himself hinted publicly that continuing difficulties on the problems discussed.

itself was brief andwas nothing in the whole visit thatssessment of the Czechhe was unusually snide in his comments onthe final press conference.

A. Czech crowds openly displayed disdain and hostility toward Ulbricht.

8. ew days before the visit, the Czech Cownun_st Party had published revised liberal party statutes that could only irritate an orthodox Communist like the East German boss.

IV. However black Ulbricht's mood may have been when he went home, there is no evidence which would support speculation that his reaction could haveignificant element in the Kremlin decision to intervene.

advocacy of intervention wasin tho Kremlin before he

addition, several Soviet leaders aredislike Ulbricht intensely.

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DCI BRIEFING FOR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS

CPSU CC MEETING

I, There were two press reports that the Central

Committee of the Soviet Communist Party met early this week.

United Press reportedhat the Centralmeeting to discuss the Czech situation.

It noted that Brezhnev, Kosygin, andPodgorny had interrupted their vacations, to attend.

The United Press said it could obtain no official confirmation of the report, but that there were many limousines on the Kremlin grounds.

. Washington time, AFP, theagency, reported that anof the Central Committee had begunwas expected to end Tuesday or Wednesday.

1. AFP said that according to "reliable sources,"

the meeting was linked to the Czechoslovakian

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situation, and that "important and new

measures were envisaged by the Soviet

party leadership."

Those two press reports comprise all of the information that there is which bears directlyentral Committee meeting.

mbassy in Moscow has checkedsources with negative results.

have not detected the usual bestsuch atravel to Moscowambassadors abroad and importantin outlying areas of thewho are Central Committee members.

we think it likely thatdid take place. We believe itsuddenly and with great secrecy,Central Committee members servinghave bean left out for that reason.

We do knowumber of top Soviet leaders did in fact return to Moscow from their vacations over thed.

A. Almost immediately after the Bratislava meeting, most of the top men headed for several vacation spots, mainly on the Black Sea.

1. Brezhnev and Podgorny, for instance, were

at Sochi on the Black Sea. They interrupted

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their stay briefly to visit President Nasser of Egypt, who was taking the waterspa in the Georgian Republic. 2. From August 6thh, the only Politburo members noted in Moscow were Kirilenko and Mazurov. They were presumably left behind to manage routine party and government business.

Podgorny, and at least four other Politburo members: returned hurriedly to Moscow from their vacation spots shortly after noon Saturday, Moscow time.

1. They immediately plungedine-hour

conference in the Kremlin which included all

party figures and, on the basis of pastprobably Foreign Minister GromykoDefense Minister Grechko as

There is no direct information on what the politburo members discussed that brought them hurrying back to Moscow.

1. Their talks, however, almost certainly cast the die for the military intervention in Czechoslovakia, and we presume that this was the decision which required ratificationentral Committee meeting.

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