ANTI-COMMUNIST RESISTANCE POTENTIAL IN THE USSR AND EASTERN EUROPE(NIE 11-6-

Created: 1/27/1966

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NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE ESTIMATE

HISTORICAL REVIEW PROGRAM RELEASE IN FULL

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DIRECTOR OF CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Concurred In by Ih* UNITED STATES INTELLIGENCE BOARD Ai indicated overleaf6

CO&itiii'i' Bp PWMM

The tallowing intelligence organiirstions participated in tho preparation ol this estimate:

ol rot lorclhge-xe Agency ord Ih*pomrakm o1nd NSA

Concuiring:

echord Hslmi.Director ol CaMrol (nlal^c*

Mr. Georg* C.r, to* Th* OwMIOi of InUlfigaiK* ond Baicoch, Doporl-mcnr ol Stale

1,1 1 General Joieph F. Carroll, USAF, Dir.dw, Dating Intelligent*wianonf General WorAollorlar. USA, IXrMor ol iho Notional Satwriry Agency

Abstaining;

Dr. Charles H. Richard: lor Aithiant Ocroral Manager (or Administration. AEC and Mr. Williom O. Cregor lor AimiMM DhMar,Bureau of lnv*sll-flohon. rhe iubi*cl being ovtild* of their Iwiutkhon.

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ANTI-COMMUNIST RESISTANCE POTENTIAL IN THE USSR AND EASTERN EUROPE

THE PROBLEM

To estimate anti-Communist resistance potential in the USSR and Eastern Europe in peacetime and war.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE The fonowing terminology is used in this estimate and in the annex:

slate of mind involving discontent orthe ruling

translated into action.

Organizedwhich is carried outroup of individuals who Iiaveommon purpose, agreed upon leadership, and workedorrununicatious system.

The Eastern European countries considered in this estimate are:Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, andurvey o[ each and of certain areas of die USSR isin an annex, which has been noted but not approved by tlie USIB.

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OISCUSSION

wc last reviewed this problem, two years after the Hungarianwe concluded that organized resistance in both Eastern Europe andwas negligible, though dissidence was widespread. We feel thatremains valid; in fact, changes within the past few years havebeen in the direction of greater stability for tlie Communist regimesEurope. Public manifestations of dissidence have emerged withparticularly among intellectuals and youth, and particularly inwhere the regimes have adopted more permissive policies. Yetof resistance seems nevertheless to have decreased.

Eastern Europe

far as Eastern Europe Is ccflvccrned there are several importantthis paradox. Tlie reputation of local security forces plus bitterthe repression of tbe Berlin rising3 and tbere important inhibitions against organizing any resistance. Thepresence of Soviet forces in East Ccriiiany, Hungary, Poland, nudUSSR suggests to any who might be tempted Hie probable fate ofIf there onceidespread hope for Western liberation,has receded. Over the past decade important segments of thebecome resigned to their lot, while others havetake insocial and economic order. Almost every East European countrymore liberal internal polices and played up to nationallatter tendency in particular has made the regime seem less like tbean alien power, and has thusajor cause of popular antipathy.

The potential for organized resistance has been greatly reduced over the past few years, but there is still discontent of varying proportions in Eastern Europe, Indeed, discontent may have increased as the progressive relaxation of travel controls and information policies has permitted thc Eastern Europeans JU become more aware of superior living conditions in die West. Much of the dissidence arises from economic discontent or from long standing ethnic and social grievances, rather than from ideological causes. Passive resistance among the peasantry to governmental controls over agriculture is proverbial. National minority groupsontinuing problem, despiteears of CommunistThus, dissidence is not so much anti-Communist as It is anti-regime and anti-Soviet.

Over the past several years thc most pronounced cases of dbsidence, and even of resistance, centered on attempts to effect changes in thc policies or tlie leadership of the incumbent regimes. Yet these efforts remained basically within die context of the Communist system. Thc manifestations of discontent have ranged from inlra-party factionalism in Czechoslovakia and East Cermanyhe Apcl and Havcmann cases) to one instanceilitary putsch discovered

SfKrRE*

in (lie spring5 in Bulgaria. But any movement, even though not spedfj cally anti-Communist,irectedommunist regime, will of necessity have some anti-Communist implications.

to these more or less chronic sources of disaffection is aferment. Even in thb area the effectiveness, strength, andof the intellectual opposition vary greatly and arc difficult to define.intellectuals Iiaveold campaign and forcedpolicy. Inreater degree of permissiveness has actuallyregime's stability. Intellectualo great problem as yetor Bulgaria, and the East German party retains light controls.the problem is growing and is proving extremely difficult togeneral, however, intellectualeither overtlydirected toward the overthrow of the regimes.

dbsidence al tbb stage seems lo be more reformist thanMore often than not, leading intellectuals consider themselves totbe system. By permitting dbsidence to become more articulateopen, tbe greater freedom and more liberal policies have created new and

intricate problems, at thr Mine time tbcy have nUually reducedhreat lo nubility.

In our view, dissidente of tbb sort will continue in Eastern Europe and in some cases will grow. As the central control of Ihe Communist movement disintegrates, as the Soviet wfluencc lessens, and as the liberal trends inand cultural policies eipand. people will look to their rulers for policies that reflect national rather than supranational interests. Greater contacts with tbe West will encourage hopes of change and improvement. In general, bow-ever, we think tho regimes will be able to keep the resulting pressures within bounds. Dbsidence will be expressed in attempts to influence policies rather than Id challengeshe existence of the regime. Thus we believe that anti-Communist resistance potential will remain negligible In peacetime and that (lie Itasis for developing it in anticipation of war "ill be minimal.

Wartime. In the event of war. the people of Eastern Europe probably would not risk any lagruBcant organiied rcsblance until they became convincednmunist forces were being defeated. In any case tlic great bulk of the population would avoid participation in any resistance. Unless tbe wardisrupted the regimes, their security forces would almost certainly be capable of quickly quelling whatever resistance might arise. If NATO forces should sweep inlo East Germany (particularly if these forces consisted of strong West Germanhe chancesopular uprising in Berlin and even in East Germany itself would be greatly enhanced. Elsewhere in Eastern Europe, German forces would be considerably leas welcome; in Czechoslovakia or Poland in particular. American. British, and French forces would be more likely than Germans to receive support fiom any resistance groups wluch might materializeajor allied offensive.

rotracted war. even will-out the prospect of an imminent Western .victory, some resistance would hi time develop. It might take (he form of help for Western intelligence operation! or of sabotagemall scale. But it would probably not be organized resistance of any significant magnitude, and wc would not expect it toerious threat to the authorities. In the event of nuclear war. the peoples of Eastern Europe would probably be largely occupied with matters of personaleriod of chaosuclear attack might leadreakdown of central authority, and pockets ol local autonomy might develop, but they would be of marginal military significance.

Ihe USSR

Dissatisfaction with various aspects of the Sovietidespread in tlie USSR, but nowhere does dbsidence approach the stage of potential organized rrybtance in peacetime. Dbsidence among large portions of the peasantry, and anti-Russian and strong nationalist feelings among certain ethnic groups, particularly to those areas annexedre still problems for Ihe regime- Under certain circumstances, thb could lead to outbreaks of violence not Amounting to organized resistance Nmielhclrsv, most af the Soviet population has come to accept tbe reality of Sovietand, to tbc extent that they concern themselves with the problem, they tend to equate iheir own interests with those of the Soviet state Pride io Soviet State powerense of patriotism, particularly among the ethnic Russian majority, have flowed Irom the successes ol tbe USSR during World War II and from lis postwar technological achievements and economic growth

As in Eastern Europe, some of the existing dinideoce reflects material grievances: tho lack of adequate housing, disparity of wages between skilled and unskilled and between urban and rural workers, tbc sltortages and poor quality of consumer goods including food. Thb dissidente generally translates into apathytoic submission to Soviet power, though there have been instances of riots and spontaneous demonstrations. Generally speaking, how.

"ever, Sovicl citizens, particularly in the cities, feel tliat theirmproving, although not as rapidly as they have been ledope.

cem ma

on intellectualrobably of greater long rangeto the Soviet Party and government than dbsidence which springsgrievances. Intellectual discontent has axbted throughout Soviet In.

tory. but it has been more openly articulated since the death of Stalin It can be argued that tho Sovietolitically impotent striving for more intellectual freedom but incapable of inducing appreciable changes in the nature of Communist rule. It ran also be argued that their activity is an exlension ofh Century Russian literaryexpression of political and social unrest that couldiberalizing force for the gradual transformation of Soviet society, with crucial effects on the vast scientific-techelite. robably some truth in both views, but in any case

intellectual discontent in the USSR doe* not threaten the overthrow of the regime nor is it likely to do so.

he Soviet security system stillervasive and effectiveand its forces are highly unlikely to desert the Communist Party and system. Thus, capabilities for organized resistance in peacetime are virtually nil. Moreover, as Soviet government and society develop over the next several years any potential for organized resistance will almost certainly not grow. Dissidence or dissident groups will not disappear from the Soviet scene; on the contrary, discontent among various groupsrobably increase with the growing complexity of social and economic development. Thisif not altogether apathetic Is far more likely to take the form of attempts to modify policy and Improve conditions rather titan to challenge the regimes oxistenc* or control.

artime. It is unlikely that much active resistance would develop earlyar. Soviet security controls would almost certainly be tightened. As* long as the combat had not reached the Soviet borders, even national minority groups would not be likely to take the risk of action against the regime. If the battlefield did shift to the USSH. then- wouldossibility of resistance in those areas aimcaod to tlie USSH during and after Worldnd in other areas of strong national minorities. As elsewhere in Eastern Europe, such resistance would probably not be organizedcale sufficient to menace the existence of the regime,

n caseuclear attack, corissderable turmoil would develop and It is possible that the regime would lose effective control in some areas,if administrative governmental centers and communications' facilities were destroyed- In this case, some resistance might develop over time,if defeat ol the USSR appeared imminent.

SCCRCT

ANNEX *

RESISTANCE POTENTIAL IN WARTIME INTRODUCTION

In this annex we consider briefly some of the local factors affectingresistance in wartime, and identify elements of the population that may be encouraged by thc prospect of an imminent Western victory to translateinto resistance. We estimate that withoutrospect there is little chance of resistance, and tbat En any case the great bulk of the native populations would avoid participation in any resistance. Next to the tide of battle, what would affect the thinking of East Europeans mosttatements of policy by tlie Western powers.

The vagueness of what follows reflects the paucity of our information on any prospects for the creation and maintenance of resistance movements anywhere in Eastern Europe, either local, regional, or nationaL We believe, however, that if there were any such prospects,ind on which the West could count for valuable assistance during any early stagesar, we would have moreabout them than is in fact obtainable.

Wc have not estimated shifts of loyalty within the various internal security forces, since these too would depend greatly on the course of the war. In general we feel that the security forces are likely to remain loyal and reasonably effective.

ALBANIA

Under the conditions of an East-West war not mvolving an invasion of Albania by Western forces, resistance against the regime would probably be insignificant. The Albanian armed forces would probably remain loyal in hopes that the war might pass them by. Albanian mountain clans, however, might under these circumstances consider thc possibility of again settling scores left over from past blood feuds, particularly against rival clans that have closely collaborated with the Hoxha regime.

Thc absence of religious cleavages among the predominantly Moslemthe low level ol development among Albanian social groups, and the

* TliU Annex has been noted but not approved by tbe USIn.

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strong nationalistic feeling among the people militateopular uprising even in wartime. This will particularly be the cue if Albania is invaded by hcr traditiooal enemies. Italy. Greece, and Yugoslavia. If Western forces other than these should invade Albania individual desertions from the miUtary forces might be numerous, but unit defections would probably not materialize.

BULGARIA

L Historically there has been much less anti-Hussian sentiment in Bulgaria tlian elsewhere in Eastern Europe; this reduces one potential source for anti-regime or anti-Soviet resistance in wartime. Among the sources of polentlal resistance would be the peasantry, which includes much ol the large Turkish minority ofercent of then fact,of the Turkish minority rioted as recentlyhe possible resistance value of this mbiority would be enhanced If thc war involved combat between Bulgarian and Turkish force*.

2 The Bulgarian officer corpsradition of interference In the political lire ol the country. While- (bis group stili pays allegiance to tlicunist system and to friendship wiih the USSR, discontent lias boon manifested as recently ashen an anti-Zhivkov plot involving one faction ofofficers was uncovered. This plot suggests that some elements of themightotential for anti-regime action in wartime, especially under the conditions of an imminent Western advance. As of now. however, the officer corps' concern seems to be one of internal Cooununist politka. rather than anti -Communist opposition.

one of Bulgaria's othea* social classes, except possibly the pro-Western segment of the youth, appears to be lufficiently daring to translate existing dis-sidencc into organized resistance even under wartime conditions. Further,resulting from tbe regime's anti religious posture is most likely notenough lo cause the regime serious trouble.

CZECHOSLOVAKIA

The vast majority of the Czechoslovak population for one reason or another is alienated from the Communist regime.ighly eflective police apparatus, disillusionment with the West, and the traditionally cautious character of most of the population, have generally prevented open or organized resistance. These factors would still be sigrdncant impediments to open collaboration or activein wartime. There Is, in addition, no strong tradition of anti-Russian or even anti*Communist feeling among thc Czechs.

estern military victory were imminent, passive resistance and perhaps -aome limited organized resistance might arise throughout the population. The

Slovaks, constituting approximately one-third of the population, have been bolder in expressing their aiiti-Cumrniinbt feeling than Ihe Czechs and are Ihc principal source of potential resistance. Never satisfied will, the domination of the Czechs over them, the Slovaks have long desired independence, greater autonomy, or greater icpresentation in the central government in Prague. Some Slovaks would preferut their number is probably not significant.

The German and Hungarian minorities might also be sources of activitythe regime. The Cerrnans. who arc mainly in the Czech Lands,baUy not remain loyal to Ihe Prague government, just as in the days before Munich when ihey were more Cerman than Czech in allegiance and activity. The Hungarians, the largest minority in Czechoslovakia, for the most part reside in parts of Slovakia which have been thc subject of dispute with Hungary. This minority is more tellable tlian live Germans, but is basically iiiedentist.

Religious belief canotive for resistance in Czechoslovakia, although no religious body as suchasis for organized resistance to the regime, even among the deeply religious Slovaks. The Ciechsenerally anti-derical tradition and would not be likely to rallyeligious group as such to wort against tiie regime. Moreover, ihe Roman Catholic hierarchy in Prague is not entirely united in ils ideas on bow best lo survive cornrnunism.Church carries much greater weight init has beenmore defiant of Communist decrees and efforts againstit has lost most of its notable leaders and therefore much of iu ability to lead.

EAST GERMANY

c have concluded, in the estimate,uccessful Western offensive mighteneral uprising in East Germany and especially in Berlin as Western troops advanced. Short ofariety of resistance activities ofsignificance mightintelligence, sabotage, assistance for escape and evasion, and so forth. The pohoes and programs of the Westgovernment would obviouslyignificant bearing on thc potential for resistance.

HUNGARY

ungaryung tradition of anti-Russian. anti-Slavic prejudices and an equally deep-rooted affinity for Western political and social Ideals. However, contemporary political realities, and particularly Western fiiluze to assistrevolutionary atmi6 have strongly influenced these concepts, with the result that Hungarians generally would be unwilling to lake any action that could again expose ihem to Soviel or their own regime's rr^bution. Inhowever, younger elements of tlie population would probably be wilbng lo undertake considerable risk.

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lwugh intellectualsajor role in the dramatic prelude Io6 revolt, their active partiapation in resistance groups was quite limited.ruwi youth and urban industrial workers were the backbone of tbe revolt6 and would again be the elements most likely lo engage in any activeIwotlards of ihe populationleastRoman Catholic Possible resistance activities by members of the focal clergy would liave important influei.ee on some segments ofopulation, especially lite peasants The clergyody, laowevcr. is likely to be passive as was the caso

POLAND

L Ihcre are no known subversive organizations operating in Polandational scale, but there is evidence that passive, small, and local subversive groups do exist Members of these groups, primarily youlhs. do not appear lo be identified with any specific social or poUtical group and appear lo be motf-vated by littleeneral resistance to authority. In time of war these group* might pniticipjte in resistance operations against live regime.

all Ihe Communist countries in Eastern Europe, with the exceptionCermany. Poland has the highest potential for antl-Commuobt andresistance. Poluhtill strong and so is anti-RussianWhereas the Comulka regime enjoyed considerable popularity inimmediatelyince then dissatisfaction has steadily risen.Catholic Church alsoorce in Poland, and participation byIn resistance activities would be Quite important Among youngthere are signs of dMntaWment with the futility of some of theirbut the heroic strain in the Polish national character could againtime of war.esistance movement might develop in Polandprove to be of military significance for advancing Western forces,would probably nor assume national proportions until Polish national gain

assured.

minorities form an Insignificant part of the Polishkrainianshite Russians,andemaining elhnic Germans, mainlyworkers. Neither of these groups, however, possesses the cohesionresistance.

ROMANIA

I. The Romanian regime continues to be confronted with the seriousproblem in Transylvania. Attempts to "Romanize" the LBhave sustained dislike for tbe regime among thend have led to continued friction between ihe

CCRCi-

governments of Hungary and Romania over tills issue. In ihc event of war this minority might be the source of resistance of more than nuisance value.

n recent years tho Romanian party has deliberately taken an independent line Irom Ihc Soviets and in the process stimulated anti-Russian sentiment and Romanian nationalism. Among tlic sources of Romanian-Soviet friction have been Romanian irreduntbrn over Bessarabia (now part of the Moldaviannd Bucharest's reluctance to cooperate fully in thc Warsaw Pact

his new situation raises the possibility that Romania would seek neutrality in any East-West conflict If also raises the possibility that tbe Soviets would enter Romania ns occupiers. At the outbreak of hostilities, therefore, the Romanians are likely totand which would no! give the USSR causearryreemptive occupation, even if it involves honoring theirto the Warsaw Pact Wlialever courseregime follows, any anti-regime or anti-Sovietikely to arise only when Soviet defeat is allertainty.

USSR

hatever anti-Soviet resbtance might appear inost likely to spring from tbe discontented peasantry, restive youth and intelligentsia, and those with strong religious convictions. Such resbtance would be mostamong tbe national minorities, constitutingercent oftileillion. Ethnicntrong force for dbsidence tluoughout the Soviet Union, but it varies in intensity. Some of the non-Slavic minorities, while resentful of Russian dominion over them, accept it as preferable to any likely alternative. For example, thc Armenians prefer Russians to Turks, and the Central Asian minorities probably cherish Soviet protect km from the Chinese Others, indudinr, the many Volga peoples, are landlocked into Russia with no alternative. Such groups are not likely to lie sources of organized resistance against the regime. More likely are those ethnic minorities who feel notultural superiority to the Russians butloser affinity to tlveir Western neighbors. Opposition to Sovietrobably most intense io the territories absorbed during World War II along the Soviet Union's western borders. In these territories resentment of the Russians is shared among Baits, Poles. Ukrainians, Slovaks, Hungarians, and Romanians.

he Baltic Republics. Resistance potential in the Sovietrobably highest in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The most important single factor in Baltic opposition to Soviethe experience of national independence between the world wars. The bitter memory of forced Soviet annexation is intensified by the brutality of Soviet rule, which brought the exile orof hundreds of thousands of natives, by tlie radical depression of living standards, and by traditional Baltic hatred of Slavs. Outright Communbt sympathizers comprisemall fraction of the native population. Many

of the ptesent Communist Party leaders lived in (he USSR when the Baltic states were independent and returned only upon Soviet annexation ofative countries; Baits in general look on them as renegades.

he regime brought the Baltic states under control through the use of iruJitarized security forces and army troops. Suspect elements of thewere deported during thend later replaced by other ethnic groups, rnainly Russian. Subsequent destruction of resistance groups by security organs, along with deportations, depicted the Baltic stales ofleadership, organization, and activity. Russification of govextuneothas proved effective in keeping potential resistance In check. Feelings of dissidence are widespread but their intensity cannot be evaluated because the populations have not translated dissidence into action since the. Because of die strategic position of tbe area and the knownof the native population, security measures in the Baltics have been more stringent than elsewhere in the USSR.

A. In any future war Soviet security measures would probably be adequate to prevent organization of military and political warfare in the Baltics of more than nuisance value. Only if the Soviet control force were demoralized and Its

ciiRinHiiiicalions disrupted could widespread resistance be expected.

The Ukraine. Ubatalan nationalism, although of dwirniung importance, continues loolitical factor with which the Soviet regime must recion. The Ukrauiians are the largest minority group in the USSR and the political, economic, and strategic importance of lhe Ukraine is second only to that of the

Tho intensity of Ukrainian nationalist feeling is difficult toreat many Ukrainians, probably the rriajority, are loyal members of Soviet society, particularly now that living standards are gradually rising and police controls have been sllghdy relaxed. Russification has probably gone farther in the eastern Ukraine, particularly ih the cities, than in any other of the non-Russian lands. Nationalistic sentiments Increase as one moves away from the cities and into tlie villages or westward in the Ukraine away from the Russian

"lands.

Ukrainian nationalist tensions, however,ontinuing problem for the Soviet administration, do noi now represent any serious threat to the regime. Only in the eventisintegration of Soviet central controls might Ukrainian nationalism rise to the surface and serveocus for an anti-Soviet resistance movement

The Caucasus, Any evaluation of disaffection in the Caucasus must take into account the differing peoples of this area,there are elements of discontent common to all the indigenous peoples of the area which unite them against thc regime, there are also historical and religious factors which set the Georgians, Armenians. Azerbaydzhani and the other Caucasian peoples apart from one another. The underlying basis for dissatisfaction and discontent.

o bo found in an and-Kuuian attitude on the part of all tho native people*.

f the tide of battle turned eonelttnveh/ against thc Soviet regime, the potential for organized resistance would increase sharply. Otherwise, the memory of Soviet punishment ofentire nationalof col la bora Don io World War II would militate against resistance movements. The optimum conditions for organized resistance would, of course, occur If the Caucasusheater of war or if the collapse ofauthority were imminent. Resistance activities would probably be limited to assistance to enemy forces in providing intelligence information, harassment of Soviet security and armed forces, and help in escape and evasion operations. Independent military activity against Soviet forces probably would be beyond the capacity of resistance groups.

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