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Message from the CPSU CC Politburo to Members of the CPSU CC and Other Top Party Officials Regarding the Decision to Intervene in Czechoslovakia, August 19, 1968
Our Source: Navratil, Jaromir.
"The Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press, 1998, pp. 401-402
Original Source: ÚSD, Sb. KV, Z/S 9; Vondrová & Navrátil, vol. 2, pp. 210-211.
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: This is a communiqué sent to all leading Soviet officials two days before the intervention.
TO: MEMBERS AND CANDIDATE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE CPSU
TO: MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL AUDITING COMMISSION OF THE CPSU
TO: SECRETARIES OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEES OF COMMUNIST PARTIES OF THE UNION REPUBLICS
TO: FIRST SECRETARIES OF PROVINCIAL (AND TERRITORIAL) PARTY COMMITTEES
The CPSU CC Politburo has systematically informed party activists about the situation in Czechoslovakia and about the emergence there of counterrevolutionary events that have endangered the socialist achievements of the Czechoslovak working people and the fate of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
The CPSU CC Politburo, basing itself on the decisions of the April and July plenary sessions of the Central Committee, has used all possible political measures to influence the development of events in the ČSSR and to assist the healthy forces of the CPCz to sustain socialism and to prevent Czechoslovakia from moving into the imperialist camp.
In recent days events have assumed a most ominous character. The country was on the threshold of a counterrevolutionary coup. By relying on the overt and covert support of reactionary imperialist forces and by exploiting the levers they had seized to run society and the mass media, right-wing forces have attempted to force the party and government of Czechoslovakia to follow a pro-Western policy and return Czechoslovakia to a bourgeois republic. They did not receive the support of a majority in the CPCz CC Presidium, the National Assembly, or the government. Instead, a majority who wish to defend the cause of socialism and the cause of the working class, the peasantry, and the working intelligentsia, have appealed to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Polish People's Republic, the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, and the German Democratic Republic with a request to give them military assistance in the struggle against counterrevolution.
The CPSU CC Politburo, having considered this appeal, has concluded that the moment has arrived to undertake active measures in defence of socialism in the ČSSR.
Our assessment and conclusions are shared unanimously and supported by the leadership of the fraternal parties and socialist countries: the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic Republic, and the Polish People's Republic.
Guided by feelings of internationalist duty and fraternal solidarity, the governments of the five countries have ordered their military units to take all necessary measures on 21 August to help the Czechoslovak working people in their struggle against reactionary forces and to protect Czechoslovakia’s security against the intrigues of imperialism.
We have undertaken this decisive step on the basis of a deep and unwavering conviction that it will fully meet the desires and interests of the working people, the peasants, the people's intelligentsia, and all our Czechoslovak brothers.
The troops of our countries will not interfere in the internal affairs of fraternal Czechoslovakia. They will be withdrawn from its territory as soon as the danger to the independence and security of Czechoslovakia and to the socialist future of the Czechoslovak people is eliminated.
Our enemies should be fully aware that no one can or will ever be allowed to disrupt the inviolability of the borders of the allied socialist countries, and that no one will ever be permitted to break a single link in the community of socialist states.
Give serious attention to explanatory and mass political work among all segments of the public in order to promote the further cohesion of the party and people and to strengthen the moral and political unity of Soviet society.
The CPSU CC Politburo