The Prague Spring 1968: A National Security Archive Documents Reader

By JaromÍr NavrÁtil | Go to book overview

DOCUMENT No. 95: Ciphered Telegram from Andrei Gromyko
to Soviet Embassies in Eastern Europe Transmitting the Joint Text
of an Appeal to the Czechoslovak People's Army, August 19,1968

Source: AVPRF, F. 059, Op. 58, P. 127, D. 586, LI. 33–35.

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko sent this telegram and its brief cover memorandum to the Soviet
embassies in the four loyal East European countries on the day before troops were due to begin moving
into Czechoslovakia. The cover memorandum directs the Soviet ambassadors in Poland, Hungary, East
Germany and Bulgaria to present the leader of the respective country with the text of an "Appeal to the
Czechoslovak People's Army," issued in the name of the commander of the joint interventionary forces,
Army-General Ivan Pavlovskii. The text of the "joint" appeal claims that the intervention is being conducted
at the invitation of "the leaders of the Communist Party and Government of Czechoslovakia;" it calls on
Czechoslovak soldiers to support "the joint efforts to defend the cause of socialism in Czechoslovakia,"
and exhorts them "not to give in to provocateurs, who would try to sow confusion and discord in the ranks
of the defenders of socialism." First Secretaries Todor Zhivkov, János Kádár, Walter Ulbrichl and
Wladyslaw Gomulka all approved the brief appeal. It was released as planned two days later.

TOPSECRET

MAKING COPIES IS FORBIDDEN

EYES ONLY

SPECIAL CLASSIFICATION

19.08.68.

OUTGOING CIPHERED TELEGRAM

Destination: Sofia, Budapest, Berlin, Warsaw

Addressee: The Soviet Ambassador

Pay a call on Cde. Zhivkov (Kádár, Ulbricht, Gomulka) and, as agreed at the meeting in Moscow on 18 August, transmit to him personally the text of an Appeal to the Czechoslovak People's Army issued in the name of the Commander of Forces of the Bulgarian People's Republic, Hungarian People's Republic, GDR, Polish People's Republic, and USSR.

(The text of the Appeal is being transmitted to you in a separate telegram.)

Send a return telegram when you have carried out this task.

A.G.

TOP SECRET

MAKING COPIES IS FORBIDDEN

EYES ONLY

SPECIAL CLASSIFICATION

19.08.68.

OUTGOING CIPHERED TELEGRAM

Destination: Sofia, Budapest, Berlin, Warsaw

Addressee: The Soviet Ambassador

-403-

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