The Prague Spring 1968: A National Security Archive Documents Reader

By JaromÍr NavrÁtil | Go to book overview

DOCUMENT No. 126: Recommendations from the CPSU CC
Propaganda Department on Efforts to Establish Political Control
in Czechoslovakia, September 6,1968 (Excerpts)

Source: 'TsK KPSS," Memorandum No. 24996 (Top Secret), September 6, 1968, in
TsKhSD, F. 5, Op. 60, D. 19, LI. 200–206.

This memorandum, written by the deputy head of the CPSU CC Propaganda Department, Aleksandr
Yakovlev, and the deputy head of Soviet television and radio, Enver Mamedov, recommends that Soviet
propaganda efforts in Czechoslovakia be substantially upgraded and expanded. Their report is based on
the findings of a Propaganda Department working group sent by the CPSU Politburo to Czechoslovakia
during the last ten days of August.

The recommendations cover enhanced radio propaganda, expanded distribution of Soviet print
materials, and KGB black propaganda in foreign newspapers on alleged connections between a "coun-
terrevolutionary underground" in Czechoslovakia and Western intelligence services. The final group of
proposals in the memorandum include additional political education programs directed at Soviet occu-
pation troops and a number of measures to bolster the authority of ČSSR President Ludvík Svoboda, and
provoke a split within the CPCz leadership.

"TsK KPSS," Memorandum No. 24996 (Top Secret), September 6, 196861

There is a need to set up a broadcast center in either Poland or the GDR. Naturally, one can't exclude the possibility that the activity of this radio station could evoke strong protests from the CPCz and the ČSSR government. However, as anti-socialist propaganda in the press and radio in the ČSSR is still raging in full force both directly and covertly, and anti-Soviet propaganda continues in both Czech and Slovak on Western radio stations without any attempt at resistance made by the Czechoslovak propaganda organs, the activity of a radio station of the sort we have in mind (where we do not bear formal responsibility for what it broadcasts) is not only justified, but essential.

The KGB of the USSR Council of Ministers will be preparing and publishing a series of articles in the foreign press about the ties of the anti-socialist underground in Czechoslovakia with foreign radio broadcasters, above all with the intelligence organs of the USA and FRG.

The most important thing now is to strengthen and further consolidate the authority of L. Svoboda in order to encourage the incipient trend toward a deep schism in the leadership of the CPCz. In such circumstances, everything addressed to Svoboda and all meetings with him by our representatives in the ČSSR must be undertaken only with the approval of the Center. …

Visits and contacts by leading Soviet officials will be aimed at influencing the political situation and broadening the range of communications, thereby depriving a small group of Czechoslovak officials, above all Dubček, of a monopoly on the right to inform the leading party and state cadres in the ČSSR about our position on the concrete problems of Soviet-Czechoslovak relations that have arisen at any given stage.62

61 A routing slip indicates that the document is for "the information of the CPSU CC Secretaries," and a handwritten
annotation adds the names K.V. Rusakov, head of the CPSU CC Department for Ties with Communist and Workers'
Parties for Socialist Countries, and N.I. Savinkin, head of the CPSU CC Administrative Organs Department, which
supervised the military and internal security forces.

62 For Yakovlev's follow-up report to the CPSU Secretariat on the impact of propaganda efforts see "Spravka o
realizatsii predlozhenii po sovershenstvovaniyu informatsionno-ideologicheskoi raboty v svyazi s sobytiyami v Chek-
hoslovakii," 2 January 1969. in TsKhSD, F. 5, Op. 60, D. 19, LI: 207–209.

-497-

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