Dzúr on a Meeting with Marshal Yakubovskii, Commander-in-Chief
of the Warsaw Pact Joint Armed Forces, April 24–25,1968
Source: ÚSD, AÚV KSČ, F. 02/1.
Marshal Ivan Yakubovskii's official visit to Prague on April 24–25,1968, was part of a week-long series
of visits to all the East European members of the Warsaw Pact (other than Romania). His trip was officially
intended to cover "questions concerning a further increase in the combat readiness of the Warsaw Pact
member states." When he was in Warsaw, East Berlin, Sofia, and Budapest, however, Yakubovskii also
focused on the military implications of recent events in Czechoslovakia and obtained the consent of each
government to begin joint preparations and contingency planning with the Soviet Union for possible
military actions "in defense of socialism."
While in Prague, Yakubovskii met Dubček, Svoboda, Černik, and National Defense Minister Martin
Dzúr. The Soviet marshal requested that military exercises known as the Šumava maneuvers be brought
forward to June 20–30, 1968, rather than being left until September as originally planned. Dzúr, according
to his own report, "explained why such a step would be untimely, "because the volatile political situation
in Czechoslovak society and in the Czechoslovak army would preclude holding joint exercises until
sometime in 1969 at the earliest.
|1.||Official introduction to our party and state representatives in his post as commander-inchief.|
|2.||Consolidation of the military institutions of the Warsaw Pact.|
|3.||Elaboration of the front maneuvers to be held in the ČSSR this year under a plan approved by the Joint Command.|
The negotiations had the following results:
Re. 2. In the discussions about ways to strengthen the Warsaw Pact's military institutions, the officials who took part—which in our case was the minister of national defense, Lt. General Dzúr—considered proposals sent to us in advance. Since these proposals had been discussed on several occasions since 1965, he "Dzúr—Ed." stated his agreement. His remarks focused on how to resolve three fundamental questions:
a) the nature of the relationship between the Warsaw Pact's military institutions and the supreme party and state bodies of the member states.
The Soviet proposal did not maintain the principle applied in. all protocols as well as in the treaty itself, to wit, that the armed forces of the member states assigned to the Joint Armed Forces should remain directly subordinated to their national command structures, which are fully responsible for the quality of their combat capability. Certain proposed revisions in the
8 Yakubovskii's trip started on April 19 with two days of meetings in Warsaw, then shifted to East Berlin on April
21–22, moved to Sofia on April 23. and then to Prague on the 24th and 25th. The trip concluded with a visit to Budapest
on April 27.