restricted access Document No. 25: Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting, December 11, 1980
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

167 Document No. 25: Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting December 11, 1980 Following the December 5 Warsaw Pact leadership meeting, the Soviet Politburo was upbeat about the prospects for Poland. As indicated in this transcript, the Kremlin was impressed by Kania’s presentation at the earlier meeting and the general expectation was that he would take to heart the advice offered to him by the other alliance leaders. Tellingly, in his summary, Mikhail Suslov mentions the speeches of several Soviet bloc leaders but omits any mention of the calls by Erich Honecker and Todor Zhivkov for imminent military action. At the Politburo session below, the effusive praise heaped on Brezhnev was characteristic of this period when the aging leader was in a poor state of health and often ceded practical authority to various of his colleagues. […] 1. On the results of the meeting of leaders of the Warsaw Pact member-states in Moscow on December 5, 1980. Suslov: All the comrades have read the communiqué that was published in the press. It must be said that the decision to hold the meeting of leaders of the Warsaw Pact member-states was absolutely timely. A very thorough exchange of opinions took place at the meeting. The state representatives and first secretaries of the communist and workers’ parties provided thorough reports. It must be said that the speech by Cde. Kania was on the whole interesting [soderzhatel’nyi]. Of course, it could have been more pointed on certain questions. However, if one is to look at Cde. Kania’s speech as a whole, then in comparison with the speech he delivered to the Politburo at the plenum in his own country it was more self-critical , sharper and more correct. Most importantly, the Polish comrades understand the great danger that hangs over Poland, and they recognize the great harm of the actions of the anti-socialist elements who represent a great threat to the socialist gains of the Polish people. Cde. Kania now discusses Poland’s economic conditions more soberly, its obligations to the capitalist countries, the provision of aid. It must be noted that in his speech Cde. Kania leveled a relatively more decisive attack against the anti-socialist elements and noted that there would be no retreat and no indulgence toward the anti-socialist elements. At the same time, he noted that the Polish United Workers’ Party, the Polish people, its healthy forces, its armed forces, the organs of state security and the police, which support the PUWP, will be able to deal with and normalize the situation by their own means. The speeches of all the other comrades contained advice to the Polish friends on how to act, and how decisively one must attack the anti-socialist elements. Cde. Husák, for instance, provided quite a number of examples from the experience of 1968 when the CPCz CC had to carry on a stubborn battle with the 168 rightist elements. Cde. Kádár also spoke about the statements by counter-revolutionary elements in 1956 in Hungary when he had to take harsh administrative measures in order to destroy the counter-revolution. Cde. Ceauşescu, true to his tradition, spoke more about independence, sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs, and so on. The brilliant speech of L. I. Brezhnev was received with great interest and attention. It was very balanced and contained all the necessary instructions for the PUWP and the Polish comrades, and as the Polish comrades themselves said later, L. I. Brezhnev’s speech inspired them. The leaders and representatives of the other parties also evaluated Cde. Brezhnev’s speech very highly. In a word, I consider that the results of the meeting of the leaders of the member -states of the Warsaw Pact should be approved, along with the activities of the delegation of the Soviet Union headed by L. I. Brezhnev. Andropov: The meeting was conducted on a very high level. Of course, the main thing was the speech of Leonid Ilyich, which set the tone for the entire meeting. Ustinov: The presentation by Leonid Ilyich did not leave a single question unclear. It was clear to everyone what the Polish comrades should do and how they should act. Gromyko: Just as the Polish comrades did, the other participants at the meeting also left very satisfied with the results of this meeting. They received a necessary supply of energy and instructions on all questions related to the situation in Poland. Politburo members Cdes...