This e-Dossier contains translations of documents from Central/East European and Soviet archives concerning Western broadcasting during the Cold War. The documents show that the Communist regimes perceived "enemy" broadcasts as a serious threat to the systems they ruled and were prepared to take extensive countermeasures to limit the impact of the broadcasts.

The original documents were located in the national archives of Central/Eastern Europe and the former USSR, the Berlin repository for East German internal security files, the Hoover Institution Archives, and the National Security Archive. Michael Nelson kindly made available for publication documents he obtained from Russian Federation archives in preparing his book, War of the Black Heavens. Translations, some excerpts of longer documents that deal only in part with Western broadcasts, were made at CWIHP and the Hoover Archives.

Many of the translated documents were prepared for a Wilson Center-Hoover Institution conference on Impact of Cold War Broadcasting held at the Hoover Institution in 2004. All documents in this e-Dossier were originally published, along with revised conference papers,  in Cold War Broadcasting; Impact on the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, A. Ross Johnson and R. Eugene Parta, eds., New York and Budapest: Central European University Press, 2010.

The translated documents published here are indicative of Soviet and East European Communist regime assessments of and counter-measures to Western broadcasters, but they are not exhaustive. The Wilson Center holds several hundred analogous documents not yet translated. And thousands of related documents doubtless still lie in the archives, especially in the Russian Federation. See also CWIHP's collection of declassified U.S. government documents on Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

A. Ross Johnson is a Woodrow Wilson Center Senior Scholar and author of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty; the CIA Years and Beyond.

R. Eugene Parta is the retired director of Audience Research and Program Evaluation for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Prague and author of Discovering the Hidden Listener: An Assessment of Radio Liberty and Western Broadcasting to the USSR during the Cold War.

 

CWIHP e-Dossier No. 59

 

The collection is divided into two sections: 

 
[Image:  Logo of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on its newly constructed building in Prague. Petr Kadlec.]

 

I. Regime Perceptions of Western Broadcasters
 

Bulgaria

 

Document No. 1: 1977. Interior Ministry Analysis of Foreign Propaganda against Bulgaria

This document provides a detailed content analysis of the programs of individual Western broadcasters. It indicates particular sensitivity to broadcasts on Helsinki-related human rights issues, to the use of recent defectors with inside knowledge, and to RFE’s focus on domestic issues.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive, Fond 22, Record 1, Document 65. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Miroslav Vajarov

Document No. 2: 1986. Interior Ministry Report on the Staff of the Bulgarian Service of RFE

A collaborator of the Bulgarian intelligence service provided detailed information on the personnel situation within the RFE Bulgarian Service.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive. Fond 22, Record 1, Document 237. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Miroslav Vajarov.

Document No. 3: 1989. Bulgarian Politburo Discussion on RFE Monitoring Reports

This extract from a Politburo discussion indicates the attention paid to monitoring Western broadcasts for the top Party elite and Party leader Zhivkov’s impatience with the regime monitors’ focus on RFE broadcasts.

Source: Central State Archive [TsDA], Sofia, Fond 1-B, Opis 68, CC BCP Politburo Protocol No. 105 of 6 June 1989, p. 27-28. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Kristina N. Terzieva.

 

German Democratic Republic

Document No. 4: 1970. Stasi Report on West German Government’s Attitude to RFE and RL

This GDR intelligence report, based on information from SPD officials in Bonn, describes the concern of Brandt Government officials about the continued operation of RFE and RL in Germany, and claims that some officials would conditionally welcome Soviet bloc pressure on this issue.

Source: BstU, Berlin, MfS HAXX ZMA 914. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Christian Ostermann.

 

Hungary

 

Document No. 5: 1973. Report to Politburo and Politburo Resolution on Fight against “Imperialist Propaganda”

This Central Committee report to the Hungarian Politburo reviews efforts of Party and government organs to analyze Western broadcasting and other information programs targeted on Hungary. The report indicates the extent of the resources devoted to analyzing “hostile” information programs, criticizes as inadequate the efforts to counter “hostile propaganda” claiming to “improve socialism,” and urges better coordination of counterpropaganda. The resolution of the Politburo accepting the report follows.

Source: MOL 288 f. 5/611 ő. E. – Printed copy. This resolution, adopted on May 22, 1973, was declared invalid ten years later by a resolution made on October 11, 1983. Obtained by Csaba Bekes. Translated by András Bocz.

Document No. 6: 1978. Hungarian Central Committee Discusses Implementation of 1973 Resolution

Report on the implementation of the Politburo resolution of May 22, 1973 (see above), concerning the need to strengthen the fight against “imperialist propaganda” (especially its emphasis on human rights) and proposals for future tasks (including concern with projected Western satellite television broadcasts).

Source: Magyar Országos Levéltár (MOL) M-KS-288.f. 7/566.ő.e. Obtained by Csaba Bekes. Translated by András Bocz.

 

Romania

 

Document No. 7: 1964. Securitate reports on RFE’s encouragement of Romanian independence from USSR

Information Notes from the Foreign Information Section of the Securitate with regard to RFE’s encouragement of foreign policy autonomy, and differences of opinion on the matter within RFE.

Source: ACNSAS, fond SIE, file 16, p. 110-111. Published in Florian Banu and Liviu Tarau, op.cit.,. 292-293. This excerpt translated by Mircea Munteanu.

 

Poland

 

Document No. 8: 1966. Letter from Army Main Political Administration to Interior Minister on “Hostile” Radio Propaganda

A letter from the chief of the Polish Army Main Political Administration to the Interior Minister transmits an analysis of hostile radio propaganda prepared in the MPA for the purpose of countering “enemy propaganda” in the armed forces.

Source: Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Translated by Irena Czernichowska

Document No. 9: 1967. Foreign Intelligence Report on RFE

This intelligence report indicates detailed knowledge of certain RFE operations, including audience research among Polish travelers in Western Europe, and news gathering by its field bureaus. It is noteworthy that the first name on the distribution list for this report was Party chief Gomułka.

Source: Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Translated by Irena Czernichowska.

Document No. 10: 1976. Analysis of Western radio “Propaganda” directed at Poland

This document is an example of the monthly analyses of Western broadcasting to Poland prepared by the Interior Ministry-affiliated Institute for the Study of Problems of Contemporary Capitalism. It is representative of the extensive cottage industry devoted to such analyses that developed in Poland in the 1970s.

Source: Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Translated by Irena Czernichowska.

Document No. 11: 1976. Analysis of Western Radio Coverage of KOR

This analysis by the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Problems of Capitalism indicates regime concern over RFE’s coverage of the first organized dissident movements in Poland.

Source: Polish State Archives (AAN). Translated by Irena Czernichowska.

Document No. 12: 1983. Polish Intelligence Alleges RFE Links to CIA

This May 1983 document draws on Polish intelligence service reporting to detect a hidden CIA hand behind RFE broadcasts (although the CIA connection had been severed twelve years earlier). It is representative of Polish intelligence reports on RFE in those years, which were usually far less accurate than Soviet and other East European intelligence reports.

Source: Urzad ochrony panstwa collection, Hoover Archives. Located and translated by A. Ross Johnson.

Document No. 13: 1988. Information Bulletin for Party Leadership on Western Views of Poland

This document is an example of analyses prepared for the top Party leadership on the content of Western broadcasts to Poland. It provides, without editorializing or pejorative clauses, an interpretation of the Western broadcasts.

Source: Institute for National Remembrance (IPN). Obtained by Lechoslaw Gawlikowski. Translated by A. Ross Johnson.

 

USSR

 

Document No. 14: 1953. TASS to CPSU on “anti-Soviet Propaganda” of VOA on Death of Lev Mekhlis

This TASS information bulletin was sent to the Central Committee and the USSR Council of Ministers. Note the distribution to Stalin and Malenkov only.

Source: State Archives of the Russian Federation, GARF. F. R-4459. Op. 38. D. 477, pp.7-8. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translated by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 15: 1953. TASS on Radio Liberation Broadcast to Soviet Military in Germany during June 1953 East German Revolt

This TASS bulletin containing the transcript of a Radio Liberation broadcast urging Soviet forces stationed in East Germany to “return to the barracks” was sent to top Soviet officials. Radio Liberation, later to be renamed Radio Liberty, went on the air in March 1953.

Source: State Archives of the Russian Federation, GARF. F. R-4459. Op. 38. D. 495. pp. 404-5, 410. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translation by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 16: 1953. Transcript of VOA Broadcast Citing Radio Liberation Appeal to Soviet Military in Germany

This document is the transcript of a VOA broadcast citing part of the Radio Liberation program mentioned above.

Source: State Archives of the Russian Federation, GARF. F. R-4459. Op. 38. D. 495. pp.425-6, 430. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translation by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 17: 1966. Gosteleradio Review of Tactics of Foreign Radio Propaganda

This lengthy review of foreign radio propaganda by Y. Novikov, an official of the USSR Gosteleradio [State Television and Radio] Guidance Department, pays particular attention to what it sees as Western broadcasters’ attempts to discredit Marxism-Leninism and Communist economics, as well as the notion of convergence between capitalism and Communism.

Source: State Archives of the Russian Federation (GARF.F.R-6903. Op. 3. D. 351. L. 2-14. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translation by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 18: 1967. Memo to Central Committee on Propaganda Conducted by Foreign Radio Stations in Russian

This memo from N. Mesyatsev, Chairman, Broadcast and Television Committee, Council of Ministers, analyzes Western radio “propaganda” and credits Western broadcasts with being “an effective tool of ideological intervention.” The document notes that the broadcasts pay attention to Soviet dissidents, and mentions their use of humor and Western music.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 19: 1968. Memo to Central Committee on Western Radio Propaganda against the USSR

This document discusses Western radio programming aimed at the intelligentsia and dissidents, and cites the use of samizdat by Western broadcasters.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 20: 1968. KGB report to Central Committee on RL Policy guidelines

The KGB informs the Central Committee of RL policy guidelines concerning programs dealing with the USSR. While the first paragraph indicates “Free Europe,” the content of the note makes clear that Radio Liberty is meant. The original memorandum on which the note was based [a copy could not be located in the RFE/RL archives for comparison—editors] was probably taken from Radio Liberty headquarters in Munich.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

 

II. Regime Countermeasures against Western Broadcasters
 

Soviet Bloc

 

Document No. 21: 1976. Bloc Intelligence Services Take Joint Countermeasures against RFE and RL

This GDR document is a German translation of the draft Action Program of Countermeasures against RFE and RL which was discussed at a multilateral meeting of Bloc intelligence services (minus Romania) in Prague in February 1976. The Prague meeting was suggested by the Czechoslovak interior ministry but dominated by the Soviet Union. Oleg Kalugin, then in charge of KGB counterintelligence, gave the opening speech (no copy of which could be located). Some of the measures listed in the Action Program, such as disinformation, were implemented. Others, such as a public tribunal to condemn the Radios, were never pursued.

Source: BstU, Berlin. MfS HAX 541. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Christian Ostermann.

Document No. 22: 1976. Bulgarian Interior Ministry Account of Meeting in Prague

A Bulgarian Interior Ministry account of the Prague meeting on RFE and RL that was discussed in the previous document.

Source: Bulgarian Archives, ANIS, vol.9, inventory 3, entry 95, volume 3, Obtained by Hristo Hristov. Published in Hristov,”The Double Life of Agent Piccadilly” (Sofia: Siela, 2008). Translated from Bulgarian with Hristov’s permission by Kristina Terzieva.

Document No. 23: 1978. Bulgarian Gen. Stoyanov Meets KGB Gen. Bobkov to Discuss RFE and RL

Various counter-measures against RFE and RL were discussed in this meeting, including a possible international trial of the “committee” supporting RFE and RL.

Source: Bulgarian Subject Collection, Box 12, Hoover Archives. . Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translation: Sveta Milusheva; edited by Kristina Terzieva.

Document No. 24: 1979. Bulgarian and Czech Interior Ministries Plan to Cooperate against Foreign Propaganda

This document details a plan for cooperation between the 6th Directorate of the Ministry of the Interior of the People’s Republic of Bulgaria and the 10th Directorate of the Federal Ministry of the Interior of the Czecho-Slovak Socialist Republic during the period 1979-1981 against foreign propaganda operations. Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty are singled out.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive, Fund 1, Record 12, Document 224. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Miroslav Vajarov.

Document No. 25: 1980. Statements by KGB Chairman and Polish and Czech Interior Ministers during Bloc Meeting on Western Radio

In the statements by KGB Chairman Chebrikov and the Polish and Czech Interior Ministers at the Bloc Meeting held on 23 April 1980 to discuss foreign “hostile actions,” including Western radio broadcasting, special attention is given to attempts to form a political opposition in the socialist countries.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive, Fond 22, Record 1, Document 124, Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Sveta Milusheva.

Document No. 26: 1981. Minutes of Meeting between Czechoslovak and Hungarian Interior Ministry Officials on the Carlos Terrorist Group and RFE Bomb Attack

A bomb exploded outside the RFE building in Munich on February 21, 1981, severely injuring several employees and causing major physical damage. This document, and others like it, indicates that the Ceausescu regime commissioned the “Carlos group” to carry out the attack. The Carlos group was then resident in Budapest, and this document indicates that the Hungarian Interior Ministry had advance knowledge of the bombing. The same information, with more cautious conclusions about the future of the Carlos group, is contained in an East German document dated April 28 on GDR interior ministry (MfS) talks with the same Hungarian Interior Ministry delegation, which appears as Appendix A. in George R. Urban, Radio Free Europe and the Pursuit of Democracy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997).

Source AMV C., H-720/svazek c.4, listy 281-285. Obtained by Prokop Tomek and published in his “Target Alpha,” op cit. Translated by Blanka Pasternak.

Document No. 27: 1985. Bulgarian Interior Minister Visits Moscow to Coordinate Activities against Foreign Propaganda Operations

This note regarding the results of the visit of a group of Interior Ministry officials to the KGB in Moscow contains a proposal to develop a coordinated plan to discredit RFE and RL.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive, Fond 2, Record 4, Document 114. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Miroslav Vajarov.

 

Bulgaria

 

Document No. 28: 1977. Bulgaria Gets Help from KGB to Fight “Ideological Subversion”

This document from the Sixth Directorate of Bulgarian State Security thanks “Soviet comrades” for their assistance in combating hostile propaganda against Bulgaria. It acknowledges the role of State Security in publishing articles in the Bulgarian media “exposing” RFE and RL, and refers to joint Soviet-Bulgarian operations against Western radios.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive, Fond 22, Record 1, Document 62. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Miroslav Vajarov.

Document No. 29: 1979. Bulgarian Cooperation with KGB against “Subversive Centers”

This document provides further details of joint KGB-Bulgarian measures to counter RFE and RL. It vaunts the effectiveness of Bulgarian regime counterpropaganda, claiming that it thwarted Western efforts to create internal strife in Bulgaria.

Source: Bulgarian Interior Ministry Archive, Fond 1, Record 10A, Document 344. Obtained by Jordan Baev. Translated by Miroslav Vajarov.

Document No. 30: 1979. Interior Ministry Note on Actions against Western Radio

A Bulgarian Interior Ministry paper details coordinated actions against Western radio in the aftermath of the May 1977 Budapest meeting of Bloc security services. The paper identifies RFE, and notably several of its broadcasters who recently defected from Bulgaria, as a major threat. It accuses Western media of sensationalizing the murder of Georgi Markov (who was killed by the Zhivkov regime).

Source: Bulgarian Subject Collection, Box 12, Hoover Archives. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Sveta Milusheva.

 

Czechoslovakia

 

Document No. 31: 1956. Politburo Resolution on Plan to Counter “Reactionary” Exiles

This Czechoslovak Politburo Resolution of 1956 approved an Interior Ministry plan to counter “reactionary exiles.” Radio Free Europe was an important target, and a series of disinformation actions were planned to disrupt its operations.

Source: Karel Kasparek private archive. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Blanka Pasternak.

Document No. 32: 1975. Interior Ministry Note on Actions of Agent Minarik against RFE

Pavel Minarik worked at RFE from 1968 to 1976 as an agent of the Czechoslovak Intelligence Service. During these years he provided many documents and analyses to the Service. Many of his intelligence reports from Munich have been published in Prokop Tomek, “Czechoslovak Security Services Against Radio Free Europe: ‘Target Alpha,’” op.cit . This document contains Interior Minister Obzina’s approval of an Intelligence Service plan to recall and publicize Minarik’s activities. Minarik was recalled to Prague and surfaced at a staged press conference in 1976.

Source: Jiri Setina Collection, Box 15, Hoover Archives. Obtained by A. Ross Johnson. Translated by Blanka Pasternak.

Document No. 33: 1969. Report to CPSU Central Committee on Visit of Czech Delegation to Discuss Countering Enemy Propaganda in Czechoslovakia

This document indicates the continuing influence of German-language and other Western media in Czechoslovakia nine months after the Soviet invasion of August 1968. Czechoslovak officials criticized the heavy-handed Soviet broadcasts of Radio Vltava, and viewed other Soviet proposals to counter Western influence as counterproductive.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the CPSU. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

 

Hungary

 

Document No. 34: 1963. Report to Politburo on Jamming of Western radio

This report prepared for the Hungarian Politburo in 1963 concluded that current jamming efforts were ineffective. It provided two options for the Politburo: to maintain and redirect jamming, focusing it on RFE, or to end it entirely. Document 34 that follows records the Politburo discussion of the issue by supporters of both alternatives, followed by Kadar’s decision to end jamming in January 1964 after consultation with other Communist countries. Noteworthy in these documents is the assessment that the West has outstripped the Soviet bloc in terms of transmitters, and the assumption that ending jamming might be used as a bargaining chip to soften Western broadcasts.

Source: Magyar Országos Levéltár (MOL) M-KS-288.f. 5/316.ő.e. Obtained by Csaba Bekes. Translated by András Bocz.

Document No. 35: 1963. Minutes of Politburo Meeting on Jamming of Western radio

See preceding document.

Source: Magyar Országos Levéltár (MOL) M-KS-288.f. 5/316.ő.e. Obtained by Csaba Bekes. Translated by András Bocz.

 

Poland

 

Document no. 36: 1953. Polish Proposal for Bloc-wide Coordination of Jamming

This unsourced document prepared in March 1953 in only three copies, one of which went to Politburo member Jakob Berman, suggested the need for multilateral Soviet bloc coordination of jamming efforts.

Source: Institute for National Remembrance (IPN). Obtained by Lechoslaw Gawlikowski. Translated by Irena Czernichowska.

Document No. 37: 1953. Interior Ministry Report on Intercepted Letters Sent to RFE Cover Addresses

This document is an early reflection of concern with RFE’s impact in Poland. Particular attention is given to the broadcasts of Jószef Światło, the senior Interior Ministry official who defected in December 1953.

Source: IPN. Obtained by Lechosław Gawlikowski. Translated by A. Ross Johnson

Document No. 38: 1972. Gierek Calls for Offensive Action against “Centers of Subversion”

These two Interior Ministry documents indicate Edvard Gierek’s concern with uncensored information (“rumors” and “gossip”) challenging his policies, and his focus on RFE as a key instrument of “Western subversion.”

Source: Polish State Archives. Located by Pawel Machcewicz. Translated by Irena Czernichowska.

Document No. 39: 1983. RFE Linked to CIA at Trial in Absentia of Zdsisław Najder

RFE Polish Service Director Zdzisław Najder was, like Col. Ryszard Kuklinski and Polish ambassadors who defected after the imposition of martial law, sentenced to death in absentia for treason. This document is an “expert opinion” to the effect that Najder required CIA support to become Polish Service Director. In the subsequent document, the military prosecutor cites such “evidence” in passing the death sentence.

Source: Obrad Ochrony Panstwa Collection, Box 2, “Akt sprawy Najdera,” Hoover Archives. Obtained and translated by A. Ross Johnson.

Document No. 40: 1983. Military Court Passes Death Sentence on Zdzislaw Najder

Source: Henruyk Piecuch,”Requiem dla Generala” (Warszawa, 2001). Obtained and translated by A. Ross Johnson.

Document No. 41: 1984. Central Committee Analysis of Western Propaganda and Recommended Countermeasures

This Central Committee Information Department document contains an analysis of “Western propaganda” during martial law. While claiming that Polish society is “stabilizing,” the Department recommends increased research, analysis, and coordinated publications to counter Western ideological “subversion.”

Source: AAN, Polish State Archives. Obtained by Lechoslaw Gawlikowski. Translated by A. Ross Johnson

Document No. 42: 1985. Interior Ministry Report on Information Leaked to RFE on Catholic Church

The Interior Ministry directive from which this document is excerpted ordered an investigation into how a confidential regime survey of attitudes toward the Catholic Church could have been leaked to RFE. In a follow-up report almost two years later, the Interior Ministry conceded on June 25, 1987 that many people had access to the report and it was impossible to determine who had provided RFE with the material.

Source: Urzad Ochrony Panstwa Collection, Box 3, Hoover Archives. Obtained and translated by A. Ross Johnson.

 

USSR

 

Document No. 43: 1951. Report on Western Broadcasts to Poland and Council of Ministers Decree on Jamming the Broadcasts

These documents describe how arrangements were made to jam Western broadcasts to Poland from Soviet and Polish territory in 1951. The translation is from the Russian documents published in Vostochnaya Yevropa v Dokumentakh Rossiyskikh Arkhivov [Eastern Europe in Documents of the Russian Archives], 1944-1953, Tom II, 1949-1953 (Moscow-Novosibirsk: Sibirski khronograf, 1998). The footnotes were supplied by the editors of that volume.

Source: State Archive of the Russian Federation, GARF, F. 5446, Op. 59, D. 1724, p. 6-3, 12. Translated by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 44: 1957. Letter to Khrushchev from Radio Moscow German-language service urging Creation of Warsaw Pact Radio Station Analogous to RFE

This letter to Khrushchev in 1957 by members of the German Service of Radio Moscow proposed establishing a Soviet international broadcaster structured along the lines of Radio Free Europe, with formal independence from the government. Indirectly it acknowledges the effectiveness of RFE broadcasts.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 45: 1958. Report to Central Committee about Press Conference on “Subversive Activities” of Western Radios

Description of a 1958 press conference in Moscow organized by the State Committee on Cultural Relations, with KGB assistance, to discredit Western broadcasts to the USSR and Eastern Europe. The press conference drew on the presence of alleged former employees of the radio stations.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 46: 1959. KGB Report on Uneven Quality of Jamming of Western Broadcasts

This KGB document reports on problems jamming Western radio stations in a range of Soviet cities. It indicates times and frequencies on which Western radio broadcasts were clearly audible and Soviet jamming was ineffective.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 47: 1960. Central Committee Analysis of Western Radio Propaganda, Decree to Combat it, and Implementation responses from Latvia, Estonia and Uzbekistan

This set of documents include a report from the head of the Department of Agitation and Propaganda of the Central Committee of the CPSU detailing the shortcomings of Soviet broadcast media in countering Western broadcasts; a Central Committee decree on measures to counter “hostile radio propaganda;” and reports from the Central Committees of several Union Republics on actions taken to fulfill these measures. The document is noteworthy for its criticism of the poor distribution of Soviet newscasts in the Eastern part of the USSR, and acknowledgement of how Western broadcasts have filled this void. An interesting point is made on the habit of adapting Soviet-made receivers to capture Western shortwave broadcasts.

Source: CPSU Central Committee Archives, TsKhSD reel 1.1005/17, Fond 89, Perechen’ 46, Delo 14. Copy in Hoover Archives. Obtained by Anatol Shmelev. Translated by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 48: 1963. Minutes of Presidium Meeting on Restricting Soviet Shortwave Receivers

A discussion among the top leadership of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU on the problem of limiting production shortwave radio sets that receive Western broadcasts. The argument is made that, if sets capable of receiving Western radio broadcasts are not produced, Soviet citizens will find ways of adapting non-shortwave radios to receive the broadcasts. The Soviet leaders seem to be under the misconception that the production of shortwave receivers in America was stopped so that Americans couldn’t receive information from the USSR and that the Soviets should do likewise.

Source: Prezidium TsK KPSS. 1954-1964. Chernovyye protokol’nye zapisi zasedaniy. Stenogrammy. Postanovleniya. T. 1 [The CC CPSU Presidium. 1954-1964. Rough transcripts of meetings. Verbatim records. Decrees. Vol. 1.] M[oscow]. ROSSPEN. 2003-2004, p. 702. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translated by Gary Goldberg.

Document No. 49: 1965. Memo to CC CPSU from Turkmen CC on Extending Turkmen Foreign Broadcasting

The Central Committee of the Turkmenistan Communist Party lobbies the Central Committee of the CPSU to establish a Farsi broadcasting service aimed at Iran and Afghanistan.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 50: 1971. Report by KGB Chairman Andropov on RFE and RL

A report from KGB Chairman Andropov to the Central Committee of the CPSU assessing the status of Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe in their “transition” period and measures that might be taken to weaken them. It alleges that RFE and RL are planning subversive actions against the USSR at the Munich Olympics. It credits the Soviet bloc intelligence services with increasing the problems of the Radios. The document indicates timely KGB knowledge of internal RL documents such as the March 15, 1971 revision of the Radio Liberty Policy Manual.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Obtained by Michael Nelson. Translated by Volodymyr Valkov.

Document No. 51: 1986. Memo to Central Committee from Politburo Members Ligachev and Chebrikov on Jamming of Western Radio Stations

This memorandum from Politburo members Chebrikov and Ligachev describes in general terms the jamming situation in 1986 and the rationale for ending jamming on VOA, BBC, Radio Peking and Radio Korea, while continuing jamming of Radio Liberty, Radio Free Europe, Deutsche Welle and Kol Israel.

Source: Archives of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Per. 18. D. 105. pp. 1-2, as published in “Novoe Vremya,” no. 50, 1998. Obtained by Vladimir Tolz. Translated by Gary Goldberg.