Posted 6 января 2022, 16:12

Published 6 января 2022, 16:12

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:37

Изображение материала

Soviet troops - in the countries of the socialist camp: "Act without thinking about the victims!"

6 января 2022, 16:12
In the post-war period, political crises occurred from time to time in the countries of the so-called socialist camp.

Chronic discontent of the population grew - primarily the Soviet Union, which was considered the source of all troubles. Moscow acted radically - introduced its troops and suppressed the uprisings by force.

Sergey Kron

Every time when internal political unrest broke out, local communists were completely deprived of support for preserving the pro-Soviet system and tried to find a common language with the opposition. It was at these critical moments that the USSR intervened in order to maintain control over a particular country and put its next puppet on the throne. Officially, this was done by the hands of the Warsaw Pact countries, although "in the field" it was mainly the servicemen of the Soviet Army who worked.

The slogan was invented by Trotsky: "To preserve the main goal - to act without thinking about the victims and criticism of the enemies!"


An armed uprising against the pro-Soviet regime that existed in the country began on October 23, 1956, and was completely suppressed by Soviet troops by mid-November.

During those events, the USSR first demonstrated its readiness to use force to maintain control over the state that was part of the Eastern Bloc. During the Cold War in the Soviet Union and socialist countries, these events were characterized as the Hungarian counter-revolutionary insurrection, in post-communist Hungary they were called the "Hungarian Revolution".

The only legal political force since the late 1940s. the country had the communist Hungarian Workers' Party (HWP). It was headed by Matthias Rakosi , who was called "the best student of Stalin." In 1952-1953, when Rakosi was the head of the government, approximately 650 thousand people were subjected to political persecution and 400 thousand received various terms of imprisonment (about 10% of the population).

1956 г. Советские войска вошли в Будапешт1956 г. Советские войска вошли в Будапешт
1956 г. Советские войска вошли в Будапешт

In 1953, the government was headed by Imre Nagy , a third-party democratic reform in the party and country. The amnesty and socio-economic reforms he carried out met with criticism in the Kremlin. Therefore, already in 1955, Nagy was removed from his post. His successor, Andras Hegedyus, had no influence in the party, thanks to which the leadership of the VPT, including Rakosi and his follower Ernö Gerö , was able to resume the previous course. This caused discontent in society, which intensified after the XX Congress of the CPSU, where the personality cult of Stalin was condemned.

The uprising in Hungary began with student unrest. On October 16, in the city of Szeged, a group of university students withdrew from the Communist Democratic Youth Union. They re-established the Union of Students of Hungarian Universities and Academies, which the government had disbanded after the war. A few days later they were joined by students in other cities.

Among the demands were the return to the government of Imre Nagy, the holding of free elections, as well as the withdrawal of Soviet troops that were in the country after the Second World War.

1956 г. Жители Будапешта вышли на защиту революции1956 г. Жители Будапешта вышли на защиту революции
1956 г. Жители Будапешта вышли на защиту революции
Фото: Twitter›MirovichMedia

On October 23, a demonstration took place in Budapest with the participation of 200 thousand people who carried banners with the same calls. A group of protesters infiltrated the downtown Kilian barracks and seized weapons. The first casualties appeared during clashes between rebels trying to get into the House of Radio in order to broadcast their demands. Protesters demolished a 25-meter monument to Stalin and attempted to seize a number of buildings, as a result of which fighting broke out with units of the security services and the army.

On the evening of October 23, the leadership of the VPT, in order to stop the conflict, decided to appoint Imre Nagy as chairman of the government. At the same time, Ernö Gerö, in a telephone conversation, turned to the Soviet government with a request for help. By decree of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU, units of the Special Corps began to move to Budapest. 6 thousand Soviet servicemen arrived in the capital on the morning of October 24, they were armed with 290 tanks, 120 armored personnel carriers, 156 guns.

The next day, during a rally in front of parliament, unknown persons opened fire from the upper floors of nearby buildings, as a result of which an officer of the Special Corps was killed, and the Soviet military began to return fire. According to various estimates, between 60 and 100 people on both sides were killed in the exchange of fire.

These events aggravated the situation in the country, the rebels began to attack state security officers, communists and people loyal to the regime, torture and carry out lynching. Soon, rail and air links were interrupted, shops and banks were closed. Riots swept through other cities of the country as well.

Assessing the current situation, the Soviet leadership came to the conclusion that it was necessary to withdraw troops from Hungary and revise the system of relations with the countries of the socialist camp. On October 30, the Soviet military contingent was withdrawn from the capital to its places of permanent deployment.

However, on October 31, the first secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Nikita Khrushchev suggested “to reconsider the assessment of the situation in Hungary, not to withdraw the troops and to show initiatives

As a result, a decision was made in Moscow to conduct a military operation to overthrow the government of Imre Nagy.

On November 1-3, the USSR held consultations with the Eastern Bloc Bulgaria, the GDR, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, as well as China, during which this plan was approved. Operation Whirlwind was developed under the leadership of Defense Minister Marshal Georgy Zhukov.

The second entry of Soviet military units into Budapest began on the morning of November 4. The operation was attended by the formation of the Special Corps and two armies from the Carpathian Military District. Tank, mechanized, rifle and airborne divisions were involved, the total number of military personnel exceeded 30 thousand.

In service there were over 1000 tanks, 800 guns and mortars, 380 infantry fighting vehicles and armored personnel carriers. They were opposed by armed resistance detachments with a total strength of up to 15 thousand people (according to the estimates of the Hungarian side - 50 thousand). The regular units of the Hungarian army remained neutral. On November 6, the remaining pockets of resistance in Budapest were destroyed, and by November 11 the uprising was suppressed throughout the country (however, even before December, some of the rebels continued their underground struggle; Soviet troops were engaged in the elimination of scattered groups together with the Hungarian military).

According to official data, the losses of the Soviet Army amounted to 669 people killed, 51 missing, 1,540 - wounded. The losses on the Hungarian side from October 23 to December 1956 amounted to 2,500 people killed.

From the end of 1956 to the beginning of 1960, about 300 death sentences were passed on the participants in the rebellion. Imre Nagy was hanged on June 16, 1958 for "treason and conspiracy to overthrow the people's democratic system."


1968 г.  Жители Праги интересуются планами советских солдат1968 г.  Жители Праги интересуются планами советских солдат
1968 г. Жители Праги интересуются планами советских солдат

On March 30, 1968, the war hero, Czechoslovak general Ludvik Svoboda was elected president of Czechoslovakia. This was the time when the country's new leadership, inspired by the "Khrushchev thaw" in the USSR, tried to carry out an extensive democratization of Czechoslovak society, starting to build "socialism with a human face." This became possible due to the fact that the party leader of the country at that time was a man of broad views, Alexander Dubchek . Not the least role was played by the future dissident, and then the president of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic - Vaclav Havel.

Soviet leadership headed by the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid. Brezhnev watched with great concern what was happening in Czechoslovakia. It was clear that if everything was left to chance, then the main country of Central Europe would get out of control and, perhaps, would even choose a non-socialist path of further development.

The Communists immediately began to make attempts to persuade the Czechoslovak comrades "in an amicable way." However, in Prague there was already a breath of freedom and no one wanted to part with the bright prospects just like that. When the arguments of persuasion were exhausted, the top of the rebellious Czechoslovak government was invited to the Moscow "carpet". It was also not possible to achieve mutual understanding here.

1968 г.  Пражане уже настроены агрессивно1968 г.  Пражане уже настроены агрессивно
1968 г. Пражане уже настроены агрессивно

On August 20, 1968, the troops prepared for the invasion of Czechoslovakia received a special signal - "Vltava-666". This happened at 22 hours 15 minutes, and after 45 minutes a combat alert was declared in the military formations. The introduction of troops took place from 18 places in the adjacent territory of the USSR, the GDR, as well as Poland and Hungary. Due to the fact that, in addition to Soviet troops, military formations of the aforementioned countries and Bulgaria participated in the combined contingent, the impression was created of joint action by the Warsaw Pact countries to provide "assistance" to Czechoslovakia in the fight against anti-socialist elements. In fact, it was an outright military intervention by the Soviet Union, designed to continue to maintain control over Czechoslovakia, not allowing it to leave the socialist "family".

This is exactly how the actions of the troops were perceived in Czechoslovakia itself. People who, 20 years ago, were grateful to Soviet soldiers for liberation from the Nazi occupation, now sent curses against them, comparing them with the same fascists.

The result of the military invasion was the death, according to official figures, of more than 200 people on both sides of the conflict, most of whom were peaceful Czechoslovak citizens. Dubcek was removed from the leadership of the party, and his place was taken by Gustav Husak , who was more loyal to instructions from Moscow. In the meantime, relations between Czechs and Russians became rather cold and even hostile for many years.


In Poland, acute internal political conflicts have repeatedly erupted. They were accompanied by strikes and mass demonstrations, which were suppressed by the authorities on orders from Moscow. Both times, the reigning Polish United Workers' Party (PUWP) managed to calm the situation by preventing the intervention of the USSR. She simply changed leaders, and the new leader gave new promises to the population.

1976 г.  Гданьск. Восстание возглавил  Лех Валенса1976 г.  Гданьск. Восстание возглавил  Лех Валенса
1976 г. Гданьск. Восстание возглавил Лех Валенса
Фото: Twitter›catholictories

In the 1970s, Poland entered a period of economic growth. But, as you know, it does not happen that everyone wins, someone always feels deprived in comparison with others. The majority of workers grew dissatisfied with their situation, and strikes became more frequent.

In 1976, a wave of strikes began, which did not subside even before the introduction of martial law. The center of the strike movement was Gdansk, which had already shown itself in the events of 1970, when dozens of people were shot by the authorities. Here came the young charismatic worker leader Lech Walesa , who soon created the Solidarity trade union, a consolidated anti-communist opposition that united millions of people.

The most powerful protests in August-September 1980 forced Edward Gerek to leave the chair of the PUWP leader. But the new head of the party, Stanislav Kana, also failed to stabilize the situation. The PUWP had to make concessions to Solidarity, including political ones. The regime began to blur. In Moscow, this could be regarded as events in Hungary in 1956 or in Czechoslovakia in 1968. It smelled like the gunpowder of the Soviet invasion.

By the way, Soviet troops stayed in Poland only a few years after the end of the war, and then were withdrawn from there. Only communications linking the Soviet Union with the Group of Soviet Forces in the GDR were located here, and their provision within the framework of the collective security of the Warsaw Pact Organization (OVD) was entrusted to the Polish Army.

But for the Soviet Union, the desire to restore "political order" in Poland by force was complicated by two circumstances. First, the USSR got involved in a protracted war in Afghanistan. And what kind of resistance, given the traditional bilateral relations, the Poles of the Soviet army would put up was still unclear. This is still not Czechoslovakia, as proved by the Second World War. Secondly, the Soviet leadership itself, headed by Brezhnev, practically unchanged since the time when the decision was made to bring tanks to Zlata Prague, was already much decrepit.

But the most important circumstance turned out to be the presence of energetic military leaders in the PUWP, ready to take any measures to pacify Solidarity, and thus not give a pretext for Soviet intervention.

In October 1981, a plenum of the PUWP Central Committee dismissed Kani and elected General Wojciech Jaruzelski , a supporter of tough measures, as the first secretary of the Central Committee. On December 3, the party-obedient Sejm banned strikes. In response, Solidarity went on an indefinite strike. At that moment, Jaruzelski did everything to convince Moscow that Warsaw itself is able to cope with the crisis. Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee M.A. Suslov called Warsaw and promised Jaruzelski that the Soviet Union would not move troops to Poland if martial law was declared in Poland.

On the night of December 12-13, 1981, a military coup took place in Poland, eliminating even formal rule under the communist "constitution." All power passed to the created Military Council of National Salvation. Martial law was declared in the country. At the time of its introduction, all means of communication that could be used by private individuals - telephone, telegraph, mail - were turned off.

The number of internees reached 10 thousand people. In clashes with troops in the first days after the introduction of martial law, dozens of civilians were killed. The task of suppressing civil protest was carried out by the Polish Army, which remained loyal to its command.

Popular unrest took place in almost all countries of the socialist camp.

So on May 3, 1953 in the Bulgarian Plovdiv there were strikes and "chaotic demonstrations" of workers in tobacco factories, caused by the introduction of higher production rates in agriculture. Thousands of workers took to the streets, demanding their abolition and the arrival of representatives of the country's top leadership. Negotiations were held. It all ended in peace.

In June 1953, the GDR was engulfed in mass demonstrations of workers, caused by dissatisfaction with the pro-Soviet socio-economic policy pursued by the communist government. Back in April, a wave of indignation was caused by the rise in prices for food, consumer goods and transport. On June 15, the first strikes began in Berlin - among construction workers on Stalin Alley, which on June 16 escalated into demonstrations, and on June 17 - into a general strike. The number of protesters reached 150 thousand people.

Riots gradually began: the destruction of police stations, the residences of state and party organizations, the destruction of the symbols of the communist regime. Soviet troops and the "people's police" were brought into the city. After the demonstrators refused to comply with the demand to disperse, weapons were used. As a result, at least 125 people died and were later executed, 1000 people were sentenced to imprisonment. Under the influence of the events in Hungary in October 1956, riots broke out in Romania. They covered not only the Transylvanian cities of Timisoara and Cluj, in which many Hungarians lived, but also the purely Romanian Bucharest and Iasi. First of all, the students rebelled, who demanded better nutrition in student canteens and the refusal of the compulsory study of the Russian language. On October 29, the railway workers of Bucharest went to a protest rally and expressed their dissatisfaction with the living and working conditions.

After that, the authorities introduced martial law, the state security forces dispersed the protesters and defeated their associations. 2,500 people were arrested, several hundred received various terms of imprisonment, 4 were sentenced to death.

Official Bucharest met the students halfway and canceled the teaching of the Russian language. Bucharest was afraid to turn to Moscow for help. In August 1954, unrest began in the PRC. The indignation in the southern part of the Kham region (Tibet) began due to the actions of the Chinese communist authorities, which quickly developed into armed resistance.

The uprising gradually expanded, and fierce battles began. In response, the Chinese began shelling and aerial bombardments of settlements and monasteries, and massive repressions began in Tibet.

In August 1956, the uprising spread among the population of Amdo County. The rebels managed to organize and create a solid base in southern Tibet, by the summer of 1958 their army numbered several tens of thousands of people, the area of action of the partisans began to dangerously approach the capital of Tibet, Lhasa, whose inhabitants were helping them.

The Chinese authorities demanded that the local government suppress the uprising by military force. By the end of 1958, the rebel army had already numbered 80 thousand fighters and controlled all of southern Tibet.

As a result of the suppression of the uprising, thousands of Tibetan resistance fighters and civilians were killed.