The 1968 Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia - CIA Archive
The Prague Spring was a period of dramatic political liberalization of the political, economic, and social orders. Czechoslovakian reforms consisted of decentralization of economy and democratization of the political system, including abolition or loosening of limitations of the free speech or travel. It began on 5 January 1968 by election of reformist Alexander Dubcek as the First Secretary of Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. These reforms were not perceived well by the Soviets. This culminated in the invasion of 21 August 1968 when the Soviet Union and other members of the Warsaw Pact, apart from Romania, invaded Czechoslovakia, without any military resistance. Occupation of the country led to a large wave of emigration and non-violent protests including self-immolation of Jan Palach, who protested demoralization of Czechoslovakian citizens caused by the occupation, Jan Zajic and Evzen Plocek.
The political consequence of the invasion was a so-called normalization, which attempted to bring back political and economical system from the time before Dubcek’s election, even though it was certainly less harsh than the first 20 years of Communism in Czechoslovakia. Dubcek was replaced by Gustav Husak, who also became a president of Czechoslovakia. The occupation of Czechoslovakia lasted till 1990. This collection of documents shows selected weekly summaries of the crisis. These summaries were created by the analytical arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). CIA started to produce them because President Harry S. Truman struggled to understand the behavior of the Soviet Union and Joseph Stalin. Daily, weekly, and monthly summaries and interpretations of the most significant world events provided the President and the US Government with information to make their decisions and to create effective foreign policy.
- Czechoslovak Power Struggle Intensifies Czechoslovakia Outlines Economic "Action Programme" COMMUNIST REACTION TO EVENTS IN POLAND AND CZECHOSLOVAKIA DUBCEK WINNING POLITICAL STRUGGLE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA THE DRESDEN SUMMIT CONFERENCE
- MOSCOW BUILDING UP PRESSURES ON CZECHOSLOVAKIA CZECHOSLOVAK-SOVIET RELATIONS REMAIN UNEASY CZECHOSLOVAKIA MOVES AHEAD ON REFORMS SOVIETS SET LIMITS ON DEALING WITH THE WEST USSR AND PACT ALLIES TRY TO TAME CZECHOSLOVAKIA
- SOVIETS AND CZECHS AGREE ON MULTILATERAL TALKS CZECHOSLOVAKIA WINS RESPITE FROM THE USSR PRAGUE CONTINUES ON PATH TO REFORM USSR RESORTS TO INVASION IN CZECHOSLOVAK CRISIS CZECHOSLOVAK CRISIS INFLAMES DIVISIONS IN EASTERN EUROPE
- INVASION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA LEAVES UNCERTAIN AFTERMATH WESTERN EUROPE REACTS TO SOVIET-CZECHOSLOVAK DEVELOPMENTS TENSION EASES AS OCCUPATION OF CZECHOSLOVAKIA CONTINUES BALKAN COMMUNIST REGIMES ADJUST TO NEW REALITIES MOSCOW LOSING PATIENCE WITH CZECHOSLOVAK LEADERS
- SOVIET PEOPLE QUESTION INTERVENTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA CZECHOSLOVAK LEADERS GO TO MOSCOW FOR TALKS INVASION TO HAVE NO LONG-TERM IMPACT ON EAST-WEST TRADE CZECHOSLOVAKIA BOWS TO NEW SOVIET DEMANDS MOSCOW SEEKS A RETURN TO NORMAL RELATIONS WITH THE WEST
- CZECHOSLOVAK POPULAR PROTESTS POSE DOMESTIC CRISIS CZECHOSLOVAKIA IMPROVES RELATIONS WITH INVADING POWERS CZECHOSLOVAKS MOVE TO SUPPRESS ANTI-SOVIET DISSIDENCE The Dubcek experiment to fuse socialism with democracy is over. CZECHOSLOVAKIA CALM AFTER LEADERSHIP SHUFFLE