The Politics of Global War: The Restive Kremlin D+11 (20 July, 1987) Part I


General Secretary Grigory Romanov summoned the core Defense Council members of the Politburo to the Kremlin at 1 AM. In addition, the Chief of the General Staff Marshal Akhromeyev, and KGB Chairman Viktor Chebrikov were also ordered to attend. Largely surprised, bewildered, and even slightly alarmed by the instruction, the men raced to the Kremlin unsure of what to expect. As they arrived, guards escorted each member to an antechamber outside of a conference room in the old Senate building. When the group had fully assembled they were escorted into the conference room and greeted by the general secretary seated at the head of the table wearing an impassive expression.

When Romanov spoke, the tone of his voice mirrored his face. “Comrades, the Soviet Union is not winning the war. Many of the reports I have read from the military, and various government agencies over the last week have painted a picture of imminent victory in the coming days. In my mind I had doubts, yet kept these to myself, and deferred to the so-called experts. Now, it is clear to me that the assessments of the present situation have been miscalculated. Or,” he paused dramatically. “I have been deliberately misled, along with you comrades, and the other members of the Politburo.

“Yesterday the war came directly to Soviet soil. American bombs fell on targets in the Kola Peninsula. If American aircraft can penetrate our airspace and cause damage it is proof this country is not winning!” Romanov’s fist smashed down on the table, startling those seated around it. “Not winning,” he continued after taking a moment to calm down. “Does not mean we are losing. The Soviet Union is not losing the war, however, the danger exists. Which brings me to the purpose of this meeting. Comrades, I’ve brought you here to discuss the current state of the war, political and military, and take the steps necessary to assure us of victory.

“Let us begin by finding the answer to a simple question. Why are we not winning the war?”

The general secretary’s words unnerved each member of the Defense Council with the exception of the KGB Chairman who had assumed this moment would eventually come. Chebrikov was keenly aware of how Soviet fortunes were faring in the various theaters of battle. KGB officers were posted in the headquarters of every theater of military operations (TVD) and military district mostly without the knowledge of the TVD commander or his staff. In some instances, it was a staff officer who was the KGB officer or informant!

The others froze. Like Chebrikov, every one of the other members was aware this moment would come at some point. But none of them were prepared for the speed in which it materialized. Now the Defense Council was caught off-guard by a general secretary demanding facts, fully aware that to give Romanov that which he wanted could very well reveal their own derelictions. No one present was willing to be the first to present an explanation. To the relief of all but one man present, Romanov had already decided in his mind who would go first.

“Marshal Akhromeyev, begin by bringing us up to date on what is happening in Germany.”


Author’s Note: Short one today. I finally got past the chemo effects (not so bad thankfully) and now I’m dealing with a head cold. Never ends. 😊 I’ll wrap this up over the weekend and then on to the Northern Flank. Hope everyone has a good weekend. – Mike

4 Replies to “The Politics of Global War: The Restive Kremlin D+11 (20 July, 1987) Part I”

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