Politics of Armageddon: Politburo Marching Orders D+20 (29 July, 1987)

The Politburo meeting began at 3 PM promptly. Every member was in attendance, both full and junior. Most of these men had been evacuated from the city in the aftermath of the nuclear strikes on Madrid and the Canadian military base in the far north. They had been out of the loop for over 24 hours, receiving only the barest of news on the evolving global situation. With their return to Moscow complete, General Secretary Romanov started the meeting by having Marshal Akhromeyev to provide an update to the membership present in the conference room. Akhromeyev did this and its effect on the Politburo members was mixed. Some were satisfied by the picture painted by the Soviet Union’s senior solider while others were prompted to present questions and request clarification on a number of issues from the battle in Germany to the alert status of US nuclear forces.

As this went on, Romanov gauged the mood of the Politburo from his place at the head of the table. Unlike the majority of Politburo meetings held since March, this time he also paid close attention to the facial expressions and mannerisms being displayed by the junior members, seated in chairs against the wall. It would soon become apparent which full members were reluctant or unable to perform the task Romanov intended to present soon. This meant that some of the junior men would find themselves as full members in the coming days. The General Secretary was now determining which of them were worthy and loyal enough for promotion. When Marshal Akhromeyev was finished, it was Romanov’s turn to speak and deliver his pitch.

“Comrades,” he began in a grave voice. “The Soviet Union is perched on the edge of destruction and we are in the midst of our darkest hour. I do not foresee a further use of atomic weapons by either side in the near future, but the threat remains. Marshal Akhromeyev informed you of the attacks by American carrier aircraft on our airfields south of Severomorsk this morning. Right before you arrived, I was informed there have been further attacks in the same area. The Defense Council will address this blatant escalation following the meeting here. For those of you not council members, your services will also be needed, but in a different way.

“We are the custodians of power in the Soviet Union. Information is the lifeblood we rely on to lead effectively. In these last few days, the flow of accurate information reaching us has been affected by circumstances. Our armed forces and intelligence services are doing their best, but those men are not the leaders of the nation. Their point of view is quite different from ours to say the least. As General Secretary, I recognize that in order to lead, information from the personal viewpoints of Politburo members is essential. During the Great Patriotic War, the Politburo dispatched members to accompany our military forces in every phase of the conflict. That has not been the case in this war,” he concluded mournfully.

“The State requires your services at this critical juncture. Many of you will leave tonight to visit a specific theater or front for six to eight hours. After which, you will return to Moscow and present your observations and findings tomorrow evening.”

Romanov went on for another three minutes, emphasizing the gravity of the moment how history would view the contribution of these members when all was said and done. The only men exempt from taking part in these fact-finding missions were the Defense Council members and three of the more infirmed Politburo members. The remaining men would receive their destinations and itineraries at the end of the meeting, which conveniently came within minutes of Romanov’s speech concluding. No time was allowed for doubts or misgivings to surface, which was precisely what the General Secretary planned.  

16 Replies to “Politics of Armageddon: Politburo Marching Orders D+20 (29 July, 1987)”

  1. I have to wonder how much of the “fact-finding” trips are the stated purpose and how much is Romanov hoping that NATO takes out his perceived competition.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. …. and accidents happen.

    That their forces are being thrown back in many a spot and that some of the places/units they might want to go visit are no longer Soviet held/still exist… is problematic.

    I am pretty sure the surrounded units that surrendered…. are not known of yet- and it would be kinda messed up for a Member to get caught trying to get to tht location.

    Its an Intel Windfall if that were to happen. Just a thought.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. On that topic Mike did Gorby get suicided in your TL or just exiled? I know Yeltsin is in the wings. Obviously you’re not telling but if a bunch of Jr. cabinet members wind up on the receiving end of an enthusiastic artillery barrage or an airstrike, that will create an environment where both or either of those guys could come back…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Gorbachev was removed from power and subsequently died from ‘natural causes.’ Yeltsin is there waiting now and the KGB is pushing to have him and some other dissidents and troublemakers rounded up. So, Gorby is gone but Yeltsin could very well come into the picture in a big way

          Liked by 2 people

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