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Soviet influence on the peace movement

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Soviet influence on the peace movement

During the non-aligned peace groups in the West.

The World Peace Council

The World Peace Council (WPC) was set up by the Soviet Communist Party in 1948–50 to promote Soviet foreign policy and to campaign against nuclear weapons at a time when only the USA had them. The WPC was directed by the International Department of the Soviet Communist Party via the Soviet Peace Committee,[1] a WPC member. The WPC and its members took the line laid down by the Cominform that the world was divided between the peace-loving Soviet Union and the warmongering United States. From the 1950s until the late 1980s the Soviet Union used numerous organizations associated with the WPC to spread its view of peace. They included:

Other international peace organizations have been said to be associated with the WPC as well. International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War is said to have had "overlapping membership and similar policies" to the WPC.[3] The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs and the Dartmouth Conferences were said to have been used by Soviet delegates to promote Soviet propaganda.[2] Joseph Rotblat, one of the leaders of the Pugwash movement, said that there were a few participants in Pugwash conferences from the Soviet Union "who were obviously sent to push the party line, but the majority were genuine scientists and behaved as such".[5][6]

The WPC organized international peace conferences which condemned western armaments and weapons tests but refrained from criticizing Russian arms. For example, in 1956 it condemned the [8]

U.S. plans to deploy Pershing missiles in Western Europe in response to the Soviet SS-20 missiles were contentious, prompting Paul Nitze, the American negotiator, to suggest a compromise plan for nuclear missiles in Europe in the celebrated "walk in the woods" with Soviet negotiator Yuli Kvitsinsky, but the Soviets never responded.[9] Kvitsinsky would later write that, despite his efforts, the Soviet side was not interested in compromise, calculating instead that peace movements in the West would force the Americans to capitulate.[10]

Because of the energetic propaganda of the WPC from the late 1940s onwards, with its large conferences and budget, some saw no difference between a peace activist and a Communist.[11] It was sometimes said that the peace movement in the West was influenced by or even led by the WPC. US President [15]

From the late 1940s to the early 1960s there was limited co-operation between western groups and the WPC but, as the non-aligned movement "was constantly under threat of being tarnished by association with avowedly pro-Soviet groups", many individuals and organizations "studiously avoided contact with Communists and fellow-travellers."[16] As early as 1949 the World Pacifist Meeting warned against active collaboration with Communists.[7] Western delegates at WPC conferences who tried to criticize the Soviet Union or the WPC's defence of Russian armaments were often shouted down[7] and they gradually dissociated themselves from the WPC. Finally, after confrontation between western and Soviet delegates at the 1962 World Congress for Peace and Disarmament, organised by the WPC in Moscow, forty non-aligned organizations decided to form a new international body, the International Confederation for Disarmament and Peace, to which Soviet delegates were not invited.[17]

Rainer Santi, in his history of the [18]

Claims of wider Soviet influence

Conservative organizations and writers and some defectors from Soviet intelligence have claimed that the non-aligned peace movement was controlled by the Soviet Union.

In 1951 the [19]

In 1982 the [20]

Russian [15] Richard Felix Staar in his book Foreign Policies of the Soviet Union says that non-communist peace movements without overt ties to the USSR were "virtually controlled" by it. Lord Chalfont claimed that the Soviet Union was giving the European peace movement £100 million a year. The Federation of Conservative Students (FCS) alleged Soviet funding of CND.

In 1985 Time magazine noted "the suspicions of some Western scientists that the nuclear winter hypothesis was promoted by Moscow to give antinuclear groups in the U.S. and Europe some fresh ammunition against America's arms buildup."[22] Sergei Tretyakov claimed that the data behind the nuclear winter scenario was faked by the KGB and spread in the west as part of a campaign against Pershing missiles.[23] He said that the first peer-reviewed paper in the development of the nuclear winter hypothesis, "Twilight at Noon" by Paul Crutzen and John Birks (1982),[24] was published as a result of this KGB influence.

Western intelligence assessments

In 1967, a CIA report on the US peace movement observed that "the Communist Party of the USA benefits from anti-US activity by Peace groups but does not appear to be inspiring them or directing them."[25] After demonstrations against NATO missiles in West Germany in 1981, an official investigation turned up circumstantial evidence but no absolute proof of KGB involvement. Western intelligence experts concluded that the movement in Europe at that time was probably not Soviet-inspired.[15]

According to the Danish Ministry of Justice, in the early 1980s the KGB promised to help finance advertisements signed by prominent Danish artists who wanted Scandinavia to be declared a nuclear-free zone. In November 1981, Norway expelled a suspected KGB agent who had offered bribes to Norwegians to get them to write letters to newspapers denouncing the deployment of new NATO missiles.[15]

In 1983, MI5 and MI6 reported to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on Soviet contacts with the peace movement, based on the testimony of KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky. According to Christopher Andrew's official history of MI5, Gordievsky's evidence indicated that there was little effective contact between either the KGB or the Soviet embassy and the peace movement.[26]

See also

Soviet activity:


  1. ^ , May 16, 1982New York TimesBurns, J.F., "Soviet peace charade is less than convincing",
  2. ^ a b c d , Hoover Press, 1991, ISBN 0-8179-9102-6, pp.79–88Foreign policies of the Soviet UnionRichard Felix Staar,
  3. ^ a b c d U.S. Congress. House. Select Committee on Intelligence, Soviet Covert Action: The Forgery Offensive, 6 and 19 Feb. 1980, 96th Cong., 2d sess., 1963. Washington, DC: GPO, 1980
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Effect of Invasion of Czechoslovakia on Soviet FrontsCIA,
  5. ^ The 1998 Bertrand Russell Peace LecturesRotblat, Joseph, "Russell and the Pugwash Movement",
  6. ^ See also Abrams, I., The Nobel Peace Prize and the Laureates
  7. ^ a b c Lawrence S. Wittner, Resisting the Bomb, Stanford University Press, 1997
  8. ^ Pete Earley, Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America After the End of the Cold War, Penguin Books, 2007, ISBN 978-0-399-15439-3, pp.169–177
  9. ^ Matlock, Jack F., Jr. (2005). Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended. New York:  
  10. ^ Kwizinskij, Julij A. (1993). Vor dem Sturm: Erinnerungen eines Diplomaten. Berlin: Siedler Verlag.  
  11. ^ a b , Pax förlag, International Peace Bureau, January 1991100 years of peace making: A history of the International Peace Bureau and other international peace movement organisations and networksSanti, Rainer,
  12. ^ E.P.Thompson, "Resurgence in Europe and the rôle of END", in J.Minnion and P.Bolsover (eds.), The CND Story, Alison and Busby, London, 1983
  13. ^
  14. ^ Vladimir Bukovsky, "The Peace Movements and the Soviet Union", Commentary, May 1982, pp.25–41
  15. ^ a b c d , 14 February 1983TimeJohn Kohan, "The KGB: Eyes of the Kremlin",
  16. ^ Russell, B and Bone, A.G, Man's peril, 1954–55, Routledge, 2003
  17. ^ Oxford Conference of Non-aligned Peace Organizations
  18. ^ , May–June 1992Peace MagazinePrince, R., "The Ghost Ship of Lönnrotinkatu"
  19. ^ House Committee on Un-American Activities, The Communist "Peace" Offensive, 1951
  20. ^ Barlow, J.G., Moscow and the Peace Offensive, Heritage Foundation, 1982
  21. ^ a b Stanislav Lunev, Through the Eyes of the Enemy: The Autobiography of Stanislav Lunev, Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1998. ISBN 0-89526-390-4
  22. ^ , Monday, Oct. 7, 1985TimeJacob V. Lamar Jr., David Aikman and Erik Amfitheatrof, "Another Return from the Cold",
  23. ^ Pete Earley, Comrade J (New York, Berkley Books, 2009)
  24. ^ Paul J. Crutzen and John W. Birks, "The Atmosphere after a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon", in Nuclear War - The Aftermath, Pergamon Press, 1983, pp.73-96
  25. ^ Central Intelligence Agency, "International Connection of US Peace Groups
  26. ^ Christopher Andrew, The Defence of the Realm: The Authorized History of MI5, Allen Lane, 2009 ISBN 0-7139-9885-7

External links

  • Christian Peace Conference
  • International Institute for Peace
  • International Physicians for the Prevention on Nuclear War
  • by Detlev BlankeEsperanto kaj socialismo?Review of
  • Pugwash Conferences
  • Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence, House of Representatives, 96th Congress, 2nd Session, February 6 & 19, 1980

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