24 July 1973* (St 88/1) Brezhnev

Secretariat. Propaganda tasks in the light of BREZHNEV’s recent visit to USA.

[Russian: 24 July 1973 – St 88-1] total 36 pp. (excerpts)


[page one of thirty six]

Workers of all lands, unite!


[Text along left-hand margin]
Return within 15 days of receipt to CPSU Central Committee
(General Department, Sector II) in accordance with
Secretariat Resolution, 28 March 1967, St 12/4

Top Secret

St 88/1
24 July 1973

Excerpt from Minutes No 88, item 1, Central Committee Secretariat

The main propaganda tasks
in the light of Comrade Brezhnev’s
official visit to the USA

Instruct Comrades Ponomaryov, Demichev and Katushev, with the participaton of Comrades Gromyko and Andropov, to complete work on the draft Resolution concerning this issue within 7 days, taking into account the exchange of views which has taken place.


St 88/1, 24 July 1973

Sent to Comrades:
Andropov, Gromyko, Ponomaryov, Demichev,

[page two]


To the CPSU Central Committee

The main propaganda tasks
in the light of Comrade Brezhnev’s
official visit to the USA

In accordance with our instructions we present drafts of the following: a Central Committee Resolution “The main tasks of propaganda in the light of the results of the official visit of the CPSU General Secretary Comrade L.I. Brezhnev to the United States of America”; guidelines and a plan for organisational-propaganda events connected to the results of the visit (attached). The documents have been prepared by the Propaganda and International Departments of the Central Committee together with the Science and Higher Education and the Culture Departments and the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Deputy head of the Propaganda Department (G. Smirnov)

Deputy head of the International Department (Ye. Kuskov)

18 July 1973

[page three]


The main propaganda tasks
in the light of Comrade Brezhnev’s
official visit to the USA


The visit by the CPSU General Secretary, Comrade L.I. Brezhnev to the USA was an event of enormous and fundamental importance, a major step in implementing a turn from “cold war” to relations of peaceful coexistence which opens up a new stage in world politics.


[page four]

… the turn towards a relaxation of international tension [détente] is happening at a strategically favourable moment for us. The general crisis of capitalism is growing deeper and modern capitalism is being forced to adapt to a new situation because of the numerous defeats of aggressive imperialist policy, the crisis in the financial system of capitalism, the relative weakening of American imperialism around the world, and the fall in the prestige of the US political system. In these circumstances, as class and ethnic contradictions within and between imperialist powers intensify, business circles in capitalist countries are showing an increasing interest in establishing trade and economic relations with the Soviet Union.

[A hastily summoned gathering of all in charge of Soviet organisations and Soviet representatives in international “democratic organisations” received instructions concerning their tasks and the issues affecting the development of links with NGOs and movements in the USA so as to strengthen Soviet influence on the wider American public.

[pages 7-8]

All organisations involved in producing information and propaganda should strengthen the offensive character of our propaganda in every way. The deep changes in the international situation should not give rise to unfounded illusions, complacency or passivity. We must show that there are certain forces in the world opposed to a relaxation in international tension [détente], and there remain dangerously explosive hotbeds of aggression and war. Avoiding stereotypes inherited from the Cold War period, we must focus attention on a comparative analysis of the two systems. We must reveal in every possible way the superiority of socialism, socialist ideals, and its moral and spiritual values, without overlooking the real difficulties of our development. …

We must wage a resolute offensive against anti-Communist, anti-Soviet, Zionist and militarist forces – against all those who are opposed to détente, support a return to the Cold War, are in favour of the arms race, and those who sow the seeds of hostility and mistrust between nations.

Constant attention must be given to the exposure of attempts by hostile ideological centres to enliven conceptions aimed at encouraging an erosion’ of socialist ideology (among them the various ‘theories’ of convergence and the end of ideology). Any attempts to interpret the relaxation of international tension as “confirmation” of such theories must be rebutted. We must persistently reject the conflation of the “Cold War ”, as a definite but by no means fatally inevitable stage in the relation between States with ideological struggle that is a form of class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, arising from the contradictions between the two social systems.

While providing a systematic exposure of the provocative meaning with which bourgeois propaganda invests the thesis of the ‘free exchange of ideas, information and people’, we must show, using specific illustrations, that the Soviet Union has always been in favour of developing cultural ties that facilitate the mutual spiritual enrichment of nations, and has achieved significant successes in this field […]

In all our propaganda work we must expose the inadequacy of various petty-bourgeois leftist trends that have become current among a certain section of the young in capitalist countries, showing that the ‘youth revolt’ has no future unless it is linked to the liberation struggle of the proletariat, and the real problems and contradictions of capitalist society. We must emphasise that only socialism opens the way to a genuine liberation for the younger generation. Technocratic theories and views and other approaches that supposedly underpin the special role of the intelligentsia in leading contemporary society, and various types of speculation about ‘the freedom of creativity’ under socialism, must be firmly rebutted.”

[A “Plan of organisational and propaganda measures” was confirmed embracing almost all spheres of activity. Most important of all would be the wide use of Western media to disseminate Soviet propaganda. The USSR State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, for instance, was instructed]

[pages 12-22]

– to make use of the opportunities that have opened up for widening contacts and ties with TV and radio organisations in the USA, France and the FRG, in particular, to promote Soviet TV material, prepare co-productions, and paying sufficient attention to establishing ties with local TV and radio organisations;

– to organise invitations to leading American TV and radio journalists to visit the Soviet Union so as to make radio broadcasts and TV programmes about the Soviet Union under the supervision, and with the participation, of the State Committee;

– with the agreement of the Central Committee Propaganda Department […] to consult with TV and radio organisations in fraternal socialist countries as to coordinating, in particular, propaganda broadcasts to the USA and to other capitalist countries in Europe, and determining the main trends in propaganda with reference to the conditions in particular European countries, and clarifying the broadcast schedules;

– to organise regular counter-propaganda broadcasts, that expose the fabrications and insinuations of the bourgeois radio propaganda of Maoist, Zionist and revisionist views.”

[The Novosti news agency was instructed]

– to prepare articles by Party, State and public figures in the USSR for influential American newspapers, clarifying various aspects of the CPSU’s domestic and foreign policy;

– to aid leading American journalists in preparing materials when they make such requests;

– to continue joint productions with US TV organisations (ABC, CBS, NBC), and also the TV news agency UPI, of reports, bulletins and programmes devoted to the achievements of the Soviet Union and the life of Soviet people. To prepare and ensure the promotion abroad of the TV documentaries “The newspaper Pravda ”, “The Supreme Soviet ”, “The Party Committee Secretary”, “Progress and environmental protection”, and others.”

[The USSR State Committee for Cinematography was tasked to]

“develop specific proposals for the co-production of films made by Soviet and American studios …”

[The USSR State Committee for the Press was instructed to]

“systematically translate into Russian the works of progressive American writers and commentators, and collections of speeches and articles by noted public figures and journalists, which give an objective account of the political and socio-economic processes in the USA and are in favour of cooperation with the Soviet Union …”

[The tasks entrusted to the USSR Academy of Sciences were yet more demanding. It was]

to study the possibility of attracting new major American scientific figures to the Pugwash Movement, including a possible personal appeal from noted Soviet scientists;

to widen its research into: the economic, political and social situation of the USA and the issues surrounding the struggle of the workers’, communist, ethnic and other mass movements in the USA; to intensify its study of the contemporary state of American academic disciplines (philosophy, economics, history, sociology, the law, psychology, literature and literary studies) and also of the ideological struggle within the fields of research, scholarship and art;

to prepare a situational analysis of issues concerning Soviet-American relations, in relation to the new stage in their development and influence on the situation in the world; also the relations in these new circumstances between the USA and its West Europe an allies;

to activate contacts with research organisations in France, the FRG, Japan and other countries that are concerned with American Studies.



[1] Leonid Brezhnev visited the USA from 18 to 26 June 1973 at the invitation of President Richard Nixon.


1. Notes and additions by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. Text added by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document it is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation, John Crowfoot