Anatoly S. Chernayev Diary, 1972
25 May 2012 – National Security Archive
Soviet government official Anatoly Chernyaev records an insider’s view of the Brezhnev era
National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 379
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Washington, D.C., May 25, 2012 — Today the National Security Archive publishes excerpts from Anatoly S. Chernyaev’s diary of 1972 for the first time in English translation with edits and postscript by the author. While the diary for the Gorbachev years, 1985-1991, published before and widely used in scholarly work on the end of the Cold War provided a major source on the Gorbachev reforms, the earlier years of the diary give the reader a very rare window into the workings of the Brezhnev inner circle in the 1970s.
The portrait of the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, whom most Americans remember from his later years as frail and incomprehensible, emerges very differently from the earliest in the series of diaries donated by Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev to the National Security Archive. In 1972, Chernyaev, deputy head of the International Department of the Central Committee, started keeping a systematic diary, recording his attendance at Politburo meetings, his participation in meetings at the state dacha in Zavidovo (where the experts and speechwriters met to draft speeches and reports for the General Secretary), visits abroad, and the daily life of a high-level Soviet apparatchik.
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