The "Irreplaceable" Chernyaev Diary, 1980

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The “Irreplaceable” Chernyaev Diary 1980

Inside the Soviet Central Committee, “who is supposed to answer for Afghanistan?”

“Most things are done to cater to one man [Brezhnev] – and to disturb him as little as possible”  


Washington D.C., May 25, 2020 – The National Security Archive marks what would have been Anatoly Sergeyevich Chernyaev’s 99th birthday today with the publication for the first time in English of his extraordinary Diary for 1980.   At the time of the writing, Chernyaev was Deputy Director of the International Department of the Central Committee responsible for the International Communist Movement (ICM) and fraternal parties.  The diary traces the further decline of the top Soviet leadership, the emergence of strikes and other labor unrest in the Soviet Union in the midst of deteriorating economy, and the dark cloud of two invasions—one that already happened—Afghanistan, and one that Chernyaev fears might happen—Poland.