Crisis in the Kremlin - Our 1982 USSR

If I were ever to make 2nd timeline, which one would you be most interested in?

  • 1. German Empire 1888

    Votes: 62 29.2%
  • 2. Russian Federation 1993

    Votes: 74 34.9%
  • 3. Red China 1949

    Votes: 37 17.5%
  • 4. Yugoslavia 1920

    Votes: 27 12.7%
  • 5. India 1947

    Votes: 28 13.2%
  • 6. alt-fascist Italy 1922

    Votes: 29 13.7%
  • 7. South Africa 1994

    Votes: 18 8.5%
  • 8. Germany 1990

    Votes: 20 9.4%
  • 9. Japan 2000

    Votes: 18 8.5%
  • 10. United Kingdom 1997

    Votes: 20 9.4%

  • Total voters
    212
  • Poll closed .
Yup, I've been thinking about it and theoretically you could mine the ore and melt it to purity locally, then airlift it out. But we're talking about 32 tonne of Gold, nevermind all the other minerals etc. Plus you need a lot of goods to humanely mine it, some of it extremely toxic.

So how do you get it in and out, with hostile neighbours?
Fair point, but my solution would be easy - bribery. Simply cut the deal with corrupt local authorities to turn a blind eye in exhange for a cut. The more money USSR would be able to make by mining in Burkina Faso, the higher theirs cut would be. We are talking about Africa, so finding somebody willing to help us in exhange for money should not be a problem at all.
 
Before we get to the serious stuff, I have a question regarding one of the more humourous/embarrassing moments of Smith's IRL trip.

So apparently during her visit to the Soviet Union Samantha was put on the phone with cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to orbit the earth. However it seems nobody bothered to tell Samantha who she was speaking to so she hung up after a brief conversation. I'm just wondering how the call was handled TTL.
In TTL they met in person, the same day before Samantha had a long private chat with comrade Romanov in contrast to OTL when she had only a telephone conversation with already sick Andropov
 
Fair point, but my solution would be easy - bribery. Simply cut the deal with corrupt local authorities to turn a blind eye in exhange for a cut. The more money USSR would be able to make by mining in Burkina Faso, the higher theirs cut would be. We are talking about Africa, so finding somebody willing to help us in exhange for money should not be a problem at all.
I've got a (in my opinion) better one: flip Ghana. To quote wiki
In 1981, John Rawlings seized the country in a Coup and the military government ruled Ghana until 1993, when a transition process was in place to hand over power from the military back to civilian rule. The 4th Republic was inaugurated on 7 January 1993.
If you flip mr Rawlings, you get a sea bordering country, with better reserves of Gold and other stuff. He even flew Su-7s, so there is a tiny link. In his article wiki also mentions:
After the 1979 coup, he involved himself with the student community of the University of Ghana, where he developed a more leftist ideology through reading and discussion of social and political ideas.
I'd say that is a much more worthy cause.
 
I've got a (in my opinion) better one: flip Ghana. To quote wiki

If you flip mr Rawlings, you get a sea bordering country, with better reserves of Gold and other stuff. He even flew Su-7s, so there is a tiny link. In his article wiki also mentions:

I'd say that is a much more worthy cause.
I think we could use him as our middle-man for a reasonable price, as soon USSR would have plenty of available resources and money, but only if you manage to avoid WW3 in the next chapter...
 
I think we could use him as our middle-man for a reasonable price, as soon USSR would have plenty of available resources and money, but only if you manage to avoid WW3 in the next chapter...
Works for me but do keep in mind he also sits on a mountain of Gold. Ghana surpassed South Africa as the leading African gold producing country.
 
Works for me but do keep in mind he also sits on a mountain of Gold. Ghana surpassed South Africa as the leading African gold producing country.
Got it, but right now comrade Romanov and the gang will have much bigger issues to solve in the next 2 chapters
 
1. Vote on Soviet involvement in the Sri Lankan Civil War
A) Yes, friendly state in the Indian Ocean would be great for us
B) No, we don't have to be involved everywhere
C) Support the rebels only through India

2. Vote on recognizing of Sankara's government
A) Yes, we must help fellow revolutionaries
B) No, we don't have to be involved everywhere
1.)
C.

2.)
A.
 
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Chapter Six: Cold war goes hot? (September – November 1983)
The Central Committee of the CPSU in regard to the Sri Lankan Civil War has decided to indirectly support the rebels against the Western- and China-backed government via India, as not to worsen the already strained relationship between USSR and the West/China. The aid provided by the Soviet Union included not only military or financial aid, but also food and medicine, delivered by the Indian Air Force in airdropped parcels. The Soviet leadership had also agreed to support the newly-established government of Thomas Sankara, becoming protector of his rule over Burkina Faso. Sankara domestic policies included famine prevention, agrarian self-sufficiency, land reform, and suspending rural poll taxes. He also focused on a nationwide literacy campaign and vaccinating program against meningitis, yellow fever and measles. His government also focused on building schools, health centers, water reservoirs, and infrastructure projects. He also combated desertification of the Sahel by planting over 10 million trees. Moreover, he outlawed female genital mutilation, forced marriages and polygamy. Sankara set up Cuban-inspired Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. He set up Popular Revolutionary Tribunals to prosecute public officials charged with political crimes and corruption, considering such elements of the state counter-revolutionaries. This led to criticism by Amnesty International for human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detentions of political opponents. In return for Soviet military, financial, diplomatic and political support, Sankara was forced to completely hand over mining industry to USSR, which included production of mineral commodities such as cement, gold, granite, marble or salt. Gold mining in Burkina Faso turned to be very profitable to USSR, as over a longer period of time Burkina Faso turned into one of the biggest sites for gold exploration and largest gold producer in Africa, however West African gold was not as high grade as gold from South Africa.

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(Soviet forces during Zapad-83)

Exercise Zapad-83 conducted in late August 1983, which lasted approximately 9 days, was the largest military exercise ever carried by the Soviet Union and other member states of the Warsaw Pact. The exercise involved between 300,000 and 375,000 troops. The joint strategic exercise was much bigger in scale, scope and different in disposition and composition of the force than the previous exercises. The gravity of the threat assessment by the Western governments was intensified by the intelligence gathered on the actual thoughts and plans of the Soviet leadership concerning the forces. According to the Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union Marshal Dmitry Ustinov: "Zapad-1983 is purely defensive in nature, and its holding does not pose any threat, either to the European community as a whole, or to neighboring countries in particular. Zapad-1983 is planned and is the final stage in the system of joint training of the armed forces of USSR and Warsaw Pact members this year. First of all, it is aimed at increasing the training of troops from the regional grouping designed to ensure security in the Eastern European region." Nevertheless, the scope and time of the exercise brought very negative reaction from the West, as on the one hand the Zapad exercises illustrated strategic unity between USSR and Warsaw Pact members, but led to furthrer escalation of conflict with the West. What the world did not realize was that the Zapad exercise was the beginning of a larger chain of events that would put the world on the brink of World War III in just two months' time.

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(Pershing II missile in action)

Amid the largest Soviet military exercises in history, U.S. president Ronald Reagan announced that the U.S. government will proceed with planned deployment of the Pershing II ballistic missiles in West Germany in November 1983, replacing the current Pershing 1a missiles. The West German Air Force also declared to replace their 72 Pershing 1a missiles with the short-range Pershing 1b. The Soviet Union began deployment of the RSD-10 Pioneer (NATO designation SS-20 Saber) in 1976. The weapon had a range of 1,800 kilometers (1,100 mi). Soviet estimates put the system's range at 2,500 kilometers (1,600 mi) and they also believed that the missile was armed with an earth-penetrating warhead. These two errors contributed to Soviet fears of the weapon, believing it could be used to decapitate the Soviet Union. In reality, from positions in West Germany, the system could not target Moscow. The deployment of Pershing II and GLCM missiles was a cause of significant protests in Europe and the US, many organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Protests against the short-range MGM-52 Lance nuclear missile began in July 1981 in Engstingen, West Germany. In October 1981, 300,000 protesters assembled in Bonn. European Nuclear Disarmament began a campaign for nuclear disarmament in 1982. The Seneca Women's Encampment for a Future of Peace and Justice was formed in 1983 to protest the deployment. In 1983, protesters went to court to stop the Pershing II deployment as a violation of Article 26(1) of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, which prohibited West Germany from preparing for an offensive war. The Federal Constitutional Court rejected these claims. Again in Bonn in October 1983, as many as 500,000 people protested the deployment and a human chain was formed from the US Army headquarters in Stuttgart to the gates of Wiley Barracks in Neu-Ulm, the site of one of the Pershing battalions. If somebody hoped that September would bring calm between the two superpowers, couldn't be more wrong.

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(The title say it all)

On September 1, 1983, Korean Airlines (KAL) flight 007 was on the last leg of a flight from New York City to Seoul, with a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska. As it approached its final destination, the plane began to veer far off its normal course. In just a short time, the plane flew into Soviet airspace and crossed over the Kamchatka Peninsula, where some top-secret Soviet military installations were known to be located. The Soviets sent two fighters to intercept the plane. According to tapes of the conversations between the fighter pilots and Soviet ground control, the fighters quickly located the KAL flight and tried to make contact with the passenger jet. Failing to receive a response, one of the fighters fired a heat-seeking missile. KAL 007 was hit and plummeted into the Sea of Japan. All 269 people on board were killed. As a result of the incident, the United States altered tracking procedures for aircraft departing from Alaska, and President Ronald Reagan issued a directive making the American satellite-based radio navigation Global Positioning System freely available for civilian use, once it was sufficiently developed, as a common good. In 1983, Cold War tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union had escalated to a level not seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis because of several factors. These included the United States' Strategic Defense Initiative, its planned deployment of the Pershing II weapon system in Europe in March and April, and FleetEx '83-1, the largest naval exercise held to date in the North Pacific. The military hierarchy of the Soviet Union (particularly Minister of Defense Dmitry Ustinov) viewed these actions as bellicose and destabilizing; they were deeply suspicious of U.S. President Ronald Reagan's intentions and openly fearful he was planning a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union. These fears culminated in RYAN, the code name for a secret intelligence-gathering program initiated by Andropov to detect a potential nuclear sneak attack which he believed Reagan was plotting. Aircraft from USS Midway and USS Enterprise repeatedly overflew Soviet military installations in the Kuril Islands during FleetEx '83,resulting in the dismissal or reprimanding of Soviet military officials who had been unable to shoot them down. On the Soviet side, RYAN was expanded.

Lastly, there was a heightened alert around the Kamchatka Peninsula at the time KAL 007 was in the vicinity, because of a Soviet missile test at the Kura Missile Test Range that was scheduled for the same day. However, the passenger jet again entered Soviet airspace as it passed over Sakhalin Island. This time, Soviet fighter jets began trailing the South Korean plane. A Soviet pilot noted that the aircraft’s navigational and strobe lights were blinking, which would suggest that it was not a spy plane. He allegedly fired warning shots, but they were not seen by the pilots of the civilian plane. By this time, the South Korean plane had received permission from Tokyo air traffic control to increase its altitude, and the aircraft slowed as the flight adjustments were made. To the Soviets, however, the plane was engaging in evasive maneuvers. With the aircraft fast approaching international airspace, a Soviet plane fired two air-to-air missiles. Although the Soviet pilot declared that the target was destroyed, the crippled plane continued to fly—estimates vary from 90 seconds up to 12 minutes—before crashing into the Sea of Japan (East Sea) approximately 30 miles (48 km) from Sakhalin Island. At the time of the attack, the plane had been cruising at an altitude of about 35,000 feet (11,000 m). Tapes recovered from the airliner's cockpit voice recorder indicate that the crew was unaware that they were off course and violating Soviet airspace.

Immediately after the shoot-down, South Korea, the owner of the aircraft and therefore prime considerant for jurisdiction, designated the United States and Japan as search and salvage agents, thereby making it illegal for the Soviet Union to salvage the aircraft, providing it was found outside Soviet territorial waters. If it did so, the United States would now be legally entitled to use force against the Soviets, if necessary, to prevent retrieval of any part of the plane. The incident had widespread fallout and increased tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union. U.S. officials immediately claimed that the Soviets had knowingly downed a civilian plane, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan decried it as “an act of barbarism.” Government officials continued to publicly promote this narrative, even after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that the Soviets had likely mistaken the plane for a reconnaissance aircraft. U.S. authorities used the incident to stir anti-Soviet sentiment worldwide, especially as it was the second time Soviets had attacked a passenger plane; an incident involving another Korean Air Lines aircraft had occurred in 1978, but that plane had managed to make an emergency landing, and only two people died.

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(Marshal Ogarkov denies the Soviet responsibility)

Initially the Soviet government and General Secretary Romanov, on the advice of Defense Minister Ustinov, but against the advice of Foreign Minister Gromyko, did not acknowledge shooting down the aircraft until September 6, five days after the flight was shot down. Eight days after the shoot-down, Marshal of the Soviet Union and Chief of General Staff Nikolai Ogarkov denied knowledge of where KAL 007 had gone down; "We could not give the precise answer about the spot where it [KAL 007] fell because we ourselves did not know the spot in the first place". Marshal Ustinov was completely convinced, and assured General Secretary Romanov, that the Korean airliner was in fact an intruding U.S. spy plane, send as a deliberate provocation by the United States to probe the Soviet Union's military preparedness. According to Ustinov, the incident was a made up American plot to escalate world-wide anti-Soviet sentiment. Nevertheless, the Soviet government had to quickly change its stance, as on September 7, Japan and the United States jointly released a transcript of Soviet communications, intercepted by the listening post at Wakkanai, to an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council. Faced with such evidence, General Secretary Romanov, to salvage the situation and the international reputation of the USSR, admitted downing the plane by mistake, much to the fury of Marshal Ustinov and more hardliner and militarist elements in the Soviet leadership, who still claimed that the whole incident was a political provocation carefully organized by the U.S. special services. On 29 September 1983, the Soviet government offered up to US$2.7 billion to settle claims by the families of the 270 killed in the incident, representing US$10 million per family. On 15 October 1983, Soviet UN ambassador, Oleg Troyanovsky, submitted a letter to the UN Security Council formally accepting "responsibility for the actions of its officials"in relation to the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007. Nevertheless, the Soviet leadership could not take a breath, as another incident just weeks later almost led to a full-scale nuclear war between the USSR and the West.

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(Stanislav Petrov - a man who prevented (or only postponed? ) WW3))

At the height of the Cold War, the USSR designed an early-warning radar system meant to track fast-moving threats to increase the chance of reprisal. On September 26, 1983, however, the system, code-named Oko, malfunctioned. At around midnight, Oko’s alarms rang out, alerting the base of one incoming nuclear missile. The screen read, “LAUNCH,” which was not a warning, but an automatic order to prepare for retaliation. Believing that a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) was incoming, the base went into a panic. However, some officers on duty were skeptical that the United States would choose to send only one ICBM, knowing that it could not affect the Soviets’ counterstrike capability. Stanislav Petrov, an officer that helped create the code for the early-warning software, also knew that Oko was prone to error. He reset the system, but the alarms persisted. Rather than following protocol, which entailed alerting superiors up the chain of command, Petrov awaited corroborating evidence. No evidence came, and the alarms soon stopped. Petrov’s actions, or inaction, almost certainly averted a nuclear disaster. It was subsequently determined that the false alarms were caused by a rare alignment of sunlight on high-altitude clouds and the satellites' Molniya orbits, an error later corrected by cross-referencing a geostationary satellite. In explaining the factors leading to his decision, Petrov cited his belief and training that any U.S. first strike would be massive, so five missiles seemed an illogical start. In addition, the launch detection system was new and in his view not yet wholly trustworthy, while ground radar had failed to pick up corroborative evidence even after several minutes of the false alarm. Learning about the whole incident, the Soviet leadership decided to hush up the whole incident. Although General Secretary Romanov stated that "Petrov made the right decision, but he could not be rewarded for his actions, as I would be forced to officially punish and embarrass the military leadership responsible for the missile detection system". The incident happened only weeks after the unfortunate downing of the Korean airliner, so the Soviet leadership could not allow this incident to see the day of light. At the end, Petrov was neither praised nor reprimanded for his actions, and remained at his post on the orders of Romanov. In the meantime, Soviet Space Program celebrated a successful mission of Soyuz T-10a, whose crew has successfully visited the Salyut 7 space station, which was occupied by the Soyuz T-9 crew.
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(Bombing in Beirut)

On October 23, 1983, a terrorist attack took place in Beirut against U.S. and French armed forces, who were members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF), a military peacekeeping operation during the Lebanese Civil War that claimed the lives of 307 people (The attack killed 307 people: 241 U.S. and 58 French military personnel, six civilians, and two attackers). The multinational peacekeeping force, composed of troops from the United States, France, and Italy, arrived in Lebanon in August 1982 as part of a cease-fire agreement signed by Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). The troops were to oversee the safe and peaceful withdrawal of Yasser Arafat and the PLO from positions within Beirut and ensure the safety of the Palestinian civilians that remained behind. The withdrawal of the PLO was accomplished by early September, and the bulk of the multinational force soon withdrew to ships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. However, the assassination on September 14, 1982, of Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel—the Phalangist leader of the Lebanese Forces, a unified Christian militia—sparked a wave of violence. Christian militiamen retaliated for Gemayel’s death by killing hundreds of Palestinians (estimates range from several hundred to several thousand) at the Ṣabrā and Shātīlā refugee camps. In the wake of the killings, troops were swiftly returned to Lebanon. Israel and Lebanon signed a formal peace agreement the following month that called for the withdrawal of Israeli troops, contingent upon Syria’s withdrawal. Syria opposed the agreement, however, and refused to retreat. In July, Israeli troops began a unilateral withdrawal from positions within Lebanon that they had held since June 1982. Fighting between competing militias escalated in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal, and violence against the multinational force increased, with U.S. Marine positions routinely coming under small arms and mortar fire. Circumstances took a crucial turn, however, when U.S. gunships in the Mediterranean shelled Syrian-backed Druze militias in support of the Christian government; the perceived role of the multinational force thus shifted from that of unaligned peacekeepers to active support of a particular faction in the Lebanese civil war. A group called Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombings and said that the aim was to force the MNF out of Lebanon. According to Caspar Weinberger, the United States Secretary of Defense, there is no knowledge of who did the bombing. Some analysis highlights the role of Hezbollah and Iran, calling it "an Iranian operation from top to bottom".

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(Victorious U.S. troops in Grenada)

It took only 2 days, for the international situation to get worse and more strained than it already was, as the U.S. invasion of Grenada took place at dawn on 25 October 1983. The United States and a coalition of six Caribbean nations invaded the island nation of Grenada, 100 miles (160 km) north of Venezuela. Codenamed Operation Urgent Fury by the U.S. military, it resulted in military occupation within a few days. It was triggered by the strife within the People's Revolutionary Government, which resulted in the house arrest and execution of the previous leader and second Prime Minister of Grenada, Maurice Bishop, and the establishment of the Revolutionary Military Council, with Hudson Austin as Chairman. The goal of the military operation was to overthrow the Communist government, expel Cuban troops, and abort the construction of a Soviet-funded airstrip.

The Reagan administration mounted a US military intervention following receipt of a formal appeal for help from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States, which had received a covert appeal for assistance from the Governor-General of Grenada, Paul Scoon (though he put off signing the formal letter of invitation until October 26th). President Reagan stated that he felt compelled to act due to "concerns over the 600 U.S. medical students on the island" and fears of a repeat of the Iran hostage crisis, which ended less than 3 years earlier. The invading force consisted of the 1st and 2nd battalions of the US Army's 75th ranger regiment, the 82nd Airborne, and elements of the former Rapid Deployment Force, U.S. Marines, US Army Delta Force, Navy SEALs, and ancillary forces, totaling 7,600 troops, together with Jamaican forces and troops of the Regional Security System (RSS). Marines and paratroopers, supported by air strikes, led the invasion on October 25. Fighting was fierce, especially around the airport defended by the Cubans—and, unexpectedly for the U.S., the Grenadian militia put up a stout fight. Inadequate communications and intelligence led to “friendly fire” casualties and accidental attacks on civilians. Helicopter gunships, naval gunfire, and reinforcements were deployed until, after three days, resistance ended. U.S. losses totaled 19 dead and 150 wounded out of about 7,000 people who participated in the invasion. Cuban casualties included 25 dead and 59 wounded among an estimated 600 to 800 fighters. Of up to 1,500 Grenadians who fought, 45 died and 337 were wounded. The American public largely supported the invasion, which was the first major fighting for U.S. forces since the Vietnam War, and U.S. President Ronald Reagan hailed it as a victory. Outside the U.S., however, many were outraged at the violation of Grenada’s sovereignty on such a flimsy pretext. Even Britain, whose queen was also Grenada’s nominal head of state, condemned it. The invasion of Granada was also heavily criticized by the Soviet government, General Secretary Romanov stated that "the invasion is a clear sign of American imperialism and aim of President Reagan to subjugate the whole region, tramping freedom and autonomy of local people".

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(NATO forces during Able Archer 83)

By November 1983, diplomatic relations between the USA and the USSR were at the lowest point since 1962 and the Cuban Missile Crisis. By this point more and more people around the world feared the unleashing of World War III between the two superpowers, and unfortunately they were absolutely right, as events at the beginning of November confirmed. Chain of events started in March with Reagan's speech announcing of SDI, followed with deployment of Pershing II missiles in the West Germany, put the Soviet leadership on edge. The Soviet started to really believe, that NATO was preparing a nuclear first strike against USSR, which forced General Secretary Romanov to consider steps to prevent that. Able Archer 83 was the annual NATO Able Archer exercise conducted in November 1983. The purpose for the command post exercise, like previous years, was to simulate a period of conflict escalation, culminating in the US military attaining a simulated DEFCON 1 coordinated nuclear attack. The five-day exercise, which involved NATO commands throughout Western Europe, was coordinated from the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) headquarters in Casteau, Belgium.

The 1983 exercise, which began on November 7, 1983, introduced several new elements not seen in previous years, including a new, unique format of coded communication, radio silences, and the participation of heads of government, including President Ronald Reagan altogether with Vice President George H.W. Bush. During Able Archer 83, NATO forces simulated a move through all alert phases, from DEFCON 5 to DEFCON 1. On November 8, NATO command began a simulation of nuclear attack, just as Soviet intelligence services were attempting to detect it, which alerted the Soviet leadership of inevitable upcoming American attack against USSR and the Warsaw Pact, however USSR had a time to react, as it was estimated that period between NATO’s preliminary decision and an actual strike would take between 7 and 10 days.

All of the above fact, forced General Secretary Romanov to call extraordinary meeting of the State Defense Committee (GKO), the elite section of the Politburo who could take decisions about starting and managing a war. During a meeting, evidence suggesting imminent NATO attack was presented by KGB, along with the reports from Warsaw Pact intelligence agencies, who on the other hand were extremely skeptical about NATO first strike. Nevertheless, those reports were ignored by hardliners and militarist led by Marshal Ustinov, who perceived them as an "unreliable elements". Marshal Ustinov, along with hardliner, conservative and militarist factions, insisted that the Warsaw Pact forces should take action immediately, according to recently chosen strategy, to prevent the upcoming American strike. Ustinov argued that the Soviet forces in Europe were already mobilized from September and the end of Zapad-83 exercise and ready to attack. The goal of the Soviet preemptive attack would be to: reach the Rhine river, disrupt the enemy plans for nuclear war, neutralize West Germany and buy time for diplomatic negotiations from a position of strength. Foreign Minister since year 1957 Andrei Gromyko, strongly opposed a preemptive strike against NATO and dismissed the evidence provided by KGB and GRU. Gromyko was most convinced that NATO has no plans for a surprise nuclear strike. Nevertheless, during a voting majority of the GKO members voted for authorization of a preemptive strike against NATO forces in West Germany, hoping for a limited conflict. At the same time, the Soviet leadership issued orders for preparations for a worst case scenario (nuclear war), meaning relocation of most important figures in the USSR to top-secret complexes capable to withstand nuclear strikes.

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(Soviet troops in East Germany after receiving orders from Moscow)

By the end of the day, the Kremlin issued orders to the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany under the command of General Mikhail Zaitsev to mobilize and be ready for a strike into West Germany within 36 hours. The upsurge of Soviet and Warsaw Pact military activity was, however, quickly noticed by Western intelligence services. Immediately in the morning, western leaders were informed about: burst in encrypted communication between Moscow and Soviet Group Forces in East Germany and Hungary, troop movement in both states, and heightened state of readiness of the Soviet Strategic Missile Forces. During a meeting between President Reagan and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin, American concerns about recent Soviet actions were dismissed by Dobrynin as a large scale military drill, a second part of Zapad-83 exercise. The response from Dobrynin only consolidated Reagan's conviction that USSR is preparing for a war. Reagan's assumption was also confirmed with intelligence reports, which stated that the chance of the Soviet strike against West Germany within 36–72 hours is between 50 and 75 percent. As soon as possible, a DEFCON 3 order has been issued by Reagan, along with an order for NATO troops in West Germany to move to defensive positions along the anticipated axes of upcoming Soviet attack. As a last resort, President Reagan decided to use the Moscow-Washington hotline to dissuade Romanov from his plans and prevent World War III from happening. Now the fate of the world and human civilization hangs on the outcome of this conversation.
 

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Vote: President Reagan has reached directly to General Secretary Romanov to prevent upcoming WWIII and proposed a meeting in Geneva between two leaders to discuss the current abysmal relations between the USA and USSR.

A) Accept Reagan's proposal and cancel the orders of attack against West Germany
B) Deny Reagan's proposal and continue with plans of preemptive strike against West Germany
C) Accept Reagan's proposal and cancel the orders of attack against West Germany only if Reagan agrees to cancel Able Archer
 
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A. If Kennedy proved he could be a man we could do business with, let us see if Reagan shall prove his equal.

Also, if possible, we bring Petrov with us to Geneva, if only temporarily. That may help convince the Americans that we are willing to negotiate, and might prove useful for propaganda.
 
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1 - B (and perhaps a C option where we would accept in the case NATO cancels Able Archer. (Plus no fly zones for both Germanies to de-escalate))
 
Vote change - C, but I officially forward the suggestion we bring Petrov. Realistically he doesn't do all that much, but that's perfect for the Western media.
 
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I vote C, it's a insane risk but backing down is blasphemy against the revolution and showing we can be nuclear blackmailed or worse, that our enemies may see the current weakness and press forward.
 
15 Largest economies by GDP (1983)
As the next chapter will deal with new year, here is my short list of largest economies by GDP:
1. United States - $3,650,000M
2. USSR - $1,788,500M
3. Japan - $1,278,620M
4. West Germany - $757,912M
5. France - $562,499M
6. United Kingdom - $533,014M
7. Italy - $445,612M
8. Canada - $341,863M
9. China - $318,428M
10. India - $230,049M
11. Australia - $179,513M
12. Mexico - $173,714M
13. Spain - $172,856M
14. Iran - $156,927M
15. Netherlands - $153,179M
 
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