The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 Declassified (CIA, US Department of State, British Foreign Office, Canadian External Affairs Department )

I post here together a compendium of the documents which have been declassified on the 30th Anniversary of the Romanian Revolution of December 1989.  The Americans, the British, the Canadians, the Soviets, and the Hungarians from documents from the time are clear:  the “terrorists” existed, they were in the main from the Securitate, and they were fighting on behalf of the fallen tyrant, Nicolae Ceausescu.  The question now is:  how many Romanians will be able to accept this fact?  Pleasant reading!

Fullscreen capture 1252019 85638 AM

ROMANIA:  CIA National Intelligence Daily 28 December 1989 (declassified from Top Secret and Released to the public on 10 December 2019, https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/collection/633/cia-reports-on-the-collapse-of-communism-in-europe/5)

Romania:  New Regime Consolidating Security

The government continues to make limited progress in eliminating the threat from Securitate diehards, but Romanians are increasingly skeptical of Communist dominance of the new government.

On Tuesday [26 December 1989], the new government put internal security forces and border guards under the Defense Ministry and set a new deadline for the Securitate troops to surrender.  The government is also calling on civilians to turn in all arms issued to defeat Nicolae Ceausescu.  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Information not declassified for protection of sources and methods xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx nearly half of an estimated 200 Securitate members in Timisoara were dead, captured, or had escaped.  xxxx Classification not declassified xxxx

What can we learn from this?  For one thing, there is nothing here, absolutely nothing, to substantiate the claims of the military prosecutors in the Indictment of April 2019 in the so-called Dosarul Revolutiei, according to which Ion Iliescu, Gelu Voican Voiculescu, Iosif Rus, Nicolae Militaru and other military commanders are accused of having “invented” a terrorist diversion with non-existent terrorists in order to seize and legitimate their power, especially by intentionally disseminating disinformation through television.  Nor is there anything here about Generals Stanculescu, Guse, and others with blood on their hands for their role in repressing demonstrators in Timisoara giving contradictory orders and “inventing” terrorists in order to create a heroic image for the military and buy themselves immunity for their actions in Timisoara.  Nor is there anything here about everything just being about confusion, and suspicion, and mass psychosis, and accidental “friendly fire” being the dominant condition.  Nor is there anything here about the Army’s DIA (Buzau 404) or “Soviet tourists” (KGB, GRU, Spetnaz), etc. or others as being the actual terrorists engaged in a false flag operation to incriminate the Securitate.  Nor as a journalist in Romania suggested was the use of the term “Securitate diehards” inspired by the 1988 Bruce Willis film “Diehard” or was CIA “prisoners of information supplied by the [National Salvation] Front https://evenimentulistoric.ro/cia-prizonierii-informatiilor-venite-de-la-fsn-documente-inedite.html …that is why two lines are excised in the section above, precisely because of the highly sensitive level of how the information was acquired.  Finally, it should be clear, especially if one reads the entire document, that the analyst[s] who wrote this crisis piece, had no illusions about Iliescu and the Front (they saw that they were high level former communists who were already being decried by people in the streets) or that ‘free flowing arms’–arms distributed or seized by the population during the events–were a fact.  But these were facts, alongside the fact that there were Securitate terrorists fighting on behalf of Ceausescu, something which they knew from sources other than just international media or “The Front.”

Significantly, the CIA NID from 28 December 1989 is consistent with what National Security Council (NSC) Director for European Affairs Robert Hutchings maintained in 1997: “It was an argument that had a few adherents at staff level during those chaotic days, during which a successful counterrevolution by Ceausescu loyalists seemed a real danger110. …With Moscow as with others [“Bonn, London, Paris, and other capitals”], there was a broadly shared desire to see Ceausescu loyalists defeated, the bloodshed ended, and the democratic ‘spirit of Timisoara’ vindicated.” https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/robert-hutchings-nsc-director-for-europe-89-92-on-romania-december-1989/

The second and third documents here are courtesy of the efforts of the Canadian journalist, Stanley Tromp (the US documents referred to are from the Department of State):

Records on the Romanian Revolution of 1989

Obtained by journalist Stanley Tromp, through the

Freedom of Information (FOI) laws of Great Britain, the United States

and Canada – 2019 http://www3.telus.net/index100/romania?fbclid=IwAR0UOkJ7l-5y7RXqkWgtfboSmeg0WcriTLqySUW-ajwqr5LOs-Z8e7XopWw

stanleytromp@gmail.com

The below is from File 5 of Records from British Foreign Office – 109 pages, page 27, from pages 26-28, a cable from Bucharest on the chronology of the Revolution, date 2 January 1990.

SATURDAY 23 DECEMBER

SECURITATE ATTACK RTV [TVR] STATION DURING NIGHT.  RESIDENCE OCCUPIED BY SECURITATE AND ATTACKED.  HMA’S [Her Majesty’s Ambassador] FAMILY ESCAPES.  EMBASSY SHREDDING STARTS.  ATTEMPT TO EVACUATE FURTHER EMBASSY STAFF BY COMMERCIAL FLIGHT FAILS.

Scan-003

Significantly, in File 6 from Canada’s External Affairs Department, on p. 88, from 24 December 1989, the Canadian Embassy in Bucharest also alludes to the “terrorist” attack on the British Residence.)

24 December 1989

4. FIGHTING TODAY WAS FIERCE NOISE, SPORADIC AND WIDESPREAD, REFLECTING TRUE NATURE, TRNG AND COMPETENCE OF ARMED FORCE COMPONENT OF SECURITATE. WHETHER AND TO WHAT EXTENT NON ROMS [non-Romanians] WERE USED BY OR FORM PART OF SECURITATE THEIR BRUTALITY SINCE TIMISOARA WILL LEAVE ITS MARK OVER AND ABOVE EARLIER REPUTATION. TACTICS AND DETAILS OF THESE TERRORISTS AND THEIR OPS ARE NOW WELL BROADCAST AND PHONE CALLERS SUBSTANTIATE THE WORST.

2….OUR CDNS [CANADIANS] LEFT CHANCERY IN SEMI-DARKNESS WITH LOUD ACCOMPANIAMENT [sic.] OF AUTOMATIC AND SMALL ARMS FIRE NEARBY.  THEY SHOULD BE IN PLENTY [of] TIME TO ATTEND MIDNIGHT SERVICE AT NEVSKY CATHEDRAL IN SOFIA AND LUCKIER THAN SAY BRIT CONTINGENT WHO WERE RETICENCT TO MOVE UNTIL RESULT OF AMER [AMERICAN] EFFORT.  THEIR CONCERN BASED PROBABLY ON MORE EXPOSED POSN [POSITION] AND BLOW OF HAVING AMBS [AMBASSADOR’S] RESIDENCE BURNED TO GROUND BY TERRORISTS.

Fullscreen capture 1182020 93948 AM

If one puts these cables side by side with what has appeared in media and on the Internet in the past several decades, there is little doubt that there is no confusion here…British Embassy Staff did not mistake soldiers, or Interior Ministry personnel fighting on the side of the Revolution, or panicked, untrained armed civilians, for those who seized the ambassador’s residence.  It was clear, they were Securitate terrorists.

See, for example, such details here:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/resedinta-ambasadorului-britanic-tvr-si-teroristii-updated-w-british-foreign-office-records/

Also, related to confirmation of information about December 1989, from December 2019:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/former-hungarian-pm-miklos-nemeth-confirms-hungarian-role-in-locating-securitate-transmitters-in-december-1989-december-2019-magyar-hang/


From the declassified documents obtained by Canadian journalist, Stanley Tromp:  http://www3.telus.net/index100/records2

Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Aboimov’s comments on 24 December 1989 to the US Ambassador to Moscow regarding renunciation of the “Brezhnev Doctrine” have previously been reported (sometimes using different phraseology, but with the same general content) in other fora:  see, for example, https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/CWIHPBulletin10_p5.pdf ), but here one can see the original exchange:

“In response to the Ambassador’s direct question, Aboimov once again strongly reiterated the Soviet Union’s determination not to intervene militarily in Romania’s internal affairs, noting in a clear reference to Panama that ‘We have given the Brezhnev Doctrine to you, with our compliments.'”

Fullscreen capture 1242020 71225 AM

What has not been reported previously are Aboimov’s comments with regard to who was the cause behind the continuing bloodshed in Bucharest and the rest of Romania:

“5. With regard to the Soviet Trade Mission personnel [two of whom had allegedly been wounded per paragraph 2], Aboimov said that the apartment building where many of the Mission’s personnel lived had been the scene of serious fighting yesterday.  “Terrorists” (by which Aboimov clearly indicated he meant Securitate) had actually been in the building at one time.  There was heavy shooting and the building itself was on set on fire.  The shooting continued until midday, when the Soviet Embassy managed to evacuate Trade Mission personnel and their dependents from the building to Embassy grounds.  Two persons were lightly wounded.” [For a similar incident, suffered by British personnel, see https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/resedinta-ambasadorului-britanic-tvr-si-teroristii-updated-w-british-foreign-office-records/ )

Fullscreen capture 1242020 71401 AM

“6.  Aboimov said the security situation around the Soviet Embassy itself was not good.  Serious firefight had erupted for one or two hours yesterday near the Embassy when a “nest of terrorists” was wiped out by Government forces…”


From the declassified documents obtained by Canadian journalist, Stanley Tromp:  http://www3.telus.net/index100/records2

from 26 December 1989, US Embassy Bucharest

Fullscreen capture 1252020 70233 PM

Another explanation is that the immediate execution might help to take the wind out of the sails of the remaining groups of Securitate terrorizing the country, but we suspect that most of these are now fighting for sheer survival, rather than loyalty to Ceausescu.

[Note here:  the issue/the question is not who was shooting, but why the Securitate were terrorizing the country.  The fact that the identity of the terrorists was not in doubt by Embassy Bucharest personnel is significant and telling.]

Fullscreen capture 1252020 70414 PM

…This will not, of course, solve the current terrorist problems posted by the renegade “Unitati Speciale de Lupta Anti-terrorista [sic.]” (USLA), the well trained “anti-terrorist” units which continue to maraud about brazenly.

[It is unclear here if the reference is to USLA from the Securitate who did not join the Revolution, or of elements of the USLA, who did not join the Revolution…but what is clear is that the Securitate, and elements of USLA, were considered responsible for the bloodshed.]


From the declassified documents obtained by Canadian journalist, Stanley Tromp:  http://www3.telus.net/index100/records2

11 January 1990 Moscow

…The Soviets believe the new Romanian Government, hoping to maintain economic ties with the Arab world, is downplaying evidence that “Arab terrorists” fought alongside Securitate forces.  [NOTE:  So well over two and half weeks after the Ceausescus were executed, the Soviets did not question the existence of Securitate forces fighting in December 1989.  That was an accepted fact.  The discussion refers to the Middle Eastern mercenaries who fought ALONSIDE the Securitate forces.]

Fullscreen capture 1302020 72604 PM

5. On January 10, Poloff (Political Officer) met with Vladimir Lapshin, Chief of the Romanian in Department in the MFA (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Socialist Countries of Europe Administration, for a readout on the (Soviet Foreign Minister) Shevardnadze visit to Bucharest.  Lapshin, who served in Romania from 1973 to 1979, participated in all of the Bucharest meetings.

Fullscreen capture 1302020 72856 PM

Fullscreen capture 1302020 72656 PM

ARAB TERRORISTS

7. Noting Romania’s need to develop trading ties with various countries, Lapshin suggested that the new government was attempting to “quiet down” evidence that Arab “Terrorist Squads” participated in the December fighting on the side of the Securitate.  He implied that the Soviets believed such squards existed.  In Lapshin’s view, the new government was anxious not to offend any of the Arab states with whom it wanted to maintain or develop economic ties. [NOTE:  If Lapshin wanted to discredit the new government completely, he could have said that the “Arab terrorists” were a myth and did not exist, that the Front had invented them to legitimize their seizure of power; if he was looking to express complete support for the Front, he would not have raised the possibility, as he did here, that they were lying now about the existence of the Arab terrorists for post facto political purposes.  No, the issue is that the new Romanian government, for “reasons of state,” actually more than just economic reasons as Lapshin speculates, but also for reasons of the security of Romanian citizens working in the Arab states in question–most notably, Libya–was acceding to, and cooperating in the former Securitate’s cover-up, to eliminate evidence and memory of the foreign contingent, who, along with a part of the Securitate, had fought on the losing side of the Revolution, in defense of Nicolae Ceausescu.]

For evidence, confirming Lapshin’s suspicion, see for example:

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/foreign-intervention/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/2015/01/04/25-for-the-25th-anniversary-of-the-romanian-revolution-25-after-the-ceausescus-were-executed-the-counter-revolution-is-disappeared-26-december-1989-24-january-1990/

https://romanianrevolutionofdecember1989.com/grosescu-and-ursachi-the-romanian-revolution-in-court-i-annotated/

 

One thought on “The Romanian Revolution of December 1989 Declassified (CIA, US Department of State, British Foreign Office, Canadian External Affairs Department )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s