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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > The post-WW2 and recent military > 20 years after....|
|Posted by: C-2 December 21, 2009 06:55 pm|
|Posted by: dragos December 21, 2009 09:55 pm|
| A good documentary was this evening on TVR2.
There were presented the foreign elements (Soviet "tourists") that were present in our country until late '90, and the special units of resistance from various branches, that were activated after 22 December, by whoever controlled the media . Those who were caught were released in January 1990. There are two more years before the guilt is prescribed (15 years + half of this period, because the prosecution was paused many times, that is about 22 years), so there is reason the truth not to be spoken out loud yet.
|Posted by: Imperialist December 22, 2009 09:59 pm|
| In my opinion it was a coup, that's why the identity of the "terrorists" is covered. They played a role in that coup otherwise in a revolution all logic says that the ones trying to suppress it would be exposed and punished.
Also consider that for the coup to be successful a lot of elements from the political echelons and the army had to be "bought". The promise of protecting them and allowing them to take part in normal life without "lustratie" could have been the price of that barter.
|Posted by: dragos December 23, 2009 08:41 am|
|Posted by: cnflyboy2000 December 28, 2009 06:39 pm|
Isn't a coup something that happens from "top down"? Usually, the military brass and/or political bigs seize control of communications, transportation, power supplies, and of course the guns, ....and before anyone knows what happened it's fait accompli time! Hello new regime.
By all accounts, wasn't whatever happened in Romania, December 1989 a far messier affair? Crowds marching, soldiers switching sides, refusing to fire on crowds (or not), much smoke and confusion?
I don't wanna start a food fight here...i know how sensitive this topic can be...but calling it a "coup" seems to me leaves much out.
The most chilling thing I ever saw in Ro was in a History museum: an ordinary, well worn woollen sweater once belonging to a student in Bucahrest. There was a bloody hole in it where he was shot dead in Dec. 1989 during the "events".
Didn't look like something a coup d'etat perpetrator would be caught wearing..dead or alive.
btw; Happy Anniversary.
|Posted by: dragos December 28, 2009 07:48 pm|
| The population dissent was accumulated in years. All that was needed were some sparks to start the riot.
What most of us mean by "coup" regarding '89 events is that the succession in power of Ion Iliescu was established before the overthrowing of Ceausescu's regime, thing that wasn't known to the people that actually took part in the revolution.
|Posted by: Imperialist December 28, 2009 10:12 pm|
The soldiers did not refuse to fire, they were ordered to withdraw to their bases. Despite the fact that Ceausescu, the supreme commander by law, took direct control of the army at 9 AM on December 22, General Stanculescu ordered the army to stand down at 11 AM. That allowed the revolutionaries to occupy the television and start broadcasting what they pleased throughout the country. Moreover, at 2 PM Stanculescu ordered the Army to protect the revolutionary-controlled TV station, the Radio station, the Telecommunications' Palace and other strategic sites. At 3 PM the country's supreme commander was "arrested" in a military base. That very evening Ion Iliescu appeared on TV and announced the creation of a new political structure - the National Salvation Front.
So what happened IMO was that a popular revolt was more or less naturally "sparked" and was then used by elements of the regime to stage a coup and then to give power over to an already formed political structure.
|Posted by: cnflyboy2000 December 29, 2009 04:05 pm|
O.K. I get it.
But......so who was doing all the shooting? die hard securitate?
My understanding is that In Timisaura people were mowed down. And in your own fair city, i heard that the "Battle of Bucaharest went on for three days! I saw for myself the sidewalk memorials of places where people were shot down.
That "protected" T.V. station was the site of one of fiercest battles of all, I've read. Even broadcasting while there was gunfire inside the building!
Obviously there were some people who hadn't heard it was a "done deal" if that's your implication.
I hope you are not minimizing the incredible courage that your countrymen and women showed at the time!
Say what you will; the footage of Ceausescu up on that roof, fully expecting to harangue the mutineers, and then standing there in shock as the thousands jeered him down and out is one of history's great moments, showing the power of people, imo. (hello Iran today!?)
Yah, I know the revolution got sidetracked later....but that doesn't diminish the events of those days in December, 1989. You guys, should be lighting a candle for those heroes imo, if you haven't already. I know I did.
|Posted by: C-2 December 29, 2009 05:05 pm|
| I know two brothers who were serving in the army during the "revolution".
After they finally came home,and told each other about their "adventures" something funny came up:
One of them was charging with his platoon a certain building in Buc.They were ordered to do so,since "there were terorists inside".
The other brother was inside exactly in the same bulding "defending it at all costs " and were told that "terorists are attacking".
Bouth soldiers (defenders and attackers) suffered heavy losses.
I quess this answers some questions.
|Posted by: Imperialist December 29, 2009 11:10 pm|
Before December 22 the regime was doing the shooting. There were 155 killed and 1,107 injured in the regime's crackdown. But 949 people were killed and 2,245 were injured after Ceausescu was isolated on December 22. Confusion and panic were deliberately created by the new "leaders" by issuing conflicting orders to army units, by spreading rumors through the TV and by handing out weapons to civilians and calling them out into the streets to "defend" sites that were already defended by the army.
In my personal view 1989 was for Romania's history a kind of 1944 if you know what I mean. We lost two costly wars and we switched sides through two coups. Antonescu and Ceausescu paid with their lives, the country went through bad periods of economic and social "re-adjustment". Let's see if our current alliance survives its series of present and future wars.
|Posted by: dragos December 30, 2009 12:01 am|
In case of war, there were several layers of defense. First it was the regular army, then troops of interior, patriotic guards and the last, there were special troops of resistance, specially trained for urban and guerrilla warfare. Those troops were recruited from all branches of the military and had special training abroad. Every year or so they were called for so called "vacation" but they were forbidden to take their families with them. In case of war, they had to act in cells independently one from another, and were activated by special codes "packed" in messages send through mass-media (radio, television etc). Those were the troops that did the shooting after 22 December, the so called "terrorists". Many of them were caught, but all of them were released in January 1941.
Of course, there were the tragic cases of regular military shooting at each other, the most notable example being at Otopeni, due to confusion and fear. I don't think that it was a deliberate move, you have to consider that most of the army regulars were drafted guys, poorly trained and poorly motivated (during 2 years of service they were shooting 2-4 war cartridges for two times at the poligon, the rest of the time they were working in crop fields, mines and other patriotic duties). Another example of poor coordination happened at Buzau, a city with many military units. My father was at an aviation unit (choppers and transport airplanes) that was next to a map-making unit (geodezi). A car full of civilians had to pass in front of these units, but due to general confusion, the order was not passed to the next unit, and the car was filled with bullets (all civilians were killed).
There was an electronic war going on, they were receiving false targets on radars, and they were hearing on radios guys speaking in Arabic. Someone with knowledge of their equipment (which was of Soviet origin) were jamming them. They received an alert of a column of terrorist approaching the airfield in trucks, and two fighters were scrambled. Only by luck they managed not to bomb one of their own radio stations, because they saw some trucks and they took them for the "terrorists".
|Posted by: Imperialist December 30, 2009 07:06 am|
The stories about those cells being the terrorists were published in the journals owned by Voiculescu (aka "Felix the fat cat") who was among those who gorged on Ceausescu's bank accounts after 1989. I find them kind of shallow because what the journalists did was take some Army's Publishing House books on people's war strategy and tactics and tried to stretch them into the terrorists' blueprints in 1989. But it makes no sense at all. Apart from random sniping and small arms fire, what did these awesomely trained cells do? What site did they take, what major point did they sabotage, what revolutionary leader did they kill, what political manifestos did they spread, what resistance did they form? None, nothing.
|Posted by: dragos December 30, 2009 10:40 am|
I didn't take them form Jurnalul (I don't even read it), but they were presented by an officer in a short documentary about the events of 89. And yes, all they did was harassing small arms fire. This kind of harassing fire started after December 22 and suddenly stopped with the execution of Ceausescu. About what side did they take, it was the side of those who were taking the power.
|Posted by: dragos December 30, 2009 11:16 am|
| You can download here an interesting documentary of about 30 minutes, that was aired on TVR2
|Posted by: cnflyboy2000 December 30, 2009 04:03 pm|
Well, there's an analogy I certainly never thought of. (1944/1989)!!
Interesting. Yeah; you guys have been jerked around more than any THREE countries I can think of.
(Where did it all go off the rails postwar, in your opinion? Was Gheorghiu-Dej as bad/better/worse as the C's?...I know the whole collectivization thing got going with him...)
I hear you on the rest....but aren't you repeating the basic conspiracy theory that c2 posted to start this thread? (nice to see you two agreeing on something, btw, lol).
cheers. Happy new Year! Watch out for the fireworks.
|Posted by: cnflyboy2000 December 30, 2009 04:12 pm|
thanks, Dragos! Sounds like with the many layers, even under normal circumstances I'd imagine command and control issues would arise. Tragic outcome, in the first case you mention. And only good fortune averted perhaps worse in the second one!
I learn something new here everyday!
Happy New Year!
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 02, 2010 02:44 pm|
| Hallo everybody,
Because you touch on the terrorist (better called the diversionists) problem, I'll try to sort them based on the victim number :
- those who give the false informations to the TV, on the phone, or spread the rumors -mostly army active or retired officers or connected to them;
- those who install the electronic/acoustic devices same as those who fire the few accurate shots in the head of their victims -the basic well-known terrorists- possibly the 404th Battalion teams or the special troops of the 236 Internal Network of the DIA.
- those who created the false aerial invasion scenario -the false war over Romania who made our AA Artillery & Rocket Units fire on our own aircraft and hellicopters and sometimes shot them down. I believe here were the GRU technicians from the mobile teams on Lada cars. So the Soviets.
The list is surely open to others, but right now these are the one who came to my mind...
|Posted by: udar January 02, 2010 03:36 pm|
An interesting article about air force and AA defence activity during those days.
My opinion is that all was started by some foreign secret services (mostly soviets, probably some of their subordinates too, as hungarians, and maybe even some NATO ones as US was involved too), but peoples was already very unsatisfied with the regime. So, the popular revolt follow quickly, and the radio-electronic war and the psichological one was started to paralyze the country defense system as much as possible, to not be use at full strenght by Ceausescu, and in the mean time to make easy for a possible foreign armed intervention over the borders. Army pass on the peoples side, and on the revolution, but in the same time the army command (as gen Guse, the General Staff comander) give orders that nobody to be let to pass over borders, and army from frontiers to open fire if is necessary. This and the fact that peoples was still on the streets, make the ones who took the power (probably with soviets aproval) to feel insecure, and the "terrorist" (possibly from soviet special units too) show to appear, to send peoples back home and not disturb them. It is possible as well that some special units as those prepared for guerilla war in case of foreign invasion to enter in action. Beside that, civilians took weapons (mostly from Patriotic Guards stock), to fight too, and most of the soldiers was conscripts with couple months of army. So, it was a general mess, suported by disinformation war too. Anyway, western countries suported an intervention of Red Army (which was prepared even psychologicaly, wihth presentation of suposedly 60,000 deaths just in Timisoara ), but since army was ready to fight with them, and after their nasty experiance in Afghanistan, they didnt do that, and probably rely in a cover action. However, "perestroika" controled by soviets failled to be imposed in Romania, because peoples doesnt want just another form a comunism, but to get rid with all of this, and russians wasnt liked anyway, so keeping an aproach with them was hard. And soon the events from Basarabia make peoples to really hate them, and any influence of them in Romania was vanished, and no normal politician say openly that is close to them, even today (quite contrary, we help the basarabians with weapons and i think even pilots those days, during Transnistria war).
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 02, 2010 04:29 pm|
| Hallo Udar,
If you are interested in the events around and about the revolution of 1989, I recommend you the 2 volumes written by Alex Mihai Stoenescu -
Istoria loviturilor de stat din Romania vol.4 (partea I + partea II) Revolutia din decembrie 1989 - o tragedie romaneasca. I found these the most documented books on this issue I ever read. Even if I read at least other 10 books on this theme. Because you tell off the soviet readyness to intervention I remember I heard once (a long time ago when the National Television of Moldova broadcast on TVR) that the soviet paratrooper division stationed until 1992 in southern Bessarabia (identified by the 98th Guards "Svirskaya" Red Banner order of Kutuzov Airborne Division Bolgrad-based, with units in Bolgrad, Chisinau and Veselyy Kut) was ready for action in 23 december 1989 (after it was alamed in 18 december)! Interesting fact that the soviet support for Romania, that gen. Guse rejected, was exactly a paratrooper unit (to fight the terrorists).
The speaker was an ex-NCO of this Division, interviewed by Moldovan television later... Sorry, I can't remember his name or rank, even if I wrote it somewhere... The information regarding the division I found in 2004 on internet (not available anymore as I checked later).
|Posted by: udar January 05, 2010 05:46 pm|
And thank you for recomandations, i hear about Alex Stoienescu. And interesting to hear about about that soviet paratrooper division, and i remember some peoples from FSN or so asked for soviet help, but gen. Guse refused, and even give order to not let anybody pass over the border, if they still want to come, despite the romanian army refuses.
|Posted by: dead-cat January 05, 2010 06:09 pm|
i happened to have been on the streets in Timisoara back then and saw quite a number of hungarians carrying the romanian flag, myself being neither romanian, nor hungarian carrying one with the emblem cut out as well. haven't met any agent provocateur and from the 20th on no policeman until well after the new year. the bulk of the army of 1989 had a vast experience in harvesting crops and building villas for higher officers but precious little useful military experience, which became quite clear after the great many friendly fire casualties of the revolution. if an army (the soviet?) would have proceeded with an invasion, there was little that could have been done, revolution or not. which begs the question, why would they? especially during the days of glasnost and perestroika, romania being the last of all WP states. they didn't do anything about the GDR, CSSR or Hungary. why Romania then?
at no point were 60.0000 deths mentioned in relation to Timisoara. the highest number ever mentioned was 4.000 deaths in Timisopara by radio free europe on tuesday the 19th.
the 60.000 figure was brought forward at Ceausescu's trial, as an estimate of the total cost of lives of his regime, including the 80ies, 70ies and 60ies.
i've seen several soldiers with my own eyes who struggled while reloading an assault rifle. if the red army didn't invade (and there is no reason why they would, given that they didn't bother to do so in the GDR or the CSSR or Hungary) it was certainly not our exemplary readieness which stopped them, more likely the political consequences.
um what? what exactly did people vote for when they decided "not to sell our country" in 1990 and voted the crew of ex-nomenclaturists of the FSN while comrade Ilici campaigned for "socialism with a humane face". the entire pot-revoutionary regime until 1996 was nothing else than an attempt at "modern communism".
|Posted by: Imperialist January 05, 2010 07:18 pm|
No, the 60,000 figure mentioned in the trial was not an estimate of total cost of lives including the 80s, 70s and 60s, it was clearly mentioned in connection to the events and deaths that happened until December 25 1989. Ceausescu was blamed for the killing of 60,000 protesters through his orders. True, not in Timisoara alone but throughout the cities that had protests.
|Posted by: dead-cat January 05, 2010 07:22 pm|
| this is the transcript as broadcasted on TV:
except the last point, all the other are not explicitly restricted to the december events.
|Posted by: Imperialist January 05, 2010 07:28 pm|
That is the brief list of what he was charged with, but if you look further into the transcript, you'll find this discussion:
They're clearly talking about the protests, the orders to shoot, the victims of those events, not 1980s, 1970s, 1960s.
|Posted by: dead-cat January 05, 2010 07:34 pm|
| look at the sentence
"ai auzit, in toate muncipiile tarii, cum le pronuntai dumneata, in toate municipiile pe care te laudai ca le-ai construit. S-au construit cu sudoarea poporului, indobitocit, sleit, toti oamenii de cul- tura, toate inteligentele le-ai persecutat, ca sa nu fuga din tara, sa ne lase pe mana dumitale."
even back then, i understood it, as referring to his entire reign.
100 victims wouldn't have made it look better though.
|Posted by: Imperialist January 05, 2010 07:57 pm|
The 64,000 figure was mentioned in clear relation to the December 1989 protests, in relation to the shootings and who ordered them, who was doing the shooting etc.
Basically the judge mentions 64,000 killed in all cities during those events and then digresses to point out the way those cities were built - with the sweat of the people and the persecuted intellectuals. The thing you quoted above is that digression. Also note that the judge talks about the persecution of intellectuals to prevent them from running away from the country. It doesn't even say execution of intellectuals to give you a reason to connect those sentences to the 64,000 figure.
|Posted by: Dénes January 05, 2010 07:59 pm|
Myself I also carried a Rumanian flag with a hole in the centre in early January 1990, in Budapest, going from a public pro-Revolution meeting to a local pub. Unbelievably, that was already 20 years ago...
|Posted by: udar January 06, 2010 01:32 pm|
Well, i think is a little wrong to base all just on your limited opinion on what you saw saw then, and not have a wider perspective. However, since i wasnt in Timisoara, i know just what i read, meaning that was some provocateurs too, who brake windows of magazines, incited the peoples, etc. But in the same time i dont deny the fact that peoples was revolted for real, and wasnt at all like sheeps controled by someone, but did that from their inner feelings.
About a possible soviet invasion (it wasnt other army around able to do that) now. My opinion is that USSR (or especialy KGB) know for some years that they lose the race with USA, and can't compete anymore. The west surpassed them quite very much in economy, and US in technology, and they was threatened to lose so even the military point of view of Cold War, and the balance created in arm race. So, they come with the "perestroika" idea, meaning to calm down the west (USA especialy) advance, and have some time to regain their breath. Because, they already doesnt have a total control on comunist countries (quite contrary with China for ex.), and not even in Warsaw Pact, where Romania was just a "de jure" member, but "de facto" was out since 1968 at least, and in some of this countries was predicted just troubles in the future (in Poland already foreign influences as pope one for ex. was increasingly strong), political and other ways. So soviets intervened for a "perestroika" like change in all this countries, not for impose another hard comunism style. They wanted to change the comunist block acording with their ideas, and in the same time to keep an control of those countries as much as possible, as a kind of buffer zone betwen them and west (they manage to do that just with some of the former soviet republics after the break of USSR). So, a possible intervention in Romania was to change the things acording with their ideas, or in their favour, Ceausescu having a different politic anyway, and Romania as well being on another orbit. West as well was obviously interested in get rid of Ceausescu.
So, yes, FSN "gang" come in power with the acord of soviets, trying to implement their doctrine, but they (soviets) didnt control the things as they wished, since russians was if not hated, at least disliked by most of the population and to be close to them was suicidal for anyone on power especialy after the events in Rep Moldova started, and nationalism errupted. So, Iliescu even if at first wanted to make a kind of perestroika here, suported the basarabians fight as well and quickly move on from the first attempts to be friendly with russians (politicaly speaking).
About romanian army in 1989, i am aware that it wasnt very well trained, or even equiped (even if in some more elite like units the situation was better), but the defense plan then was to use the army the slow down the enemy invasion until reserves and patriotic guard was fully mobilised, meaning maybe millions of peoples, guerrila warfare in cities and mountains areas etc. which make any invasion succes to be very hard, if not impossible to achieve. So, that was the idea of a possible intervention, to support the rise on power of some from the FSN group, but since some like gen Guse rejected any possible ask for such, and even gived order to fire if someone pass the border, soviets didnt intervene like that, but rely propably on some cover actions but they didnt manage to control totaly the things, Militaru, their man, was needed to be quickly get rid off him, to not disturb too much the army and this react, as well another problems was in january 1990 if i remember correct, the events from Tg. Mures, then "mineriada", the war in Transnistria, so all the soviet influence disapeared quickly.
|Posted by: dead-cat January 06, 2010 04:07 pm|
if the whole perestroika thing was a soviet conspiracy to get out of the arm race then it doesn't explain the infightings in the leadership of the CPSU in 1985, nor the Andropow and Chernenko choice and not to speak about the communist attempt of a coup d'etat in 1991.
then how comes, the same trick didn't work in Lithuania, Estonia or Letonia?
or the Ukraine, which was much more important, given the Sevastopol naval base to say the least, than the poor moldova rep.?
if the army was't much of a deterrent, what makes you think a bunch of factory workers out of training, poorly equipped would compensate anything? the "patriotic" guard was even less in position to offer any usefull resistence than the army.
yes i see legions of married men hiding in the woods with an AK-47 at best, while their wives and children are at the red army's mercy.
that's just like the romanian saying, getting drunk with clear water.
Tg. Mures was comrade Ilici's justification why the securitate is still badly needed and the "mineriade" showed 2 things: the abysmal lack of political culture of the overwhelming majority of the population and the methods comrade Ilici was ready to use to secure his regime.
it capitalized on 2 things. the respective animosity of the szekely and romanian population and the hostility of the "worker and peasant" towards the intellectual. now if that's not class struggle! the entire bunch of reds composing the "communist internationale" of the 1920ies would've been proud.
|Posted by: Dénes January 06, 2010 04:23 pm|
You hit the nail straight on the head...
Tritto (if there is anything like that).
|Posted by: Imperialist January 06, 2010 05:21 pm|
You can be sure that after their terrible experience in Afghanistan the Soviet leaders wouldn't be too eager to enter another protracted guerilla war, especially when their whole world was collapsing around them. The events in Chechnya in mid-1990s lated showed very well how ill prepared for guerilla war they were.
|Posted by: udar January 06, 2010 09:46 pm|
To use another romanian saying, i think in some points you dont see the forest because of some tree.
1- Andropov (from KGB) was the one who set the course for "perestroika", took Gorbaciov as the second of him. Cernenko died soon, not say was assasinated or so, but it was clear that he cant stay for too on power and next will be Gorbaciov (another chief in KGB). The attempt of coupe d' etat of the comunists was an attempt to remain at power of some of them, and to keep if is possible the SU union too, SU who was crambled around them at that point. But the fact that at the end no one from the army or KGB supported them is clear that the plan was go on.
2- i am not sure i understand what you said with that trick. In Romania things was changed quickly after the Revolution, the only thing who was go well for soviets (if we go with this hypothesis) was the change of Ceausescu. They almost imediatly lost pretty much any control here, if they really haved a significant one. Sevastopol is still the base of russian fleet, and ukrainians i dont see them able to do too much about that. They still have a significant influence in Ukraine, and unfortunately in Basarabia too (well, more in Transnistria). They didnt manage to keep USSR (fortunately) even if still have a big influence in many former republics, but it was the only way for them to comes out from the cold war without to happen even worse for them.
3- about the army, i didnt said it wasnt a detterent at all, and in 2 days will be destroyed. I said it will be used for slow down an invasion until reserves AND patriotic guards will be mobilized to reinforce it (i hope is more clear now). About guerrila war, you know, it wasnt the first time when was planned, and fighted, all over the world, so i dont think your simplistic view is near to real stuff. Guerrila warfare can be fight in cities, cities can be evacuated, peoples from unoccupied areas can go in those cities as well, others can use mountains and forrest as cover and base (see the anticomunist fighters who resisted there until 60's). Contrary to propaganda, the simple soviet soldier wasnt on too high training level then our ones (and an soviet paratrooper wasnt i think as well at a too high diference then our ones, or a mountain hunter in mountain areas). Just couple years after this they pretty much lost the first chechen war, against much smaller chechen partisan force. They haved succes in Hungary in 1956, a small country with a weak army, or in Cechoslovakia in 1968, who had a well equiped army, but not very big, not prepared for war, and disorientated and with a low morale. Quite contrary, here since 1968 the defense was prepared against such an invasion.
4- about "mineriade" i pretty much agree, i didnt said they wasnt a kind of comunists just that quickly comes out from soviet influence for the reasons i said previously, but about Tg. Mures just partialy. It was definately a provocation too there, and i remember was the same disinformation even in the foreign media, as the one with 60.000 (or thousand, or 4000 if you wish) from Timisoara or Romania. Remember Mihaila Cofariu, presented in foreign media as a hungarian ethnic linched by romanians, who want to make a ethnic cleansing blablabla?
|Posted by: udar January 06, 2010 09:55 pm|
Correct. Just imagine from where soviet will enter in Romania, with how many troops? How much will take to defeat the romanian army at frontier, then how to control the main cities who will become like a wasp hives full of all kind of peoples armed (imagine the Revolution chaos x 10 probably)? How this ocupation will be maintained (probably they will was able to ocupy just a part of the teritory) and for how long? What they will can achieve with that? They simply was prepared for a quick intervention in case that romanian army will stay passive, as chekoslovakians or hungarians before. And because that was clearly it will not happen, they didnt enter. But the radio-electronic and psychological warfare was a prouve that such idea wasnt stranger for them. Ceausescu fell anyway (with probably some of foreign "help"), so we'll know about real stuff probably after some 40-50 years, when all archives will be opened.
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 06, 2010 09:59 pm|
| A short, but hopefully consistent intervention...
Because I had the chance to speak with come peoople, very well-informed people, I can speak to the point about the possibility of a soviet invasion in december 1989!
The only possible soviet troops ready for intervention were the airborne units from the Division stationed in Southern Bessarabia and surely some aviation and naval units... but no mechanised infantry or armored units close to our borders... Surely no! But seriousely no soviet general thought about such a thing -the spetsnaz units could do a better job anyway. And there were generals, romanian generals, like Militaru, Pancea and others who do it better here... for Soviet Union, more than dozen of soviet generals with their troops... don't you think?
|Posted by: cnflyboy2000 January 07, 2010 03:44 am|
Interesting and informative discussion to kick off 2010!
2 more names, please: Gorbachev. Reagan.
IMO, it's hard to imagine Gorby green lighting an invasion of Romania, (or anywhere else) in 1989, although I imagine there were plenty of Russian (Romanian?) diehards who wished he would!
Don't forget he had already dropped the Brezhnev Doctrine, and stated his intention to allow countries to go their own ways. (it's been said that In it's place he initiated the Sinatra Doctrine"..... " I Did it My Way"?......)
For him to then tell Reagan that, sorry, the detente romance was over seems unlikely.
I think many historians see that as the final crack in the wall.
Of course that no way explains why Romania was the only shooting revolution in 1989, which I guess is partly what we are discussing.
Happy New Year!
|Posted by: dead-cat January 07, 2010 05:04 am|
|Andropow and Chernenko were both Brezhnyew style hardliners. both had zero to do with glasnost and perestroika. so, the "glasnost and perestroika was a pre-planned manouver to get out of the cold war" is for me yet another conspiracy theory, on par with the whole iluminati, MJ12, freemasons and whatnot.|
|Posted by: contras January 07, 2010 12:26 pm|
| James Baker, the former Secretary of State in 1989, said at an interwiew at TV, "Meeting with Press" at NBC, in 24 December 1989, that US will not object if Warsaw Pact will intervenent in Romania.
Coroborated with US invasion of Panama, the day before, it could be a contrabalance. A new doctrine could apear, both parts could intervene in their sphere of influence. But soviets refused the offer.
I resumed from Michael R. Beschloss and Strobe Talbot, "At highest levels", translated in Romanian, La cele mai inalte nivele, (1994).
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 07, 2010 05:15 pm|
| You're absolutely right contras,
so things stood than, but I still believe that the meaning of the statements to the US State Secretary were related to the conflict images seen on TV about Romania, not an an encouragement for USSR to send troops here... At least I hope so...
|Posted by: contras January 07, 2010 08:15 pm|
| In same book, it says that initially, soviets were suspicios at american proposal. They believed it was a provocation, if they intervened in Romania with troops, american can acuse them about it, and demonstrate the whole world that they come back at Brejnev doctrine.
But James Baker asked Matloc to make some researches about soviets atitude about Romania. But Shevarnadze said to Matloc that he think about this intervention is "a stupid ideea".
In same book, it says that some Romanian leaders who dethroned Ceausescu asked for help from Soviets.
And I do believe what says that book, it's about 3 years of diplomacy, 1989-1992, and one of it's author, Strobe Talbot, worked in Departament of Seretary of State in republican adminisration. In Bush's last mandate, he was Deputy of Secretary of State.
IMO, soviets don't need to send troops here, they're interests were well represented here by some men who acceded at the peak of power.
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 07, 2010 11:15 pm|
I give this exemple for us to remember which was the political context in November -December 1989 in the Moldovan soviet republic... This happen after street clashes with the soviet OMON troops and after the assault of the demonstrators on the Interior Ministry building in Chisinau. The volunteer movement coordinated by the Popular Front of Moldova (unionist political formation) was ready to help in december 1989 the romanian revolution and some of the volunteers demanded weapons to help the fight against Ceausescu... No, no joke, the real situation out there... So, what you think, the SU leaders including the military would take in consideration sending troops to Romania? I personally don't think so! But surely we can talk about the spetsnaz teams ...
|Posted by: C-2 January 08, 2010 06:22 am|
|In those days (late 89) the Sovient Union was hardly keeping "her pants" up,rather then "helping" another coutry.|
|Posted by: cnflyboy2000 January 08, 2010 07:02 pm|
Well, say whatever else, isn't it true that Ceausescu at least attempted to play Russian against the rest (U.S., Europe, even Chinese)?
Interesting book you mention; hadn't seen it yet. Bechloss has his critics, but imo he's first class.
Talbott was a Clinton friend since schooldays, and served in Clinton admin. Long time Kremlin watcher, he has credibility, imo.
|Posted by: contras January 08, 2010 07:26 pm|
|I believe that Ceausescu wanted to play everything, just to mentain himself to power. IMO.|
|Posted by: IoanTM January 05, 2012 11:08 am|
Actually the Secret Police ( Securitatea ) was the first which adopted a non-combat attitude in those days ...
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 05, 2012 06:24 pm|
| From the many books I read on this subject, books that, if request is made, I can mention, I strongly believe that the terrorists-diversionary elements, who created the war situation from 22 to 25 december 1989, were in their majority our people (I mean here not soviets, hungarian, french, iugoslav, etc.), which does not exclude the participation of others (soviets,... see above)! My theory goes on that:
I had a college professor who was a former prosecutor (in 1989 and few years after) who investigated the terrorist problem immediately after the Revolution! I had the opportunity to be close to him and to speak on other topics (not strictly the material he teach us) and, as I have heard that he handled the cases of terrorist from our town, I asked him about that! He said sadly that the terrorists were not foreigners, but our own people, and they acted on orders received from the center (I remember he said exactly that), so that is why they were released immediately after the "victory of revolution"! As I insist asking him about that he said that they (terrorist) were not part of the Securitate but from some military-type structures, officially unknown, and lead only from the center. That center he said was not Ceausescu, but somebody close to him! That is all he said about this!
|Posted by: IoanTM January 06, 2012 05:54 am|
I fully agree with this point of view - but, IMHO, the problem is that the "story of terrorists" from December 1989 cover only one part of the big story ( even if it was somehow overvalued in media due to its tragical & spectacular impact ).
My personal, "general theory" go to something like this :
The Soviet Union clearly wanted to "export perestroika" in all its former salient-states - by almost all means except a direct conventional military intervention. It's also beyond any doubt today that USSR had a good number of personal deployed in Romania - which is known to left the country at official request of former prime-minister Petre Roman ~2 years after the revolution. As long as :
a) the upper ranks of Romanian Communist Party became at the end of Ceausescu's regime some sort of "familial affair" ( a good majority of CPEx was relative of Nicolae or Elena ) they can't influence - like in Bulgaria - an "internal transfer of power".
due to rigid control there was no civic/alternative structures of power & influence like in Poland or Hungary to be secretly sponsored to press an opening of the regime.
c) population hate Ceausescu for his harsh austerity measures ...
the only viable choice was to provoke a popular revolt. Probably the scenario was that Ceausescu will act in fully force, the number of casualties will reach a large number ( the indicated 60.000 victims from the Ceausesc's trial ) so - if still no major defection would happen to this point - an international wave of sanctions ( and, why not ?, UN-sanctioned "humanitarian intervention" ) will help to overthrow the regime. After I saw what happened in Lybia last year I realized finally that this kind of scenario is actually a very possible & workable one.
From different ... hmm, discussions let's say, the name of the new, perestroika-implementer was intended to be Ilie Verdet ... a former prim-minister of communist time who gained some sort of popularity due to his removal from office after miner-strike from 1977. Remember - one big issue of Romania in 1989 was that there was basically no well-known political figure outside Ceausescu himself due to the horrific 'cult of personality" active at that time ... ask somebody from that generation to name 3-5 political figures ( even communist ones ) and they will have really hard time to do this ...
My assumption is that the "initial" plan however was diverted by the fact that after night of 21th of December the Securitate forces was already in non-combat mood and several Army high-commanders - V. Stanculescu being the most important - already prepared a massive defection/change of orders issued by "Supreme Leader".
To be continued ... is somebody is interested ...
|Posted by: Radub January 06, 2012 12:23 pm|
| How about the weapons distributed to "Garzile Patriotice"?
There were lots of guns, many scared people and very itchy triggers. There was a very significant amount of chaos.
I was in Brasov on 22 December. I was in high school and my class and I were attending our "banchet" in Tusnad that week - we were going home to Galati that day and we needed to change trains in Brasov. We arrived in Brasov in the morning and we had a wait of about 8 hours until our eveing train to Galati, so we decided to take a walk in the city. We were in the old city under Tampa when the famous "dictatorul a fugit" speech came on TV. People came onto the streets, we were invited into someone's house to watch TV and we were given wine and food. By the time we made it to the city centre, the City Hall was surrounded by troops with shields.
As the train was leaving Brasov in the evening, we could see tracers in the sky, coming from all directions. That evening, when we arrived in Galati, there were no buses so we had to walk. We were stopped near the Theatre by a group of armed civilians who questioned us and then let us go. At around 1 in the morning, suddenlly, there were lots or tracers in the sky all coming from the tank unit in Tiglina 2. Some tracers then responded from the city centre direction, again shooting in the sky. There was a lot of stupid shooting and firing in the sky. These bullets had to fall somewhere and usually when bullets fall from above, they kill.
In Libya there were a lot of reports of "snipers shooting from above" and "large number of head shots from above" even in the middle of the desert where there were no tall buildings. Many were quick to blame some kind of "ghost shooters", or "mercenaries" but no one wanted to take into consideration the amount of stupid "shooting in the sky" that we saw on every news report.
That is what happens when you give guns to undisciplined/scared/twitchy civilians. And some stupid civilians have to share some blame for a certain amount of stupid shooting during the "revolution". Some of these gave birth to the idea of "terrorists" and other "ghost shooters" shooting from the sky.
|Posted by: IoanTM January 06, 2012 12:47 pm|
There was some weapons distributed - but also should be noted that Ceausescu ordered explicitly to Army units to gather the existing weapons from factories and so on when he ( or somebody closed to him ) realized that workers could use them ...
Generally speaking I disagree with such "accidental explanation" - but it's nice to note that there are still some people who believe in the initial theory exposed by Mr. Iliescu.
|Posted by: Radub January 06, 2012 01:11 pm|
I have no idea what Iliescu said or what theory you refer to.
It is a fact that "Garzile Patriotice" were given weapons on 22 December to "defend the Revolution". Watch any videos of the Revolution as well as the many photos available on the internet or in print. You will see plenty of civilians with weapons.
Mihaela Radulescu is one such "armed civilian", she was pictured in National Geographic pointing a gun and she confirmed it. I spoke to a number of people who told me that they were given AK47s and ammunition on 22 December. There are many reports of groups of "armed civilians" and as I said, I met such a group.
|Posted by: IoanTM January 06, 2012 01:26 pm|
This is true ( actually some civilians received weapons and not the "whole people" as required by Ceausescu's regime military defense doctrine ) - but it's ... strange ( to say at least ) to consider this as an explanation to "terrorist activities" after 22 of December. After all ... such "friendly bullets" has a small chance to give head-shots ...
|Posted by: Radub January 06, 2012 02:33 pm|
Where did I say that?
I said that SOME stupid civilians are responsible for SOME deaths.
|Posted by: IoanTM January 06, 2012 02:50 pm|
This affirmation is for sure correct.
But you mention something about inventing terrorists and so on ... so it was not clear at all.
|Posted by: Radub January 06, 2012 03:01 pm|
I said that SOME of these incidents gave rise to "terrorist" stories.
SOME is the key word there.
|Posted by: IoanTM January 06, 2012 03:07 pm|
SOME is a doubtful word in the following phrase :
In the previous one it's used in the idea which you express and I agree to it - but here it creates confusion.
|Posted by: Radub January 06, 2012 03:14 pm|
"Some" is clear enough. It means "not all". It creates confusion only if you seek "absolute utterances" in every sentence.
This is a discussion forum and we discuss things, not issue edicts. If you want to turn everything I say into a "point scoring" match, you are on your own.
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 06, 2012 08:46 pm|
| C'mon dear fellow forumists!
Let's not create incidents where, in fact, we understand each other!
Basically both of you are right, none of the cases you described does not exclude the other and, I am convinced, both are true and actually happened! IoanTM please continue your story!
|Posted by: IoanTM January 10, 2012 10:30 pm|
It's clear enough ... to suggest what you deny after initial statement ...
But let's wrote in Romanian to be more clear :
Deci : cand spui ceva de genul "unele din victime au fost datorita focurilor razlete trase de cei cu arme distribuite la populatie iar unele din aceste cazuri au dat nastere legendei teroristilor" e clar ca ai in minte din start ideea ( de fapt certitudinea ... ce zic eu ideea ) ca existenta teroristilor e doar o fabulatie si iti structurezi, prin folosirea termenului de "unii/unele" ( some cum ar veni ), o eventuala explicatie alternativa. Si eventual si discreditezi asa ... "en passant" pe aia care ar indrazni sa creda in ea. Ca dup-aia te dai lovit si o intorci cu "some", cu "absolute utterances" in sus si jos ... e problema ta.
Dar in fine ... deja e contraproductiva discutia.
If somebody could translate ... or feel that this will be necessary ... this is.
Well ... to be a little bit sarcastic : Romanians doesn't have the cultural habit to shoot at weddings and so on while is quite customary in Arab world. Even "shootings in the sky" differ sometimes ...
|Posted by: Radub January 10, 2012 10:56 pm|
The one who concluded that some shooting incidents gave birth to ALL "terrorist stories" is you and you alone. I have no need or desire to be dragged into that fantasy.
Moderators, please do what is needed about the personal attacks.
|Posted by: Imperialist January 10, 2012 11:45 pm|
You said: "Some of these gave birth to the idea of "terrorists" and other "ghost shooters" shooting from the sky."
IoanTM's conclusion is correct because the statement above means just that - some shooting incidents gave birth to the terrorist stories.
You didn't say: "Some of these gave birth to some of the ideas of "terrorists" and other "ghost shooters".
Unele incidente au dat nastere povestilor cu teroristi.
Unele incidente au dat nastere unora dintre povestile cu teroristi.
The difference is pretty obvious.
|Posted by: IoanTM January 11, 2012 12:20 am|
Anyway - the correlation/sequence is pretty clear for me ... even it is the reverse one as exposed by Radub : the "terrorists" made several head-shots kills, place in many places "fire-simulators" and so on because they precisely planned such a chaotic reaction from poorly trained conscripts/urban militia ( Garzile Patriotice ) in subsequent resulted actions. These events further amplified the number of victims and present a risk to escalate violence ...
The big ( still ) unanswered question regarding this aspect is the following one ( actually are more then one - but derived from a common base ) :
1. There was (a) a single or ( multiple "group of terrorists" ( acting on different objective/agenda ) ?
My personal opinion/interpretation is there was ( at least ) two groups : one acting mainly before 22 of December and one acting mainly/just after 22 of December. But from different reasons we will find the answer ... after another 15 years ...
There is no such personal attack.
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 11, 2012 01:07 am|
I also believe that several terrorist groups have operated (from inside or outside Romania) before and after December 22, 1989, and I think that the "foreigners" acted violently before December 22, but remained only as careful observers after December 22 (I do not deny the possibility of isolated violent actions from them after December 22), with the "autochthonous" acting violently especially after December 22. What I'm not clear even today is the so-called radioelectronic diversion that targeted the military aviation and antiaircraft defense troops, that seems to overcome the technical possibilities of the "autochthonous" (as I see it)! This creates a collaboration scenario, between the "autochthonous" and some of the "foreigners", which seems less plausible to me! As I say I don't understand that! The radioelectronic diversion is the key problem that puts so many questions I can't answer... Some believe that the fire simulators were also placed by the "foreigners" but, for me, the "autochthonous" could have the technology and it's more plausible that they put them in place! What is your theory about these two issues?
|Posted by: 21 inf January 11, 2012 05:54 am|
|At the 1989 events, the army shoot in the air. The Militia shoot in the air. The Securitatea shoot in the air. And the revolutionaries took a deep breath|
|Posted by: Radub January 11, 2012 08:55 am|
Your entire post is a personal attack and you are unecessarily aggressive in your posts.
You paint me in a certain light that has no bearing on reality, all developed and blown out of proportion due to one single word that you think is not clear enough.
You said that I "think from the beginning that 'terrorists' are a fantasy" (never said or even implied that), that I create alternative theories" (no, I did not, you did) and that I "discredit in pasing" (never did, in fact you are the one who derided me and associated me with Iliescu.)
Then you said that I " play the victim". Well, you kept challenging me in a quite aggressive manner.
I only said one sentence and from that you created a whole world of conspiracy, judged me on that fabricated "evidence", found me "guilty". That is simply uncalled for. Is it not possible to just say something on this forum without judgement?
|Posted by: IoanTM January 11, 2012 09:37 am|
| Ok - I get your point.
The only thing which I'd apologize is the reference to Iliescu ( initial ) theory about "civilian deaths after 22 of December" - this could be seen as offensive ... and probably almost nobody believed it from beginning anyway. But ... damn !, maybe due to a poor communication, this idea was the one transmitted by your reply
Anyway - no need to further go back and for ..
|Posted by: udar January 11, 2012 04:55 pm|
I think this is the most probable situation. Multiple groups supporting different agendas.
1- USSR and its allies, supported by NATO as well, who acted for a removal of Ceausescu from power, and replacing of him with a more compliant regime, and even a partial destructuration of the country
2- a group of Romanians (all or most of them with ties with USSR or its supporters, but with less importance on power structure at the time) to be pushed on power.
3- elements of the Army (most of the Army actualy, and representing the strongest armed part of this events) who doesnt know whats about (except few), and acted more instinctualy, to prevent an attack from the outside, and to repell (at first) the inside problems, but imediatly taking part of the "Revolution", trying to defend the people
4- Securitatea, many of them know or was about to understand whats what happen. Some tried to fight for the Ceausescu regime, but soon they back up, in a kind of neutrality, or some even fighting "for the people"
5- foreign "terrorists" send by those from the point 1 to help those from the point 2. Their mission was to create chaos and push the things toward the fall of Ceausescu, as well to make the Army as much as inoperable possible (in cooperation with their own armies that used electronic and psichological warfare against us).
They was needed to set the ground for pushing "their peoples" on power, and even to force the things for a disintegration of the country (at least partial) or civil war between Army, Securitate and peoples
6- cover elements of national defence system, that hidden "partisans" or "Resistance" activated in case of "war of the entire people" (probably by the Army elements who know the foreign plans and involvement and considered them dangerous).
7- ordinary citizens, who go out in streets in such number and acted in a manner way beyond the expectations of foreign elements and their "proteges". Thats why up to today was acted on every possible level (mass psichology, psycjologic war, deculturalisation etc. etc) to avoid this in the future. It was tried (and succeseded in most part) a destructuration of national, social and civic spirit of the population, because of the huge problems caused by peoples then.
All this elements involved had/have their own agendas, more or less, some was allied, some direct enemies, and even among the "allies" apeared problems at some point.
All of them acting in the same time caused the chaos back then. All had unexpected surprises from the others, and the fight didnt stop in 1989, but continued with "smaller" episodes in 1990 and even later. USSR lost any realistic support because of war in Moldova, in 1991, it was suicidal for any politician to have ties with USSR back then, even if before that Iliescu tried to do exactly this.
Despite American or French advices and agreements, URSS didnt intervened military, knowing much better the situation here and the fact that they dont controll the Army, and the intervention will result in a actual war, and an impossible to control course of events.
Things appear to be settled down somehow, behind the curtain, and we have now a new breed of "phanariots", but at least the destructuration of the country (kinda impossible however, due to ethnic makover) was rejected.
Almost any other things was unfortunatelly put down or reduced
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 11, 2012 07:58 pm|
Because you talked about the possible disintegration of the country desired by some in 1989, and hearing and reading some testimony in this regard, I wonder who these forces were and why would thy wanted this?
1. USSR - Here I've heard the theory of several groups that acted together, but with different objectives - one wanted to install a team to lead Romania that serve the soviet interests; other wanted to remove the danger latent but already present for the soviet Bassarabia by disintegrating Romania especially Transylvania.
2. Hungary - although watching with great interest the situation in the country and especially in Transylvania, and also think that if conditions were conducive to military intervention, wouldn't have refused to do it, I am convinced that the teams acting in the field were coordinated by the soviets!
3. Yougoslavia - surely very present especially in Banat with an unclear agenda for me, it's possible that thay were interested the same as hungarians were, can't bet on that! Maybe they were also coordinated by some other great power, why not USSR as well!
4. France - as I heard often they represented the Western Powers in Romania with an agenda unknown to me! Would they be interested in a desintegration of Romania too, with an independent Transylvania f.i., I don't know...
|Posted by: IoanTM January 13, 2012 02:32 pm|
This is - generally speaking - a good approach !
But before analyzing the ( possible ) externally-sponsored groups let's review the possible internal ones ... like udar tried.
|Posted by: ANDREAS January 13, 2012 08:17 pm|
| IoanTM, I don't understand!
Are you talking about internal groups of "terrorists" in general or about internal groups of "terrorists" who tried to disintegrate Romania? Because I don't believe in the latter option as viable!
|Posted by: IoanTM January 18, 2012 09:20 am|
Well ... I don't believe that there was any significant group ( even from foreign nation(s) ) which tried to "disintegrate Romania" in December 1989.
I'd say that this is sort of myth which appeared mainly "after the events" - when the bloddy evolution of events from Yugoslavia emerged ... but these events was triggered IMHO by different forces from the ones whose ignited the 1989-revolutions.
I made this affirmation because even the most consistent/widely accepted theory about a possible foreign-guided intervention - the one which states that USSR accepted/"encouraged" a series of reformists, pro-perestroika governments in Easter Europe to emerge and for this used several "methods" ( outside a direct military intervention ), different from country to country - still should considered that in 1989 the Helsinki treaties was sort of "base platform" for change. And the principle of "no-borders changes" was a fundamental principle of them ...
|Posted by: Florin January 19, 2012 09:40 pm|
| In 1990 I heard in Ramnicu-Sarat that in the night of 22 December 1989 an anti-aircraft battery located near town opened fire against a formation of planes coming from Soviet Union. If I remember right, they damaged a plane and determined some guys from plane to parachute. They captured one in good shape, and this one did not want to say one word.
The Romanian military guys sent him to Bucharest, and never heard any feedback about it.
Another one: I saw with my own eyes in the night of December 22, 1989, near the Radio Broadcast building (Bucharest), a guy falling from 5th or 6th floor, after being hit by the Romanian military personnel located right near me. So much for the official "there was no terrorist" or "people were shooting each other by mistake". The second quote has a core of truth, also based of what I had seen, but that is another story.