chapter  10
13 Pages

The Soviet response to the euromissiles crisis


In 1980 Georgy Arkadievich Arbatov, Director of the Institute for the United States and Canada in the Soviet Academy of Sciences, spoke of the beginning of a ‘Second Cold War.’1 The tension of the early 1980s is difficult to imagine today. Fear was widespread on both sides of the Iron Curtain. In February 1983, 100,000 peace protesters (protesting against Western politics) assembled in Dresden. Further demonstrations occurred after tension increased markedly in the late summer. In 1983, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty conducted a survey among Soviet citizens traveling to the West, with the question asked: ‘There has been a lot written recently in both East and West on the danger of nuclear war. Do you feel that the danger of war is greater now than a few years ago?’ to which the replies of 1,928 respondents broke down as follows for 1983 overall: greater danger now: 56 percent; no greater danger: 20 percent; don’t know: 24 percent.