In Poland, the media gave considerable prominence to joint Polish-Soviet exercises on Saturday (8 November) with radio and newspaper reports, as well as a four-minute television film showing tanks, rockets, helicopters and fighters which the commentator said were in action in north-west Poland.
AV Armoured column moving across terrain, in northwest Poland
SV Warsaw Pact soldiers talking
GV Aircraft dropping bombs on targets
AV Helicopter dropping bomb
GV Missile being fired, anti-missile tracer shots fired (2 shots)
GV Tanks moving
GV Missile being fired from ground launcher, and exploding (2 shots)
GV Tanks moving along path of directional ground flares (2 shots)
SV Commanders directing operations
GV Line of soldiers with rifles behind small rise
SV Amphibian craft crossing river and landing (2 shots)
GV Soldiers launching floating bridge sections, and connecting them (4 shots)
GV Wooden plank style overland bridge being installed for heavy vehicle traffic (2 shots)
SV Armoured vehicles moving along dirt track
SCU Officer looking at map
SV Soldiers moving to forward positions (2 shots)
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Background: In Poland, the media gave considerable prominence to joint Polish-Soviet exercises on Saturday (8 November) with radio and newspaper reports, as well as a four-minute television film showing tanks, rockets, helicopters and fighters which the commentator said were in action in north-west Poland.
SYNOPSIS: Warsaw radio announced on Saturday (8 November) that the Polish-Soviet exercises were designed to deepen mutual contact and consolidate friendship. Western defence source said it was unusual for reports of joint army exercises with the Soviet Union to be given such prominence. They added that the timing of the exercises also appeared unusual, following hard on the heels of the Warsaw Pact's major autumn manoeuvres and at a time when new Soviet recruits are usually taking up their positions in Poland.
The showing of the film, which included major tank manoeuvres and missile action, coincided with the decision of the Polish Free Trade Union Movement to mount a week of national strikes if they lose an appeal for the removal of political clauses written into the Movement's statutes. The leaders of the 'Solidarity' Trade union object to a clause acknowledging the leading role of the Communist Party. The authorities have in turn mounted an extensive propaganda campaign against the strikes and have indicated for the first time since labour unrest erupted in Poland more than four months ago that their patience is running out.
Police leaders who have has to cope since July with strikes, political crises and economic setbacks, had chosen previously to compromise and negotiate with the workers. The 'Solidarity' Union members had hoped that there would be a similar settlement over the Supreme Court battle, but now several have expressed the fear that the prominence given to the military exercises might imply a threat of Soviet intervention in Polish affairs.
In the previous six days Poland's leaders had made tough speeches attacking 'Solidarity's' so-called anti-communist elements. Now it remains to be seen whether tougher action will be taken.