The Soviet Union was poised to invade Poland in December, 1981, to crush the independent Solidarity movement, the commander of former Soviet troops still stationed in the country said Friday.
Gen. Viktor Dubynin said in a newspaper interview that only the imposition of martial law Dec. 13, 1981, by then-Communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski stopped Soviet troops from marching in the following day.
"If Gen. Jaruzelski had not acted, our divisions would have entered Polish territory on Dec. 14. Everything was ready," Dubynin told the Gazeta Wyborcza in the interview released ahead of publication today.
He said the military intervention was planned along the lines of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 to crush the reformist "Prague Spring" regime of Communist chief Alexander Dubcek.