Aggression, atomkrig og afspænding

Emil Rasmus Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis investigates the press coverage of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 as seen through selected Danish newspapers. These newspapers – Aktuelt, Information, Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten – have been chosen due to their political and geographical orientation as well as their position as opinion formers. Based on a thorough examination and analysis of the newspapers in the month following the invasion of Afghanistan in late December 1979, I argue that the invasion and the following international crisis caused an increased disagreement between the newspapers on two intertwined levels. The views on the invasion itself separated Aktuelt, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten from Information and Politiken. This was particularly due to the significantly more negative views on the Soviet Union’s foreign policy in Aktuelt and Berlingske Tidende, which differed strongly from the tendency in Information and Politiken to emphasise the responsibilities of the Western world as well. In regard to the reactions of the Western world to the invasion, the newspapers were all strengthened in their existing convictions, while especially Information and Jyllands-Posten became extremely urgent in their expressions. However, this development added fuel to the fire regarding an incipient polarisation in the newspaper debate. The battle lines were thus drawn between Aktuelt, Information and Politiken on the one hand and Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten on the other. The former warned that military build-up and intimidation towards the Soviet Union would only exacerbate the global tension and could lead to atomic war, while the latter argued for an unambiguous support for the USA’s new and tougher line against the Soviet Union due to a belief that the Kremlin only respected strength and power.

EducationsHistory, (Bachelor/Graduate Programme) Graduate
Publication date28 Jan 2014
SupervisorsMichael Kjeldsen


  • Danmark
  • Afghanistan
  • Pressehistorie
  • Den Kolde Krig
  • Sovjetunionen