The Soviet media in recent days have become increasingly frank in acknowledging the activities of Solidarity militants and "counterrevolutionary" groups in Poland in an apparent effort to show the Soviet public that the Polish crisis may be more complex and violent than was previously indicated.
Underscoring this theme was a dramatic account of unrest carried by the Soviet news agency Tass today, reporting that 1,300 miners were trapped inside a Silesian coal mine following an act of sabotage by "political criminals" belonging to the independent trade union.
While warning of possible violent confrontations, the Soviet media also have attempted to downplay the role of the military government of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, insisting instead that plans for Polish economic and social renewal are being prepared by the country's Communist Party and officialdom.
The Soviet version of the incident at the Ziemovit mine contrasted markedly with a report distributed by the Reuter news agency from Vienna quoting an Italian traveler as saying the mine had been strikebound since martial law was declared a week ago and that the miners had barricaded themselves in.
Moscow's Warsaw-datelined story, which said the miners were being held underground after "instigators" blew up one exit and threatened to seal a second escape route if Army units tried to enter the mine, also differed from a version of the same event sent to a Western news agency that was passed by Polish censors. This version, by UPI correspondent Ruth Gruber, implied that 1,300 miners were involved in a standoff, while the Tass version clearly implied that a menacing and dangerous situation had been created by a small group of Solidarity activists.
In its reports from Warsaw, Tass continued to insist today that "the legal norms" of martial law "are being observed on the whole" throughout Poland. It quoted a Polish government communique as saying that "95 percent of enterprises" are now working normally and that "due to this it has become possible to shorten the curfew in many areas of Poland."
The Soviet Communist Party newspaper Pravda, in the first substantive comment on the Polish crisis since the imposition of martial law, today attacked the Reagan administration for "most flagrant interference" in Polish internal affairs, attempting to portray a marked shift in opinion in Western Europe in recent days as the result of U.S. pressure.
Pravda said the leaders of West Germany, Canada, France, Britain and "a number of other countries at first stated that the events taking place in Poland are its purely internal affair and that one should refrain from any interference."
"Under U.S. pressure," Pravda said, West European nations have subsequently adopted a statement expressing "concern" over the Polish events and demanding that "the process of reforms and renewal be able to continue."
The authoritative daily said that this amounted to a call to let "counterrevolutionaries continue their dark deeds."
Before the declaration of martial law in Poland, the Soviets had been going to great lengths to try to drive a wedge between the United States and its Western European NATO allies over issues related to nuclear weapons policy. By raising the issue of U.S. pressure over Poland, the Kremlin appears to be both trying to forestall greater Western cohesion over Poland while explaining to its domestic readers how an alliance that had appeared to be split could now be acting in concert.
In line with its subtheme of a more active role being played by the Polish Communist Party, the Soviet press reported today that the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Polish party had held a meeting to discuss the normalization of the situation. At the same time, an enlarged meeting of the government was said to have discussed economic issues including "an accelerated introduction of those economic reforms that are practicable in the present situation."
Western analysts here believe that the Soviet media are now taking this approach to try to encourage a greater party visibility in Polish affairs, presumably to forestall the emergence of a nationalistic military regime whose concepts of socialism may turn out to be different from the Soviet model.
The Soviet dispatches suggest that the bulk of difficulties faced by the martial-law government are concentrated in the coal mining region of Silesia and on the Baltic Coast.
Apart from the account of the unrest at the Ziemovit coal mine, where the 1,300 miners apparently remain holed up underground, Tass today also reported a strike at an aircraft factory in Swidnica, where militant members of the "independent union of students" and Solidarity activists used "moral terror and threat of physical reprisals" to force workers to a strike.
The agency said that the "instigators have been arrested," suggesting that the martial-law authorities have ended the protest.
Tass quoted a report by the official Polish news agency PAP about a Solidarity arsenal uncovered at the Szczecin shipyard Parnica. It reportedly included firearms, ammunition, a grenade launcher, rubber clubs, Army bayonets and iron bars.
The Soviet dispatches as well as portions of articles printed in the Polish newspapers Trybuna Ludu and Zolnierz Wolnosci increasingly emphasize alleged links between Solidarity and various "Western subversive centers." The dispatches talk of various printed material of antisocialist character and unspecified tape recordings that were allegedly produced in the West and that have been confiscated by authorities in recent days.
The attacks on the Reagan administration focus on its support for Solidarity leaders whom Pravda described as "those people who openly stated that they would hang and shoot down Communists."
"The United States and those who assisted it will have to forget about a free hand and an active interference in the affairs of Poland on the side of the counterrevolutionaries," Pravda said. "That is what exasperates some gentlemen across the ocean."
The paper said that the U.S.-financed Radio Free Europe "has intensified calls for organizing resistance to the military authorities." It said U.S. officials have worked out "numerous scenarios" for exerting pressure on Poland through economic sanctions "in particular by stopping food deliveries."
The argument advanced by the Soviets is that the United States wants to create hunger in Poland. According to diplomats here, economic assistance provides virtually the only leverage for the West to influence the course of events in Poland, and a complete cutoff is likely to remove all the remaining restraints on the part of the military government and Moscow.