A Prague citizen stands on top a Russian tank in defiance during the 1968 Russian invasion of Czechoslovakia in this photo taken by renowned photographer Josef Koudelka and released to Reuters September 5, 2008.  Although they are 40 years old, some of the nearly 250 black and white snapshots shot by Koudelka that are on exhibition at the Aperture Gallery in New York look surprisingly contemporary, and are made even more interesting in the wake of Russia's recent invasion of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.   NO SALES NO ARCHIVE  EDITORIAL USE ONLY     REUTERS/Josef Koudelka/Aperture/Handout   (UNITED STATES)

Czechs, Slovaks protest Russian documentary about 1968

Czech citizens stands on top of a Russian tank during the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. Source.

PRAGUE (AP) — Czech Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek has summoned Russia’s ambassador to complain about a ‘documentary’ on the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia aired by a state-run Russian television channel.

Spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova says the minister considers the documentary “misleading.” The Slovak foreign ministry followed suit and said the film “tries to rewrite history and falsify historical truth.”

The documentary was aired on Rossiya-1 on May 23.

The Soviet Union-led invasion of armies from five Warsaw Pact countries crushed attempts at reforming the communist regime in Czechoslovakia that became known as the Prague Spring. The Soviet troops withdrew only after the anti-communist 1989 Velvet Revolution.

The film claims the invasion was an act of help to prevent a military coup backed by the West. Historians say that was not the case.

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  • Don’t tell me, the Russians were invited!

  • andycanuck

    Maybe they can hold a water polo tournament and the winner gets to do with the documentary as they wish? Hungarians can ref the match.

  • Alain

    No, it most certainly an act to help. It was brut force used to crush those seeking a bit of freedom from communist totalitarianism. Until Russia purges itself of this rubbish (refusing to recognise the evil of its communist past), it will never make progress. The Russian people deserve better than what some die-hard old commies wish to re-create.

  • Martin B

    About the “help” business, there really were traitors & conspirators in the Czechoslovak government who met secretly with the Soviets and asked them to invade to stop the Prague Spring “counterrevolution”.

    I was there, though still too young to fully comprehend what was going on. We were driving home in our puny little car from our summer vacation at a holiday camp on the Baltic coast of East Germany, the height of luxury in the Workers Paradise. While I was in the back seat playing with my favourite toy, a diecast model tank, my parents were noticing that there were real tanks, more and more tanks, heading in the same direction we were going. At first they thought it was a routine Warsaw Pact military exercise, but then they started getting nervous. We made it home and the next day all of those tanks were in our country.

  • Palidor

    I wish I knew Russian so I could watch the video. I’m always interested in alternate points of view from historians on the other side.

    I know it is “on brand” to be distrustful of Russia but they are not the most pressing threat to our freedoms. Not even in the top 10.

    • Alain

      I agree that today Russia is not the most pressing threat to our freedoms. Those threats are domestic neo-marxists along with Islam. However, the evils committed by the Soviet Union cannot be whitewarshed anymore than those of Mao, Pot Pol, Castro, Hitler and others.

      • Palidor

        The Soviet Union committed many evils that should not be whitewashed. Not that it makes the invasion and arrest of Dubcek right but there may still be truth to the claims that Western agents were preparing a violent exit from the Warsaw Pact.

        It is to Dubcek’s credit that he refused to resort to violence.

        • Minicapt

          “… claims that Western agents …” are basically the fevered imaginations of the Russian agencies of the State, and their Western acolytes.


  • Frances

    Watched a movie about the Prague Spring en route from Toronto to Prague in 2003. Started out with high school kids sitting for finals (oral) and getting ready to graduate – to the background music of Petula Clark’s “Downtown”, had an interval of young love, and ended with the tanks coming in, the young hero in a prison camp, and families leaving their homes. Think is the 2001 movie “Rebelove”.

  • dance…dancetotheradio

    I’d forgotten about the Prague Spring.
    ’cause it was history from around the time I was born.
    Now, that I think about it.
    These Spring things don’t tend to turn out well, do they?

  • Minicapt

    For a bit of an insider’s view of the Invasion, you might check out “The Liberators”, by ‘Viktor Suvorov’.