The Ukraine crisis as seen from the Czech Republic

The Vltava River & Charles Bridge © Ricky Yates

I hope my regular readers will forgive me for tackling a current political issue. However, as Ukraine is almost on the doorstep of the Czech Republic, I thought it appropriate to reflect on how the current crisis is seen here, and the impact the crisis may have in the near future.

Before proceeding any further, I should point out that it is not quite as close as one American TV news channel tried to illustrate. MSNBC successfully reinvented Czechoslovakia, a country that ceased to exist on 31st December 1992, and showed it as bordering Ukraine as can be seen in this link. Just to confirm, whilst Slovakia does border Ukraine, the Czech Republic does not.

What may surprise many people is the fact that Ukrainians are by far the largest group of immigrants by nationality, living and working . . . → Read More: The Ukraine crisis as seen from the Czech Republic

The Soviet invasion of 1968 and its aftermath

Memorial to the victims of the Soviet invasion of August 1968 © Ricky Yates

This past week saw the forty-fifth anniversary of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Red Army, which brought to an abrupt end, the short period of liberalisation known as the ‘Prague Spring’. On the night of 20th – 21st August 1968, around 200,000 Soviet troops poured over the borders from surrounding Warsaw Pact countries, supported by airborne troops, equipped with artillery and light tanks, who were flown in via Prague Airport. Along with the Soviet forces, there were also contingents of troops from Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and East Germany.

Whilst Alexander Dubcek, the Czechoslovak leader who had sought to introduce, ‘socialism with a human face’, called on his people not to resist, many ignored his advice and over one hundred citizens were killed and many more injured. This memorial commemorates . . . → Read More: The Soviet invasion of 1968 and its aftermath