Monday 20 August 2018

pražská jar

Fifty years ago, the reform efforts of the government of Czechoslovakia were brought to a standstill and reversed with the invasion of the Soviet Union with the materiel support from three other Warsaw Pact nations, with some two-hundred thousand troops and two thousand tanks and the arrest of First Secretary Alexander Dubček, with many more fleeing into exile, who spearheaded the movement known as the Prague Spring.
Over time, a half a million troops would occupy the country, advancing from beyond the country’s borders after an ostensibly successful round of negotiations concluded earlier in the month, coming an unexpected shock to the people of Czechoslovakia who believed that their interpretation of socialism, a mixed system that held protections for individual freedoms of expression might be the way forward. The Soviets saw the push for political liberalisation and move towards decentralisation of economic and foreign policy as a threat to the Eastern Bloc’s cohesion as a unified front against bourgeois values.