Current President Zuzana Caputova's term ends in June. Credit:

Slovak Politicians Compare Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine To Events of 1968

President Zuzana Caputova led Slovak politicians in condemning the Russian occupation of Ukraine, on the anniversary of the Warsaw Pact occupation of Czechoslovakia. Credit:

Bratislava, Aug 20 (CTK) – Senior Slovak politicians have compared the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact forces in 1968 to Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine, in speeches yesterday marking the forthcoming anniversary of the invasion of 21 August 1968.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger said he was convinced Ukrainians would live to see freedom.

The chairman of the Slovak parliament, Boris Kollar, said he hoped the Russian troops would eventually leave Ukraine, just like the Soviet troops left Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s.

“We are remembering a historical event that is not part of any faraway past, as it also has the potential of the current threat,” said President Zuzana Caputova. “Innocent people are dying again, just because they wanted to decide freely on their future.”

Caputova likened Czechoslovakia’s military occupation to Russia’s attack on Ukraine, and said the dreams of the generation from August 1968 had only come true after the fall of the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia in 1989, and after the Soviet troops left the country.

“We are no longer an occupied country as we decide on our future freely and alone. We have become part of the democratic international community that is helping Ukraine under attack. Who else should understand the suffering of their country if not us, who were ‘brought to our senses’ under the barrels of guns and tanks,” she added.

Heger said not only the population of Czechoslovakia, but now also Ukrainians had experience of occupation.

“We, too, were longing for freedom, for a better life. Now the people in Ukraine are longing for the same. As the punishment for Czechoslovakia came from Moscow, now Ukraine has been hit by Moscow, too,” he added.

Kollar said there should be gratitude to the Red Army for the liberation from fascism during World War II, but the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 with the participation of Soviet troops should also be remembered.

“Our eastern neighbours are experiencing an unprecedented attack from the Soviet regime on our freedom and democracy. Anyone using military force should realise that it cannot break the desire for freedom and sovereignty,” said Kollar.

The event took place at the commemorative plaque installed at Bratislava’s Comenius University in memory of three people shot dead at the start of the military invasion in August 1968.

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