THE OCCUPATION of Czechoslovakia that followed the Warsaw Pact armies’ invasion of the country on August 21, 1968 is one of the darkest periods of our modern history, said President Andrej Kiska.

“Armies from five communist countries, controlled by Moscow, brutally violated the international law,” Kiska said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The assault against our homeland cost us dozens of lives and hundreds of injured.”

According to the president, the consequences of the August invasion were tragic for today’s Slovakia.

“A lot of talented and educated people refused to live in an occupied country and emigrated, seeking freedom,” Kiska added, as quoted by TASR. “Thousands of others were laid off and their children banned from receiving [university] education. During the era of so-called normalisation, the country succumbed to despair, resignation, passivity and, unfortunately, also the practice of informing on those close to us.”

The legacy of these times represents the “lingering taste of human tragedy”: betrayal, lack of freedom as well as huge damages to property and environment, Kiska continued.

“Let’s keep commemorating the victims; let’s not forget the reasons and consequences of the 1968 August occupation,” the president said. “Let’s appreciate the freedom and independence that we have acquired following the fall of communist regime in 1989 and the departure of last occupiers in 1991.”

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.