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Soviet Army left Czechoslovakia 20 years ago

On June 21, 1991, the army of Soviet Union left Czechoslovakia after 23 years of “friendly help” which was actually a permanent occupation, the Sme daily wrote.

On June 21, 1991, the army of Soviet Union left Czechoslovakia after 23 years of “friendly help” which was actually a permanent occupation, the Sme daily wrote.

Sme said more than 100, 000 Soviet soldiers left Czechoslovakia, leaving behind many barracks, army facilities, environmental damage, and whole housing estates, carefully separated from local towns and guarded.

The invasion by Warsaw Pact forces came on August 21, 1968 after the Czechoslovak Communist Party promoted “the change from within”, a reform guided by the regime and ruling party itself. By the end of 1968, 108 citizens of Czechoslovakia were dead (including 31 Slovaks) and more than 500 were wounded by Soviet tanks and guns.

In Slovakia, the worst situations after the Soviet withdrawal were in the municipalities of Sliaš, Vlkanová and Rimavská Sobota. The withdrawal itself came after long negotiations with the Soviet leadership, specifically President Mikhail Gorbachev and Foreign Affairs Minister Yuri Shevarnadze. From Czechoslovak side, the negotiations were led by Slovak Alexander Dubček, former party leader and head of state, and Czech dissident and musician-turned-politician Michal Kocáb. Kocáb recalled his memories from 20 years ago for Sme.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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