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Slovak and Czech activists call on media to broadcast Russian 1968’ documentary

CIVIC activists, personalities of public social life and showbiz have launched a petition calling on heads of Slovak and Czech public radios and televisions to broadcast the much debated Russian documentary distorting the 1968 invasion to then communist Czechoslovakia.

A sign on the Comenius University in Bratislava commemorates August 21, 1968 events(Source: Sme)

The documentary Warsaw Pact-Declassified Pages aired by the Russian state TV on Russia 1 channel portrays the August 1968 invasion of Soviet-led Warsaw Pact troops to Czechoslovakia as brotherly help, distorting the historical facts.

Read also:Russian documentary twists '68 invasion, angers Slovaks

“We ask you to air and broadcast this documentary in the prime time of public Slovak and Czech televisions, with an ensuing panel debate of our historians and political analysts,” the petitions asks, adding that citizens of these two countries, especially younger generations who have not experienced the military invasion and following two decades of occupation, have the right to learn how shamelessly Moscow propaganda re-makes the history, picturing the Czech and Slovak attempt at “a socialism with a human face” in the 1960s into a fascist-like conspiracy.

Public television should react to such distortion of truth by offering it to the wider public – the more that this documentary was broadcast on the event of the visit of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to Moscow, being a test of how much some Slovak representatives can bow to Russian arrogance and money, and how long can Slovak and Czech bodies remain passive towards this propaganda.

Citizens of these two countries, and their democratic institutions – including public television and radio – should not ignore efforts to split our democracies, but rather face them.

Signatories of the petition include Slovak and Czech journalists, publicists and political analysts (Fedor Gál, Soňa Szomolanyi, Grigorij Mesežnikov, Peter Zajac, Juraj Kušnierik, Ľubica Trubíniová), environmentalists and activists (Juraj Mesík, Ludmilla Verbitska, Hegyi, Ladislav, Boris Strečanský), spiritual and religious representatives (Ondrej Prostrednik, Daniel Pastirčák), artists, writers and filmmakers (Ivan Štrpka, Viera Dubačová, Jana Červenková, Martin Vadas, Martin Mahdal, Maja Dusikova, Robert Kirchhoff, Ján Štrasser, Michael Kocáb – former Czech minister and musician) historians Katarína Zavacká and Herta Tkadlečková, scientists and doctors (Julius Lukes, Štefan Olejník, Štefan Markuš, Peter Tatár) and many more activists and citizens. 

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