Slovak Embassy honors memory of Dubcek
19 December 2009,
The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Ankara has put a mosaic plaque
featuring the name of Alexander Dubcek at the entrance of the embassy
building, to honor the memory of the famous Slovak statesman.
Slovak Ambassador to Turkey Vladimir Jakabcin on Friday hosted a
ceremony for the unveiling of the plaque, which he said they put in
the entrance so that everyone passing by the embassy could honor
Dubcek, who lived from 1921 to 1992, was the first secretary of the
Communist Party of then-Czechoslovakia in 1968-69, whose liberal
reforms led to the Soviet invasion and occupation of Czechoslovakia
in August 1968.
Two years after sparking the Prague Spring, on Jan. 25, 1970, Dubcek
arrived in Ankara to take up his appointment as ambassador. He had
been appointed to this position in December 1969. Dubcek was the
ambassador of Czechoslovakia to Turkey until June 24, 1970.
Dubcek returned to prominence in Czechoslovakia's national affairs in
December 1989 after the country's Communist Party had relinquished
its monopoly on power and agreed to participate in a coalition
government. On Dec. 28 he was elected chairman of the Federal
Assembly, and by 1992 he had become the leader of Slovakia's Social
Democrats. He died that year of injuries suffered in an automobile accident.
Ukraine opens secret archive on 1968 Prague Spring, Soviet invasion
Ukraine has made public secret archives concerning the Soviet Union's
armed intervention against Czechoslovakia's 1968 Prague Spring
pro-democracy movement, according to a government statement Thursday,
Officers from Ukraine's national intelligence agency, the SBU, turned
to the government of the Czech Republic 311 formerly classified
documents from the period, according to a SBU statement.
The more than 1,000 pages of archival papers, transferred to the
Czech government in electronic format, document Soviet planning,
intelligence, and decision-making concerning an August 1968 Warsaw
Pact intervention against Czechoslovak political liberalisation.
The Soviet leadership was well aware a majority of the
Czechoslovakian population was likely to oppose an invasion by Warsaw
Pact tanks and infantry, and some Czechs and Slovaks might fight to
defend a pro-democracy movement in the country, according to the
Soviet propaganda of the time asserted most Czechoslovak citizens
welcomed an intervention bringing order to the country, and that
persons resisting Warsaw Pact forces were anarchists or foreign agents.
More than 100 Czech and Slovak citizens died, and more than 500 were
injured in fighting against close to 200,000 Soviet, Polish,
Hungarian, Bulgarian, and East German soldiers invading Czechoslovakia.
Ukraine's government since 2005 has moved quickly to declassify
substantial portions of Soviet-era archives, as part of a state
programme aimed at promoting the study of modern history, and of
publicising aspects of Soviet-era history previously masked by propaganda.
Neighbouring Russia continues to hold most its Soviet-era archives
under tight control.