Czechoslovakia - 68
Exactly 50 years ago an event occurred, for which it is a shame.
Should be ashamed. Any normal Russian person, a citizen of Russia. Although, of course, the Soviet people were the same hostages of the system ...
Let's talk about this at the end of the post.
I will write more about it there, what I think about it, and lay out the video shot on Wenceslas Square exactly a week ago, when the Czechs were already preparing for this sad anniversary.
In the meantime, remember how it was
At 2215 hours on August 20, the troops received a signal from Vltava-666 to begin the operation.
At 23.00 on August 20 in the troops intended for the invasion, a combat alarm was declared.
The entry of troops was carried out in 18 locations from the territory of the GDR, Poland, the USSR and Hungary. The units of the 20th Guards Army from the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany entered Prague and established control over the main objects of Czechoslovakia.
At the same time, two Soviet airborne divisions were landed in Prague and Brno.
At 2 am on August 21, the forward units of the 7th Airborne Division landed at the Ruzyne airfield in Prague.
They blocked the main objects of the airfield, where the Soviet An-12 began to land with troops and military equipment.
The seizure of the airfield was carried out with the help of a deceptive maneuver: a Soviet passenger plane flying up to the airfield requested an emergency landing because of alleged damage on board.
After permission and landing, the paratroopers from the plane seized the control tower of the airport and ensured the landing of the landing aircraft.
The military acted professionally, there was only one "but." They were opposed by civilians, women, teenagers ...
From the memoirs of Osipyan Petros Simonovich, the senior lieutenant of the reserve, (in 1968, the corporal of a separate tank battalion of the army headquarters guard, gunner of the T-62 tank):
although there was no official information about the deployment of troops, but among themselves we were talking about the unrest in Czechoslovakia. Around the 20th of June, the Minister of Defense of the USSR, A.A., arrived to us with an inspection inspection. Grechko, along with him was the head of the Main Political Directorate of the Soviet Army - AA. Epishev. What remained in memory is the fact that Grechko was quite simple in communication, asked us about the service, about nutrition ... I dared and asked him the question: "Is it true that we will soon go to Czechoslovakia?". To which the Minister of Defense briefly replied: "Take your time ..."
On August 20, at about 8.15 pm an alarm sounded, and already at 9 pm we were on the march. The population blocked the movement of technology, often gathering in a crowd and blocking our way. Several times we had to turn on the so-called "chimney" in order to disperse the crowd and free the road. Everywhere leaflets were scattered, on the building fences we read inscriptions of a provocative nature: "Vanya, go home, Manya is waiting for you," "In the 45th, liberators, in the 68th, occupants!" and the like.
From the memoirs of Khabas Mukhamedovich Bekulov, (in 1968 he served in the SGB, the 459th anti-aircraft artillery regiment, the gunner of the 57-mm anti-aircraft artillery cannon, rf 33593)
Early in the morning of August 21, 1968, after a 6-hour march, I was in the back of the Ural when driving through a street in Liberec. There were a lot of people on the streets, someone was waving a fist (mostly young people), those who were older, secretly showed the victory sign "V" with their fingers. Somewhere flashed the inscription: "Lenin, wake up, Brezhnev went crazy", "To Moscow - 1795 km - go back", etc. There were many such posters, and the presence of such a mass negative did not fit in my head. People, including me, who deified the CPSU, and those who expected the unanimity of the Czechoslovak people, were stunned by the presence of opposition to this ideology.In general, the memories along the route are not pleasant ones.
The attitude of some local residents towards us cannot be called complacent: the Czechs everywhere were putting up leaflets against the action being held, calling us occupiers, warning the citizens of Czechoslovakia against cooperating with the occupying forces. We were forbidden to read them and should destroy these leaflets before reading them. However, I’m happy and glad to set up an imperceptible single issue of the South Czech Pravda newspaper, released on Wednesday, August 21, 1968. The editorial reads: “that on August 20, 1968, the troops of the Warsaw Pact (the states are listed: GDR, Hungary, Poland, BNR and USSR) at 23 o'clock without the knowledge of the leadership of Czechoslovakia occupied the country”. There are a lot of rubrics about this morning’s alarms: “Critical Minutes”, “The progress of the occupation of cities” ...
About a day later I was summoned by the head of the agitation and propaganda department, Major Suvorov, and informed me that I was included in the delegation of the non-commissioned officers and soldiers, who would go to the artillery regiment of the NAV, in an ideological dispute. At the headquarters of the division, in the political department, we were instructed about possible provocative questions, and after that, at Ural, we were taken to a part of the ANP.There were 7-8 of us and the same number of Czechoslovak soldiers. They sat down against each other, and each began to prove his position: on which side is the truth. Among the Czech soldiers there were no those who at least partially did not speak Russian, and therefore there were no particular problems in communication. Our arguments that we do not wish the brotherly people anything bad, we just outpaced the NATO troops from invading, and there is no analogy with the occupation by the Germans during the Second World War, we quite convincingly proved it to them.
I want to note that in terms of ideology, we were prepared and convinced that actions were correct. I judge by myself - I was ready to give up my life without thinking about the victory of socialism.
I remember when, at the end of our dialogue, a Czech soldier took a photo from some magazine, where on the Vatslav Square in Prague the Russians killed an innocent child, and wreaths and flowers were in the place of death. I did not lose my head and proved to him that in the event of his death there would surely be traces of blood there, and this is just a photomontage and trick of the opposition’s ideologues.
A weighty argument in our favor was May 1945, when our fathers and grandfathers liberated Prague, and they left the city after completing the task.We will do that too, we said.
Only soldiers participated in this dispute, they explained to us that from the position of the Czechs, the CPSU and the KGB organized this occupation, and not ordinary citizens of the country, and we, the soldiers, were categorically against this action. Our task was to refute this idea and prove the unanimity of the masses, including the soldiers, with the installation of the party for the defense of socialist gains in Czechoslovakia.
The officers who accompanied us did not interfere in our conversation. After the completion of the official part of the dialogue, an informal conversation went on, they showed us how the Czech soldiers live, how they serve. We were surprised when in part we were offered beer, which was not forbidden in the service of Czech soldiers. But we politely refused, because for us it was completely excluded.
Recalls a senior warrant officer, retired, Nikolay Vasilyevich Berkut, (in 1968, senior sergeant, SGV, a separate communications battalion of the 20th TD, a radio relay mechanic at a mobile communications center, HF PP 45504):
We were told about political events in Czechoslovakia that extremists were trying to seize power, to tear off the Czechoslovak Republic from the socialist community, to restore capitalism.
After the passage of two divisions, we curled up and, together with the Germans, moved to the place of deployment. The Germans did not stand on ceremony with the Czechs. If, God forbid, someone shot, then they responded with a volley of several tanks. Along the way of the column, all road signs were removed, and on large billboards the Czechs placed various inscriptions like: “There is no Moscow, so it will be”, “USSR is an elephant, Czechoslovakia is a hedgehog; Shave, then eat. "
From the memories of Andrei G. Mairko, (in 1968 - foreman of the emergency service, GSVG, commander of a tank platoon of the 3rd TP, 1st TB, the 40th guards TP, 11th guards TD, 1st TA, pp 47518):
At dawn, closer to the morning, our unit was supposed to enter Prague. But the team passed through the 1st and 3rd tank companies to advance into the airfield area and ram the Czech planes to prevent them from taking off. When we arrived at a given area, our airplanes with landings landed there. When entering Prague, a team came to block certain intersections of roads with the task of not letting Czechoslovak cars and other vehicles into the capital. The crews dispersed, took positions and started to perform the tasks.
From the story of Samsonenko Alexei Nikolaevich: (private soldier, SGB, hp pp 70413 "G", BUAR - artillery and missile control battery, driver):
"... Together with all I crossed the border, from the territory of Poland to Czechoslovakia ... In the next settlement, it is difficult to remember its name when cars, some of which were going at a long interval, were blocked by crowds of people. Unnoticed by the elderly the woman even stealthily stretched out her hand in which a pack of cigarettes was hidden. In indecision and surprise I didn’t know how to lead myself. But then I said thank you. And the woman later quietly left.
Genethel Shamil Karametovich recalls (in 1968 - corporal, GSVG, 1st tank regiment of the 20th guards. MSD, 8th OA, support platoon, ammunition supply driver, 58846):
Immediately after they began to move through the territory of Czechoslovakia, they met with hostility and resistance from the local population, which for us was incomprehensible, and it turned out that we were "occupiers." There were all sorts of incidents and clashes. We were grossly despised, cars were plastered with leaflets, glass was broken ...
Our troops were dispersed throughout Czechoslovakia and tried to convey to the population that we were not enemies and occupiers, but friends with good intentions,and that we came to defend the fraternal people from the reactionary forces.
Pavlenko Ivan Vasilyevich, (senior sergeant, PribVO, 7th Guards. Airborne Troops, HF 10075):
The Prague population met us differently: who welcomed (and those at first a minority), who spat ...
We were near the building of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Communist Party, which from all sides, except for the main entrance, was surrounded by tanks ... The captain, who commanded my group, gave the order to follow him. We found ourselves in the building of the Central Committee. There were no obstacles. At first, their side was guarded, but then it was replaced by ours ... We were immediately ordered to take off our boots, we were wearing socks, there was no spouse. We walked noiselessly to the door where the government was located. Logged in At the long table they had, apparently, a meeting. I remember the words of Alexander Dubchek: "By what right are you here, we have a working meeting. I will call Brezhnev," the connection was immediately cut off ... After a while, they put a raincoat on government members, put them in armored personnel carriers and took us, as we were told Brno ... And we continued to be in the building of the Central Committee ...
Vladimir Gerasimenko, teacher of TRE(Taganrog): Then, as a student, through Sputnik, I was in the Czechoslovak Republic. Profit number 17th. In the country - literally universal, inexhaustible jubilation - "Prague Spring".Dubcek is already a national hero. I had been there in the 66th. Contrast is the most striking. I remember my hopeless envy.
So, about something supposedly prepared by the USSR, etc. Nothing like that. Absolute surprise for everyone. On the 21st we were in Bratislava, we had to go to Brno.
Instead, they take us to Prague by the same bus, cameras are taken away, just like Spidola, I sit in the suburbs until night, instead of the Prague hotel (our things are there) they bring it to the trade mission. And there we were kept for 5 days, after which we were also sent to Golden Sands at night (as I understand it, due to the curfew imposed on the population), in compensation, so to speak.
Not only the SA tanks, but also the armies of the GDR were remembered on the streets. The Germans really stood inside marked circles where, where the striped ribbon circles.
From the memoirs of Radul Anatoly Grigorievich (ml. Sergeant of the artillery regiment 122 mm howitzers, platoon combat support "VBO", SGV, pp 12255):
Early at dawn, the first Czech town appeared. People walked along the sidewalks, we gave them hands, and they waved their hands to us, everything was fine and peaceful. An hour and a half later we drove into the next town, I think it was the city of Colin. Here the situation has changed.The column was going very slowly, it was constantly stopped by the crowd, shouting and threatening, throwing bottles and stones into the cars, so in front of and behind each column there was a tank that a little calmed the raging crowd. Caricatures of soldiers were painted on the walls, the inscriptions “USSR is a pig!”, And much more. And so in each subsequent city and village.
Memories of Glushko Konstantin Ivanovich (Sergeant, 76 Guards. TP, 20 TD, squad leader, HF 52801):
I also remember the case, the traffic controllers were placed on the way of the column, but suddenly the route was displaced, but the traffic controller remained at the same post, they forgot about it .. He dug in and did not let anyone in for ten days, did not even take the products that compassionate brought him Czech residents. Then, of course, they remembered him, removed him from his post, they even wrote about this in the soldiers' newspapers ...
Pavel Fomenko (Commander of the Intelligence Division of the 8th Transformer Substation of the 20th Zvenigorodskaya TD, hp pp 31695, SGV) tells:
We passed the border without encountering any obstacles; at 24-00 hours, the town of Tabor passed, the population was surprised by our presence, but has not yet shown aggression. But by dawn, at the approach to the village of Sobeslav,We met a small demonstration with slogans: “Soldiers, go home, they deceived you,” and others that are provocative ... Our task was to go to the border with Germany and close it. The order was to let everyone out and not to let anyone in, which was done ...
The command presented letters and letters of thanks to our soldiers ...
And they were given such checks — and it was much more pleasant))
And now is the time to travel back to our days. Pictures and videos were made on Wenceslas Square a week ago.
Czechs remember. But they don’t keep evil - Russian speech is mixed up with Czech.
It is important that we remember ...
Now I would like to say this.
Today, more and more often, one can hear justifications of those events not only from frostbitten Imperials, but also from seemingly sensible people.
Their essence boils down to the fact that the events of 68 should be viewed in the context of the time when the whole world was divided into two opposing camps, and this format was the result of agreements reached by the victorious powers in World War II, and in fact it was the format of the postwar consensus world pattern.And his imbalance could upset the balance, which for many years, decades, allowed to maintain relative peace in the world.
This scheme is not perfect, but in some part has the right to life, it explains something, but it is not an excuse for tanks on the streets of Prague, just as it can be explained, but it is impossible to justify the Novocherkassk shooting six years earlier.
In addition, one has to hear such arguments that the Czechs deserve ... For the fact that in 1918 the "Reds" were shot. For the fact that "our Kolchak" betrayed. Because all their industry worked for the Germans, the Czech tankettes crawled across Russian land ...
And let them say thanks, that they were treated so gently, the fascists would not stand on ceremony ...
Of course, this is nonsense. I do not even want to comment, but I will tell you about something else - the Prague Spring was a direct consequence of the Soviet thaw. By 1968, the generation of Czechs born after the war had grown up, and even those who went to school after Stalin’s death, after a huge idol had been dismantled on the banks of the Vltava. It was not post-war Europe at all, wounds healed, Europe lived a completely different life, and youth riots burned in France and other Western European countries. The spirit of freedom soared over Europe ...That is why it is not entirely correct to draw parallels between Hungary-56 and Czechoslovakia-68. Other times, another generation.
A generation who believed that they had the right to be free ...
In conclusion, I would like to say one more thing:
These guys in the photo, our soldiers and officers, have nothing to blame for themselves. They carried out the order.
But there is nothing to be proud of here ...
This is a crime, the crime of the Soviet communist regime. One of.