NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
22nd August, 1968 : Several hundred thousand Soviet troops, accompanied by token units of other Warsaw Pact countries, are today fighting to turn the Prague spring of freedom into a Moscow winter of oppression. Fires are raging in the Czech capital as scattered bands of young Czechs fight the Soviet armour with guns, sticks and sometimes bare hands. People can be seen climbing on Soviet tanks and arguing with the men inside. Emil Zatopek, the Olympic gold medallist, appeared in his Colonel’s uniform and told the crowd of several hundreds the Russians had to go home. When Russians arrived to take over Prague Radio, crowds blocked their way. An ammunition lorry exploded, setting fire to buildings and Russian tanks. Several hundred people were injured and scores are believed to have died.
First Secretary Dubcek was stunned. “How could they do this to me? My entire life has been devoted to cooperation with the Soviet Union.”