Opposition Slams Filip Over Blaming Ukraine For 1968 InvasionČTK
Prague, Aug 14 (CTK) – Czech opposition parties criticise Communist Party (KSCM) leader Vojtech Filip for his statement in the British daily The Guardian by which he indirectly blamed Ukrainians for the 1968 military invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact armies.
They accuse Filip of twisting the historical facts and liken his words to attributing responsibility for Nazism and World War II to Austria.
Czech PM Andrej Babis (ANO) said the occupation was one of the biggest tragedies regardless of the nationality of the politburo members or soldiers, he tweeted.
President Milos Zeman considers the occupation a crime, his spokesman Jiri Ovcacek said on Twitter.
However, Filip maintains his words were accurate.
“One hundred per cent [the history of 1968] is being falsified. Nobody will write that the whole idea is being based on the position against Russia,” he said. “But the politburo of the Soviet Union at that time had only one pure Russian, and he voted against [the invasion]. [The Soviet leader Leonid] Brezhnev was from Ukraine. The major force of the invading armies were Ukrainian,” Guardian cited Filip on August 12.
This morning in the Chamber of Deputies, Filip responded to journalists’ enquires reiterating his words as true.
“The board of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was composed in this way. And I am only reminding of the fact that historical documents reveal as true that Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev was a Ukrainian and voted for [the invasion]. The representative of the Russian Federation, Russia, voted against, Lithuania’s representative abstained from voting and others voted according to nationality, including those around Leonid Brezhnev, who were also Ukrainians,” Filip said.
“It is being asserted here that the only one who was to blame was the Russian Federation. But it is not the only successor of the Soviet Union of socialist republics. There were 15 of them and all 15 have their share,” Filip added.
“Communists do not change – not even with their fables, admiration of Moscow, playing down of crime and falsification of history…The anniversary of the invasion of 1968 is an opportunity to remind ourselves who has come close to power thanks to [ANO head] Andrej Babis and [CSSD chairman] Jan Hamacek,” ODS head Petr Fiala tweeted.
He alluded to Babis’s minority cabinet of ANO and the CSSD established in June and kept afloat by the Communists.
“Twisting the history has always been the domain of the totalitarians and of leaders of anti-democratic sects…,” TOP 09 head Jiri Pospisil said.
“According to comrade Filip, Russians are not to blame for the 1968 military invasion, because Brezhnev was a Ukrainian. In this logic, the Germans are not to be blamed for WWII, because [Nazi leader Adolf] Hitler was Austrian,” TOP 09 deputy chairwoman Marketa Pekarova-Adamova tweeted.
Christian Democrat (KDU-CSL) MP Marek Vyborny argued similarly.
“The same logic as that Slovaks are to be blamed for normalisation [the post-1968 hardline-communist era of], because [former president Gustav] Husak was a Slovak…,” he said.