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Czech opposition, descendants of Soviet occupation victims meet

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Prague, Aug 21 (CTK) – The Czech (Without Communists) platform, opposition politicians and some descendants of the victims of the invasion of former Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact troops on August 21, 1968, met outside the National Museum Friday.

The invasion crushed the communist-led reform movement also known as Prague Spring. The occupiers remained in the country until early in 1991, following the fall of the communist regime in late 1989.

The victims have also been paid tribute by the public and politicians outside Czech Radio in Prague.

In Wenceslas Square, a commemorative concert will be held Friday, while a hunger strike in memory of the victims of the communist regime continues.

Lawmaker Miroslava Nemcova (opposition Civic Democrats, ODS) said at a briefing she would be glad if Czechs realised what freedom and life in it means.

This applies “particularly Friday, when we can see that Russia’s methods do not differ much from those used by the former Soviet Union,” she said.

She regretted that public Czech Television (CT) will not be able to broadcast the Russian documentary on the Warsaw Pact. The Russian Television did not allow the sale of the document which arose a stormy reaction because it distorts the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, providing no explanation.

Nemcova said the documentary would help Czechs comprehend what danger the contemporary Russia represents.

The briefing was also attended by Frantisek Laudat and Michal Kucera (both opposition TOP 09) and the daughter and granddaughter of Jaroslav Svec who died outside Czechoslovak Radio when protesting against the incursion of the occupying troops into Czechoslovakia 47 years ago.

The chain hunger strike has been organised by the anti-communist platform for several years. It has been joined by 1120 people, including Oscar winning film director Jiri Menzel, this year.

It will be joined on the days ahead by TOP 09 chairman Karel Schwarzenberg and Russian dissident Viktor Feinberg who protested against the occupation of Czechoslovakia together with some friends on Red Square in Moscow on August 25, 1968.

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