Prague uprising: row overshadows anniversary
On 5 May 1945 the Prague uprising against the occupation of Czechoslovakia by Hitler's Germany began, and a few days later the Red Army moved into the city. A row has broken out on the 75th anniversary of the event after a statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev was replaced with a commemorative plaque for the Russian Liberation Army, which initially collaborated with Hitler but in the end rose up against the Nazis. This has triggered protests in Moscow and a heated debate in the Czech Republic.
Don't deny the liberation
The commemoration of the Prague uprising is an opportunity to remember all those who fought for freedom, Právo emphasises:
“The Soviet Union bore the brunt of the burden of the war against Hitler. To deny this is as tragicomical as the eternal denial of the fact that the Americans liberated Plzeň. Now it seems that Ostrava and Brno were liberated by Ukrainians, Belarusians or soldiers from Siberia - rather than by the Soviet army. But the truth is also that with their invasion (of Czechoslovakia) in 1968 the Soviets destroyed almost all their achievements in the eyes of our citizens. Yet without the Red Army in 1945 we would be dominated by the descendants of Hitler today.”
More at stake than Marshal Konev
Hospodářské noviny has no sympathy for the politicians who are siding with Russia in the conflict:
“Russia's defendants - among them President Zeman and the leader of the Communist Party Vojtěch Filip - describe themselves as patriots. ... But that's the last thing they are. What can we say are Putin's real achievements? The imprisonment and murder of political opponents? The absolute subjugation of the citizens to the authorities? Limited respect for the individual? The devotees of today's Russia are right about one thing. This is not just about Konev. ... This is about a fundamental issue: the choice between a liberal democracy on the one hand, which guarantees human rights and is guided by social considerations, and on the other hand inequality, severe malnutrition and slavery.”