Premier: Despite Defeats It’s Worth Fighting for Freedom

Prime Minister Eduard Heger in front of Comenius University in Bratislava commemorating the 53rd anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion on August 21, 2021 (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 21 (TASR) – The commemoration Day of the Victims of the Occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968 teaches the society that despite defeats, it’s worth fighting for freedom, Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OLaNO) said on Saturday on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the Warsaw Pact invasion.

The premier pointed out that already in January 1968 the censorship was gradually removed, people could freely travel, as well as the position of the church was improved. “The expectations for the flourishing of freedom grew. And then on the night of August 20-21, 1968, an invasion of 27 divisions of the Warsaw Pact troops occurred, which meant 500,000 soldiers, 6,300 tanks, 200 artillery guns, 800 aircraft. Unfortunately, this invasion and subsequent occupation also brought deaths of our citizens,” he said.

According to him, thanks to the people who didn’t give up the idea of freedom and “didn’t let themselves be broken”, the society was able to wait to see freedom in 1989.

On the night of August 20-21, 1968 Warsaw Pact armies invaded the territory of Czechoslovakia. Five socialist countries took part in an operation codenamed ‘Danube’ – the Soviet Union, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic, the last of which didn’t actually participate in the invasion. The main purpose of the operation was to suppress efforts to reform socialism in Czechoslovakia under the so-called Prague Spring.