Soviet Army left Czechoslovakia 20 years ago

Autor: Oldřich Holeček

Hundreds of visitors at the central Bohemian town of Milovice remind the 20th anniversary of Soviet Army departure from former Czechoslovakia.

A day-long happening named "Adieu, Army!" offered a simulated departure of Soviet troops in a convoy of former tracked and wheeled Soviet military equipment and uniformed members of military history clubs and also an exposition of photos and exhibits from collections of the Military History Institute, Prague, recalling that time.

For Minister of Defence Alexandr Vondra, who accepted invitation to the event, the town of Milovice is a great symbol. „It was a core of the Soviet occupation force here. It could be some 150 to 200 thousand soldiers in and arround Milovice at the 1980s. Today, our professional military has some 24 thousand career soldiers. Just imagine, how huge mass it was, which contributed to destruction of our country for more than 20 years.“

The town of Milovice was was the central garrison of Soviet military presence on the Czech territory after 1968. Soviet soldiers significantly enlarged the local military area Milovice-Mlada, which was established in 1904 already, and they built an air force base and a brand new prefab-house town adjacent to training facilities. More than 75 thousand soldiers and their dependats lived there.

The event closely relates to dissolution of the Warsaw Pact (in Prague on July 1, 1991), the Soviet Union controlled military organisation of east European countries. At this occassion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Ministry of Defence and a Czech non-governmental organisation convene a conference to this historic issue.

Events and gatherings commemorating recent history of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic are held within the "Week of Freedom".

Posted: June 27, 2011