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Putin about Soviet tanks in the Prague Spring: “It was a mistake”

Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the Soviet Union’s decision to send tanks into Hungary and Czechoslovakia to quell mass protests during the Cold War was wrong and in vain.

Asked about the perception of Russia as a colonial power in connection with Moscow’s decision to introduce tanks into Budapest in 1956 and Prague in 1968, Putin said, “That was a mistake.” He added:

“It is not right to do anything in foreign policy that harms the interests of other peoples.”

Putin said the United States stepped on the same rake as the Soviet Union. He said Washington had “no friends, only interests”.

Soviet tanks and troops suppressed the Hungarian Uprising in 1956. At least 2,600 Hungarians and 600 Soviet troops were killed in the fighting. Czech historians report that about 137 Czechs and Slovaks were killed in the clash.  The Prague Spring of 1968 ended with the invasion of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic by Soviet Warsaw Pact troops.

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