Disinfo: Czech Defence Ministry refused to return Konev statue to Moscow, this is outrageous and cynical

Summary

The Czech Defence Ministry refused the request of Sergey Shoigu to return the Marshal Konev monument to Moscow. Czechia’s actions are outrageous and cynical. The safety of this monument is on the Czech Republic. Moreover, until recently, as Russia knew about it, and the Czech side confirmed, the monument was in the register of the Czech Ministry of Defence. And suddenly, when it was demolished, they tell us (to Russia) shamefully: “You know, this is the property of this headman.” This is unacceptable.

Disproof

Speculative disinformation claim about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague, seeking to obfuscate the statue's legal status and the grounds for its removal and planned transfer to a museum. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about "Russophobia" and the supposedly anti-Russian intentions of the West.

In response to Shoigu's request, the Czech Defense Minister said that the monument is municipal property, and therefore, the Defence Ministry cannot make a decision about returning it to Russia. However, the Czech Republic is ready to negotiate the transfer of the statue to Russia, says Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček. "The Foreign Ministry is prepared to conduct the talks and since Russia did not address the Foreign Ministry, but the Defence Ministry, it is in contact with Defence Minister Lubomir Metnar".

In the dispute over the statue, Russia has argued that under the Czech-Russian mutual agreement of 1993, Czechia is obliged to leave the statue in place on Prague's Interbrigade Square. However, this is an intentionally false and misleading interpretation of the terms of the agreement (full text available here). The monument is municipal property, belonging to city district Prague 6, and the 1993 agreement therefore does not apply to this case. The statue of Konev, erected in 1980, is not a military grave or memorial and therefore it was not protected by international treaties.

The monument to Marshall Konev was erected in 1980 during the "normalisation" period in communist Czechoslovakia. The leadership of Prague's Municipal District 6, which retains legal ownership of the statue, has voted to move the monument to a museum and replace it with a memorial commemorating Soviet sacrifices in the fight against Hitler in general, and, in particular, the liberation of Prague.

For more cases, see here.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 198
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/05/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Czech Republic, Russia
  • Keywords: Konev, World War 2, Anti-Russian, Monuments, WWII, Russophobia
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Disproof

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