Disinfo: The aim of the Konev Monument removal is to humiliate Russia and damage its prestige

Summary

Due to the several important events of the past six months, the barbaric act of the authorities of the municipality of Prague 6 somehow faded. With the demolition of the Konev monument, Kolář and Co. pursued the goal of provoking the Russians into violent retaliatory actions.

The aim of the provocative action of the Prague authorities is to humiliate Russia and damage its prestige and authority. This event is from the same series as the decision of the European Parliament to equate the USSR and Hitler’s Germany, or as the statement by Polish President Andrzej Duda about Stalin and Hitler as equally important culprits in the outbreak of World War II. These are all links of the same chain.

Disproof

This is a recurring disinformation narrative about the statue of Marshall Konev in Prague. It is also consistent with common pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about Russophobia and the supposedly hostile anti-Russian intentions of the West, based on which Russia can cast itself as the victim.

The democratically elected municipal council of Prague 6 voted for the removal of the statue. Basing on the protocol of the Politbureau's assembly, Czech historians established that on 8-14 May 1968, Konev chaired the Soviet military delegation sent to Prague to prepare the military invasion of Czechoslovakia. Konev was also chief of the Soviet troops in East Germany during the Berlin wall crisis in 1961. In other words, the Red Army brought not only liberation but also terror to Czechia, as the mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář reminded.

Kolář said that he respects the role of Konev-led forces in liberating Prague, and the sacrifice of Soviet armies liberating Europe from Nazism. "We will strive for an art competition for a memorial to the liberators of Prague at the end of World War Two instead of the marshal Konev statue," he said before the vote. "At the same time, we will secure a dignified - and let me stress that, dignified - placement of this art piece (Konev) in a memorial institution. I think this is a consensual solution we have called for a number of years."

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 the liberation of Prague in particular. More information available here.

Read similar cases claiming that Removal of Soviet Marshal Konev’s statue in Prague is immoral and illegal, that Konev’s monument in Prague was removed with the aim to insult Russia, or that The purpose of removing the monument to Marshall Konev is to induce hatred towards Russia.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 216
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 24/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Czech Republic, Russia
  • Keywords: Konev, European Parliament, Anti-Russian, Russophobia

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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