(Wilson Center) Fifty years ago tomorrow, an act of great moral courage occurred against the backdrop of the Cold War. On August 25, 1968, four days after hundreds of thousands of Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops poured into Czechoslovakia to crush the reforms of the Prague Spring, eight Soviet citizens went into Moscow’s Red Square and held up banners denouncing the invasion and apologizing to the people of Czechoslovakia.
In a particularly memorable sight, two of the demonstrators, Pavel Litvinov and Vadim Delaunay, held up a banner proclaiming “For your freedom and ours!” — linking the cause of freedom in Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union.
Within a few minutes, several thuggish enforcers from the KGB state security organs rushed over, tore down the banners and a small Czechoslovak flag, and beat the demonstrators. The eight of them knew in advance that the KGB would brutally disperse their protest and arrest them, but they decided they would risk their own safety to underscore their shame at their country’s behavior. […]
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