45th Anniversary Of 1968 Soviet-Led Invasion Of Czechoslovakia
Published 20 August 2013
Soviet troops and most of their Warsaw Pact allies invaded Czechoslovakia on August 21, 1968, to halt political liberalization in the country called the Prague Spring.
About 500,000 troops invaded and occupied Czechoslovakia in an operation code-named "Danube." Some 500 Czechoslovaks were wounded and 108 killed in the invasion, which successfully ended political and economic reforms under the leadership of Alexander Dubcek and gave the Communist Party greater authority.
The Soviet-led invasion helped establish the Brezhnev Doctrine, which Moscow said allowed the U.S.S.R. to intervene in any country where a Communist government was under threat. The occupation of Czechoslovakia lasted until 1991. (14 PHOTOS)
(Photos from the Czech Press Agency archives)
Soviet tanks are surrounded by crowds of Czechs protesting at Wenceslas Square in Prague against the invasion on August 21, 1968.
A burning Soviet tank set alight by Czech protesters as crowds of people tried to block Soviet forces near the Czechoslovak Radio headquarters in Prague on August 21, 1968.
Invading Soviet tanks with white markings deploy near Communist Party headquarters in Prague.
Young Czechoslovak women look at Soviet tanks on their way to the state radio headquarters in Prague.
Soviet troops confronted by angry Czechoslovaks after Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968.
Soviet soldiers try to extinguish a burning tank set on fire by protesters near the Czechoslovak Radio headquarters in Prague.
Prague residents throwing stones at invading Soviet tanks entering Prague.
A Czechoslovak woman talks to Soviet soldiers on a tank as she emotionally protests against the invasion in Prague.
A photographer takes a photo of Soviet tanks during protests against the invasion at Wenceslas Square in Prague.
Burning wrecks of buses and trucks destroyed by Soviet tanks after protesters used them as a barricade to block Soviet troops near the Czechoslovak Radio headquarters in Prague.
A Soviet tank rams a city bus after protesters set up a barricade to block Soviet forces near the Czechoslovak radio headquarters in Prague.
Soviet tanks and armored vehicles guarding an area in downtown Prague on Republic Square.
The funeral of 20-year-old Milan Kadlec, who was killed in Prague during the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
Burned-out bus in Prague covered with anti-Soviet graffiti.