30 Years Without Occupants: Prague to Celebrate Departure of Soviet Troops with a Concert

concert prague soviet departure

On August 18, the rock band Pražský výběr are set to perform a concert with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra to mark the 30th anniversary of the departure of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia.

The concert will take place at Křižíkova Fontána – Výstaviště Holešovice.

A show by the group back in 1991 symbolically confirmed the soldiers exit. Their pullout was overseen by Pražský výběr singer Michael Kocáb, who was then in politics.

On February 26, 1990, Václav Havel was in Moscow meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev, and the pact on the total withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia was signed.

“In my mind, the Soviet occupation of 1968 is the deepest wound,” said Havel on that day. “But it is a thing of the past, I believe, especially this evening when the treaty on troop withdrawal was signed.

“Gorbachev and I agreed the best way to deal with the dark pages of our past is to look forward.”

That very day, the first soldiers began pulling out, as a brass band struck up the “Internationale”, while outside the garrison gates locals bid them a less-than-fond farewell.

According to historical records, the first railroad flatcars were loaded with Soviet soldiers and their families, and dozens of T-62 tanks, BMP armoured personnel carriers and lorries, departed from the Moravian town of Frenštát pod Radhoštěm at about 2:40 in the afternoon.

Here you can find more information about the concert.

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