Czech Man Chains Himself to Soviet Marshal’s Monument

A Czech citizen chained himself to the monument of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague in protest against the municipal authorities’ decision to move it to a different location.

“The controversy surrounding the monument to Konev, caused by the Prague District 6 municipal authorities’ decision, affects me personally,” the civil activist told reporters. “My grandfather fought in World War II, that’s why this matter is definitely of my concern.”

The man, who arrived to the capital from the north of the country, said his views were “neither pro-Russian nor pro-American.”

The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, whose support in parliament is important for the country’s government, urged the Cabinet on Monday to hinder plans to relocate the monument.

The municipal council of the Prague-6 municipal district on Thursday voted to relocate the monument to Konev and to create a Prague Liberation Memorial instead. The municipality is still to select a site where the monument to Marshal Konev will be moved.

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday expressed indignation over the decision to relocate the monument and warned that such a step would not remain without retaliation.

“The decision made at the municipal level is capable of becoming a major irritant in bilateral relations and overshadow their climate and it will certainly not remain without retaliation. We expect that the initiators of the unprecedented step will change their mind and realize all the consequences of this outrage,” the ministry said.

The monument was placed in Prague in 1980 on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the city’s liberation by the Red Army’s forces under Marshal Konev’s command. The monument is a property of the municipal authorities.

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