The Czech senate officially approved the proposal to designate June 25 as the official “Day of departure of occupying forces” (Den odchodu okupačních vojsk) on Wednesday.
The proposal was made 30 years after the then president of Czechoslovakia, Václav Havel, issued the “Order for the departure of Soviet armed forces from the territory of Czechoslovakia” (Rozkaz k odchodu sovětských vojsk z území ČSFR).
However, the day will also serve to commemorate the withdrawals of other occupying armies in the preceding history of the Czech lands.
Only the President’s signature was required for the bill to enter into force.
The name of the new commemorative date does not specify the affiliation of the occupation troops, so it symbolizes the end of all the occupations that the Czech people have experienced.
However, the reference to the USSR is quite obvious: the initiative arose last year during the 30th anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia. Moreover, on June 25, 1991, was signed in Prague the protocol for the completion of this procedure.
The plane with the last Soviet soldier left Czechoslovakia on June 27. Altogether, 7,300 Soviet soldiers and 39,000 members of their families, 1,220 tanks, 2,500 infantry fighting vehicles and armoured personnel carriers, 105 aircraft, 175 helicopters and 95,000 tons of ammunition returned home.
The Soviet troops were stationed in Czechoslovakia almost 23 years after the invasion of the Warsaw Pact (21 August 1968).
At the same time, the Czech Senate approved the designation of another memorable date – the Day of National Resistance (Den národního vzdoru), to be celebrated on May 27 and will recall Operation Anthropoid, which aimed to eliminate Reinhard Heydrich.
The attack took place in Prague on 27 May 1942 and was carried out by two members of the Czechoslovak Resistance – Jozef Gabczyk and Jan Kubis.