Prague Wants to Strip Soviet Commander Konev of Honorary Citizenship

Soviet military commander Ivan Konev may be stripped of his honorary citizenship in Prague city, the Czech News Agency reported.

This initiative was launched by the mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib. Next Monday, May 9, it will be considered by the city council.

Konev, who led the Red Army’s liberation of Prague, became an honorary citizen of the city in June 1945. A street in the Žižkov district is named after him and there have been calls to rename it in recent years.

“The act of conferring honorary citizenship should be considered in the context of the time and further historical development of Czechoslovakia. We have to remember that the troops under the command of Konev entered Prague after the agreement between Prague insurgents and the leadership of the German-fascist garrison leaving the city. Moreover, we cannot forget Konev’s decision to bomb Mlada Boleslav on May 9, 1945, the day after the end of the war, where 148 local residents, including children, were killed”, wrote Hřib in his initiative.

In April 2020, the authorities of Prague 6 removed the monument of Marshal Ivan Konev from a public space. The statue was sent to the not-yet-existent Museum of Memory of the 20th century.

The monument to Ivan Stepanovich Konev was unveiled on May 9, 1980, on the 35th anniversary of the liberation of Czechoslovakia.

It was located in the same district as the Embassy of the Russian Federation and not far from the Hotel International Prague, the largest Stalinist architecture building in Prague, built in 1952-1954 – and thus in a space with a large symbolic load.

Its creation was not the result of the “spontaneous reaction of the Czechoslovak people”, such as the monument to the liberation of Prague by the Red Army in Smichov – the later famous “pink tank”.

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