Dubcek’s effort to establish “communism with a human face” was celebrated across the country, and the brief period of freedom became known as the Prague Spring . But on August 20, 1968 , the Soviet Union answered Dubcek’s reforms with invasion of Czechoslovakia by 600,000 Warsaw Pact troops.
The invasion successfully stopped Alexander Dubček’s Prague Spring liberalisation reforms and strengthened the authority of the authoritarian wing within the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ). The foreign policy of the Soviet Union during this era was known as the Brezhnev Doctrine.
How did Czechoslovakia resist Soviet Rule ? Try to make political reforms, and soften communism. The people support this, but once they were given a little freedom, they demanded more. So, the Soviets take control and send troops in to Prague Springs.
The soldiers were part of a 250,000-strong invasion force from five Warsaw Pact countries which invaded Czechoslovakia from the north, east and south. Fifty years ago they were sent by Moscow to crush the so-called Prague Spring – the liberalising reforms of Czechoslovak communist leader Alexander Dubcek .
On August 20, 1968 , the Soviet Union led Warsaw Pact troops in an invasion of Czechoslovakia to crack down on reformist trends in Prague. Although the Soviet Union’s action successfully halted the pace of reform in Czechoslovakia , it had unintended consequences for the unity of the communist bloc.
The Prague Spring ended with a Soviet invasion, the removal of Alexander Dubček as party leader and an end to reform within Czechoslovakia. The first signs that all was not well in Czechoslovakia occurred in May 1966 when there were complaints that the Soviet Union was exploiting the people.
The Soviet crackdown Worried that Czechoslovakia was slipping from his grasp, the Soviet leader, Brezhnev, declared that the USSR would not allow the countries of Eastern Europe to reject communism ‘even if it meant a third World War’.
From the Communist coup d’état in February 1948 to the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Czechoslovakia was ruled by the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (Czech: Komunistická strana Československa, KSČ).
Adolf Hitler justified the invasion by the purported suffering of the ethnic Germans living in these regions. The seizure of Sudetenland by Nazi Germany was detrimental to the future defense of Czechslovakia as the extensive Czechoslovak border fortifications were also located in the same area.