Czech PM heckled at event marking anniversary of Soviet-led invasion

Billionaire prime minister Andrej Babis has faced allegations he collaborated with secret police during the Communist era.


TheCzech Republic’s prime minister Andrej Babis, centre, waits to deliver a speech (Petr David Josek/AP)
TheCzech Republic’s prime minister Andrej Babis, centre, waits to deliver a speech (Petr David Josek/AP)

A ceremony to honour the victims of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia has turned into a protest against Czech prime minister Andrej Babis.

Hundreds booed as Mr Babis led Tuesday’s ceremony in front of the Czech public radio building in central Prague.

It was the site of a fierce street battle between unarmed civilians and the invading troops in the first hours of occupation where 17 people died.

ipanews_94d36a44-0d7f-47fd-a5d3-ab769cb10f40_embedded238088945
Image on top: Youngsters in 1968 holding Czechoslovakian flags stand on top of an overturned vehicle as other Prague residents surround Soviet tanks in Prague (Libor Hajsky/CTK/AP) Bottom image shows a modern-day scene (Petr David Josek/AP)

Mr Babis, a populist billionaire, is a controversial figure due to a power-sharing deal with the maverick Communist Party and fraud charges he is facing.

His position is also complicated by allegations he collaborated with the former communist-era secret police.

Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia on August 20 1968 to crush liberal reforms enacted in the brief era known as the Prague Spring.

document.addEventListener(‘DOMContentLoaded’, function() {
if (!document.querySelectorAll(‘.widget.video.vms’).length) {
var s = document.createElement(‘script’);
s.type = ‘text/javascript’;
s.async = true;
s.src = ‘https://independent.mainroll.com/a/independent_floating_outstream.js?dfp_adunit_l1=InArticleVideo&dfp_adunit_l2=World_News&dfp_adunit_l3=Home&dart_articleId=37104083&dart_art_ID=37104083&dart_kw=%5B%22cave%22%2C%22Thai%22%2C%22cave%22%2C%22boys%22%2C%22lost%22%2C%22weight%22%2C%22but%22%2C%22took%22%2C%22care%22%2C%22of%22%2C%22themselves%22%5D&section=worldnews’;
document.getElementById(‘bb-outstream-37199872’).parentElement.appendChild(s);
}
});

#bb-iawr-inarticle- { clear: both; margin: 0 0 15px; }

Press Association

!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

(function() {
var zergnet = document.createElement(‘script’);
zergnet.type = ‘text/javascript’; zergnet.async = true;
zergnet.src = (document.location.protocol == “https:” ? “https:” : “http:”) + ‘//www.zergnet.com/zerg.js?id=46430’;
var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0];
znscr.parentNode.insertBefore(zergnet, znscr);
})();