The Russian Foreign Ministry on Friday summoned the Czech chargé d'affaires to issue a sharp protest over the vandalizing of a statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev in Prague on the anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
In a diplomatic note to the Czech Foreign Ministry the Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the act as an insult to those who had laid down their lives in the liberation of Czechoslovakia and demanded that the matter be investigated and the culprit punished. It further called on the Czech authorities to remove the red paint and prevent similar incidents of vandalism in the future.
The Czech Foreign Ministry stated that it regretted the incident but said any decisions regarding the statue were fully in the hands of the local administration of the Prague 6 district.
Marshal Konev is perceived as a controversial figure in the Czech Republic. After being present on several fronts in WWII, Konev was involved in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and was also present in Berlin for the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.