On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Russian Ministry of Defence published declassified documents related to the so-called Prague Operation.
The fifty pages of documents released are in Russian and relate to events from May 6 to May 11, during which time part of the Red Army, led by Marshal Ivan Konev, launched an operation aimed at liberating the Czechoslovak capital after receiving reports that Praguers "need help in resisting fascist troops." Russian records also mention that during the offensive, the local population enthusiastically welcomed the advancing Red Army.
The documents state that in the days immediately after the end of the war, the Red Army also supplied Praguers with food; the city’s inhabitants were given tons of flour, potatoes and other foodstuffs.
Russia released the documents amidst a diplomatic row over the removal of Marshal Konev’s statue from Prague 6.
In a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin on the anniversary of the end of the war, President Miloš Zeman praised the heroism of the Red Army and stated that without it, Czechoslovakia would not have become an independent and confident nation.
Czech gratitude to the soldiers who liberated the country have not changed, he wrote. At the same time, he rejected attempts to rewrite history.