Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Invasion of Czechoslovakia

Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia 1968


  • Dubcek’s Prague Spring Reforms in 1968 were changing communism into a less radical political system. 
  • He wanted to give greater political freedom including freedom of speech and abolition of censorship
  • He also wanted to reduce the power of the secret police and allow trade with the West. 
  • He wanted to give the Czechoslovakian people a greater say in running their country.
  • This led to 'socialism with a human face'

What Happened

  • Since Czechoslovakia was in Eastern EuropeUSSR didn't want them to leave the Warsaw Pact, as then their soviet sphere of influence would diminish.
  • Their reforms could spark radical reforms in other satellite states.
  • So Soviet Union were under pressure from other Warsaw Pact leaders to stop the reforms in Czechoslovakia, as it would destabilise the spread of communism.
  • This resulted in an invasion - 100,000 troops from Warsaw Pact members entered and brutally put down the opposition
  • There were violent scenes as students tried to resist, but not armed
  • Few were killed.


  • Dubcek and other leaders arrested and Dubcek was replaced by a more a hard line communist called Gustav Husak.
  • This also gave rise to the Brezhnev Doctrine stating that USSR would intervene if communism was at risk. It was the policy of maintaining communism.
  • Rivalry between USSR and China increased because China didn’t approve of the way USSR attacked a fellow communist nation.
  • This led to the Sino-Soviet split