Soviets claim Czechs requested occupation

MOSCOW, Aug. 21, 1968 (UPI) - Soviet officials, speaking through the news agency Tass, today explained why Russia and other Warsaw Pact powers had occupied Czechoslovakia. Tass said Communist Party and government leaders in Prague had asked for "urgent assistance" to meet "the threat emanating from the counter-revolutionary forces which have entered into a collusion with foreign forces hostile to socialism."

The Taas statement was echoed by the other invading powers.


Tass said developments in Czechoslovakia threatened the security of the entire East Bloc alliance. The Kremlin said it acted in "collective self defense."

"This decision is also in line with vital interests of our countries in safeguarding European peace against forces of militarism, aggression and revanche (revenge-seeking) which have more than once plunged the people of Europe into wars," Tass' statement said.

The Tass statement promised its forces "will be immediately withdrawn ... as soon as the threat to the security of the Socialist community countries is eliminated."

The pact powers did not say how many troops, planes and tanks it sent over the Czechoslovak borders. One figure however tells the story -- the Soviet Army has 140 divisions under arms, the Czechs have 14.


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