Prague Spring ’68

An analysis of the causes behind the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia.

This paper examines how the Soviet intervention of Czechoslovakia was a violation of rules shaping international relations. It looks at how the Russians had to invade, due to their geopolitical position within Europe and on account of a counterrevolutionary situation in Czechoslovakia. It argues that socialist countries cannot be indifferent to the erosion of one of the links in the world system of socialism and how alterations in one state immediately influences all. It also discusses how, in order to keep the balance of forces against NATO, the Soviets sustained that three USSR’s nuclear weapons sites in Czechoslovakia were crucial. However, Czechoslovakia refused Soviet troops on its soil and the political and social unrest of Prague Spring disorganized the rigorous security system that was required.
`Dubcek’s liberalization of Czechoslovakia’s socialist system alarmed Brezhnev and other Soviet leaders into reasoning that `revolutionary” elements in other Soviet-bloc nations would ensue the Prague Spring’s pattern and shift away from their own form of socialism. The Soviets were also concerned that elements in their own country would emanate and oppose the Communist Party should they let the Czechoslovakian undertaking proceed. The modest liberalization was not limited to Prague. Soviet cinema and literature began to inspire critical analysis of the system,” Underground publications cropped up from Moscow to Berlin (Kundera). The KGB perceived the Prague Spring to be a threat to the external and internal security of the Soviet Union. Deliberations in Czechoslovakia about the past violations of the StB intensified apprehension that comparable debates would inevitably take place in Moscow about the Soviet security organs (Skoug 48).