While COVID-19 is shaking our planet, we must not forget that May 8 is gonna be VE Day or Victory in Europe Day celebrating the Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces.
The Soviet army liberated half of Europe from Nazi Germany, and during the liberation of Prague more than 50 thousand Soviet soldiers died. Perhaps today, when a new epidemic is killing the lives of thousands of people, we should recall those who saved our ancestors 75 years ago.
My friends from the Czech Defense Ministry told me that they had recently received a letter from the Russian Defense Ministry sent to Lubomír Metnar. In this letter, Sergey Shoigu expressed regret over the decision of Prague to dismantle the monument to Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev, who had led the operation to liberate Prague from the Nazis.
Prague greets Marshal Konev in May 1945.
The bronze statue of Marshal Ivan Konev was dismantled on April 3 after a local assembly in the Prague 6 district had voted in 2019 to remove it. Local officials say too much money was spent on the restoration of the monument from the actions of the vandals, and a new monument will be erected at the site to honor the Prague uprising resistance fighters who liberated the city from the Nazis at the end of World War II.
At the same time, Konev’s statue erected in 1980 will be transferred to a planned history museum. Rumor has it that the Russian Defense Minister asked the Czech leadership to hand over the Marshal Konev monument to Moscow.
If the Czech authorities do not want to allocate funds for the maintenance of the monument to the man who liberated the country from Nazi Germany, then they really should pass the monument to Russia, where it will be honored properly.