Red Army soldiers and Czech rebels ride armored self-propelled guns SU-76M along the Vltava embankment in Prague
Genuine distortion information campaign stories World War II in Europe is gaining momentum. In Prague, where they recently decided to remove the monument to Marshal Konev, they offered to erect a monument to the traitor general Vlasov and his associates in the ROA, who fought on the side of the Third Reich.
In general, everything is logical. The Western world, Europe and the capitalist system (which has become global), the neoliberal ideology in crisis. The Western world emerges from the crisis through wars. And before that, nationalist, authoritarian and fascist regimes come to power. It is not surprising that before this there is a campaign to distort the true history, the blackening of the Red Army, which liberated Europe from Nazism and fascism. Rehabilitation of the Nazis and their hangers-on, traitors, collaborators. Creating the image of the enemy - Russian and Communists. Stalin was equated to Hitler, the USSR to the Third Reich. Moreover, they have already agreed to the point that Hitler defended Europe from the invasion of communism. Further Europe, which is being covered by a new wave of global crisis, is waiting for a new flourishing of Nazism and fascism, the disintegration of the old nation-states into nationalist regimes (in particular, Catalonia is being separated in Spain, the Basque Country and Galicia are next in line). And all this in the face of increasing migration pressure from the global South, riots of migrants and Muslims in southern Europe. Perhaps we will see the “Fourth Reich” based on Germany and France.
What is going on in Prague
Earlier in the Czech Republic and Prague, several actions were taken against the Soviet soldiers-liberators. In particular, the monument to the commander of the 1 Ukrainian Front, whose troops took part in the Prague operation, Marshal Ivan Konev, was desecrated. This monument was inaugurated in the largest district of the Czechoslovak capital Prague 6 in 1980 as a historical reminder of the merits of the Soviet commander of the Red Army. After the collapse of the USSR and the social bloc, Soviet monuments were repeatedly defeated by hooligans. So Konev was accused of participating in the suppression of the Hungarian uprising in the 1956 year and preparing the suppression of the "Prague Spring" in the 1968 year.
In September 2019, local authorities decided (War with history. In Prague, intend to move a monument to Marshal Konev) move the monument to the museum, and in its place create a monument to the "liberators of Prague." Like, by the time the Red Army arrived in Prague, Czech rebels and fighters of the Russian Liberation Army had already liberated it, three days ahead of the Soviet troops and the Germans had almost surrendered.
Monument to the Vlasovites proposes to put the headman of the Prague region Rzhepory Pavel Novotny. He became famous as a member of the Civil Democratic Party, journalist and politician, known for his populism and anti-communism. The idea to glorify Russian collaborators and “annoy the Communists” was presented to the elder by his party colleague, founder of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, historian Pavel Zhachek. He noted that Vlasov and his closest associate, the commander of the 1 division of the ROA, Sergei Bunyachenko stayed in Rzhepory (at that time it was a separate city, which later became part of Prague), and on the night of 6 on 7 on May 1945 of the year they discussed the plan there operations to liberate Prague from the Nazis. As a result, the Vlasovites were three days ahead of the Soviet army in Prague and helped the Czech rebels, who launched the uprising of May 5 on May 1945. They want to erect a monument to the Vlasov people already in 2020.
Who made Vlasov the "liberator of Prague"
The myth that Prague in May 1945 was not liberated by the Red Army, but by the Russian Liberation Army, was not invented by the Czechs themselves. Its founder can be considered the well-known anti-Soviet, a favorite of the West and the Russian "democracy" Alexander Solzhenitsyn. He worked hard on the field of creating anti-Soviet myths. Among his fabrications is the concept of “saving Prague” by Russian collaborators.
So, in the work “The Gulag Archipelago” it is written:
“By the end of April, Vlasov gathered his two and a half divisions near Prague. Then it turned out that General Steiner of Esses was preparing to destroy the Czech capital, in general, not giving it away. And Vlasov ordered his divisions to go over to the side of the rebelled Czechs. And all the insult, bitterness, anger that the bonded Russian breasts have accumulated on the Germans for these cruel and stupid three years, have now been released in an attack on the Germans: from an unexpected direction they were kicked out of Prague. (Did all Czechs figure it out later, [[which]] did the Russians save the city for them? Our history is distorted, and they say that Soviet troops saved Prague, although they could not have time) ”.
A professional creator of black myths about the USSR considered Vlasov and his comrades-in-arms to be sincere Russian patriots who sought to free Russia from the "bloody" Stalinist, communist regime. These words of Solzhenitsyn about the Vlasovites did not fall into the version of the Archipelago edited for Russian schools.
Prague Uprising and ROA
By early May 1945, Soviet and American troops approaching the borders of the protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia inspired the Czechs to revolt. Previously, there were no major anti-German demonstrations in the protectorate, the Czechs worked quietly, and strengthened the power of the Third Reich. On May 4 in Prague, the Czech government of the protectorate, led by President Emil Gaha, concluded negotiations with the Czech National Council on the transfer of power that began on April 29. The Council, led by Ph.D. Albert Prazhak, was to hold general elections in the post-war government. The Czech government issued a decree abolishing the official German language. On the night of May 1945 in Prague, it became known that the Russians had taken Berlin. In the morning, Prime Minister Richard Binert broadcast a statement on the elimination of the protectorate and the start of a general uprising on the radio. He called on Czech troops and police to join the rebels, and the German troops capitulate.
The uprising was led by General Karel Kutlvashr. The rebels (up to 30 thousand people), taking advantage of the weakness of the German garrison, captured a number of important objects. However, it was impossible to count on victory, only in the vicinity of Prague there were up to 40 thousand Germans. Therefore, the leaders of the rebels began negotiations with the SS Obergruppenführer Karl Frank and the Prague commandant General Rudolf Tussynt, without insisting on the immediate surrender of the Nazis. The rebels wanted to drag out the time for the approach of the Americans, not knowing the agreement of the Allies on the anti-Hitler coalition (Soviet troops were supposed to free Prague).
The city was an important communications hub for the retreating forces of the German Army Group Center. The German command planned to defend themselves in Czechoslovakia as long as possible, turn Prague into a "second Berlin" and try to exploit the differences between the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition. Therefore, the Nazis introduced additional forces into the city to suppress the rebellion. The rebellion was doomed. The Czech National Council appealed for help to the 1 Division (18 thousand soldiers) located near Prague, led by Major General Bunyachenko. The division was also the commander of the ROA, Lieutenant General Vlasov.
The Russian liberation army at that time, in fact, was at the formation stage. Her leadership was well aware that the Third Reich was defeated and planned to surrender to the Western Allies, in order to continue the struggle against communism, but with a different supreme command. The 1-I division arbitrarily left behind, and Vlasov tried on the one hand to negotiate with the Germans (they themselves were in no hurry to engage in battle with desperate collaborators), on the other, he wanted to go as far west as possible to surrender to the Americans. ROA commander refused the Czechs. He did not see the point in this adventure. General Bunyachenko, by contrast, ordered his soldiers to support the uprising. He hoped that helping the Czechs would strengthen his negotiating position. Vlasov did not interfere, and did not take any part in the events in Prague.
On May 6 1945 there were up to 2 thousand barricades on the streets of Prague. The rebels, having mostly only small arms, suffered heavy losses. The Nazis broke into the city center, captured the town hall and bridges across the Vltava. The Vlasov division had a relatively good fighting efficiency, in addition, the Russian soldiers were eager to smash the Germans. Bunyachenko’s division occupied the airfield in Ruzin, where the Luftwaffe bombers were located, ready to bomb the city, as well as the Smichov district of Prague, taking control of two bridges across the Vltava. On the same day, the Soviet troops launched the offensive of the 1-th Ukrainian Front under the command of Konev launched an offensive from Saxony to Prague.
On 7 in May, ROA fighters broke into the center of Prague and split up the German group on the left bank of the Vltava, and also took Mount Petršin and the Kulišovice area. Vlasovites captured thousands of Germans before 10. However, the Vlasovites could not liberate the entire city with their limited forces. As the new units of the retreating German army group approached the city, the 1-I division was doomed to defeat. On the same day, it became clear to the Czechs that the Americans would not come to Prague. For political reasons, fearing a negative reaction of the Allies to an alliance with collaborators, the Czech National Council broke the alliance with the Vlasovites. On the night of 7 on 8 in May, all units of the 1 Division left their positions in Prague and went west. Moreover, they fled with the Germans, with whom they fought for two days.
Soviet tank T-34 is fighting in Prague
Prague liberated by the Red Army
On May 8, upon learning of the Reich surrender, signed in Reims, the commander of the German Army Group Center, Field Marshal Ferdinand Schörner ordered the troops to leave Prague and move to the American zone. The Nazis entered into negotiations with the Czechs, and the rebels did not interfere with the withdrawal of the Wehrmacht to the west. German troops remained in Prague, who did not manage to leave to the west and some parts of the SS who refused to surrender and continued to resist. In the morning of 9 on May 1945, units of the Red Army entered the city and liberated Prague, suppressing the last centers of resistance of German troops. In the vicinity of the Czech capital, the Nazis finished off and disarmed a few more days.
Thus, it is obvious that Prague was liberated by Soviet troops. By 9 on May 1945, there were still German troops in the city, they were resisting. The Prague uprising, with or without Vlasov’s support, was doomed to defeat. The situation could be changed only by the exit to the city of American or Soviet troops. The Germans had an overwhelming advantage over Czech rebels and Vlasovites, and they would easily have turned the city into smoking ruins if the resistance continued and they were not allowed to go west. The commander of the ROA, General Vlasov, did not take any part in the events in Prague, and was opposed to helping Czech rebels. That is, a monument to him as the “liberator of Prague” is obvious stupidity. The 1th division of Bunyachenko did indeed take part in the battles in Prague for two days, but in principle could not achieve victory over the Nazis. Having not received guarantees from the Czech leadership, the Vlasovites left the city in which the fighting continued. The Germans could finish off the Czech rebels, but did not have time to do this, because they were in a hurry to go west to surrender to the Americans, and were afraid of the advancing Red Army. The city was liberated from the Nazis by Soviet troops.
The results of the Prague strategic offensive operation speak for themselves: during the swift offensive of the 1st, 4th and 2nd Ukrainian fronts, a powerful group of enemy troops was destroyed, which continued to resist after the fall of Berlin. 40 thousand were killed and wounded, 860 thousand Nazi soldiers and officers, including 60 generals, were captured. 9500 guns and mortars were captured as trophies, 1800 tanks and assault guns, about 1100 aircraft. Freed from the German occupation of Czechoslovakia and its capital, Prague.
Obviously, the story of the “Vlasov-liberators” is part of a campaign to denigrate the exploits of Soviet soldiers, the Red Army and the USSR in liberating Europe from Nazism. The rehabilitation of collaborators takes place, then the turn comes of Nazism and fascism. This operation has already been carried out in the Baltic states, in Ukraine. The history of the Second World War and the Great Patriotic War is rewritten in the interests of the West, those forces that were the organizers of the world war.
Residents of Prague welcome Marshal I.S. Konev, commander of the 1 m Ukrainian Front, whose troops liberated Prague from German troops 9-12 on May 1945. Photo source: http://waralbum.ru