This article is a direct continuation of the previous publication. "Prague Spring" or the military-strategic operation "Danube"? To the new historical assessment of the Czechoslovak events of 1968 and their participants, which caused numerous, in the absolute majority, positive reviews and was already called the “manifesto” of the Danube veterans.  Despite the benevolent reception, in private we often had to face the same doubts whether we would dramatize the almost forgotten Czechoslovak events today, exaggerating the threat of a “big war” in Europe in the late 60s. And, ultimately, is the call for a review of the status of participants in this military-strategic operation legitimate. A similar reaction has long been familiar. It is openly visible in responses to the numerous appeals of the Rostov public organization “Danube-68” (and other fraternal veteran organizations) to various authorities with an appeal to finally resolve the issue of the status of operation veterans. Striving for thoroughness, officials in one form or another reproduce the same dogma of liberal historiography: no military operations were conducted, at most, there were separate clashes. And, further, the traditional: the introduction of troops has long been recognized as erroneous, and, in general, it is not worth tedding these pages of such a conflicting past. It is this circumstance that compels us to return again to the historical justification of the relevance and legitimacy of our statement of the problem of the status of veterans of Czechoslovak events, not only arguing, but also conceptualizing the conclusions made earlier, giving the reader the opportunity to judge for himself how great the political stakes were in Czechoslovakia and how justified the decision was. about the entry of troops.
In brief, we recall that in a previous publication, we emphasized that reliance on historical memory not only makes it possible to compensate for the weakness of the source base (much of the basic documents are still classified), but also to draw a number of fundamental conclusions that are in many respects at variance with the still existing dogmas and stereotypes linking the main content of the Czechoslovak events with Operation Danube as a logical response to a frank challenge to the post-war structure of the world. Following the well-known explorer of the operation, V.Suncev, we focused on the fact that the operation prevented the upcoming invasion of NATO troops.  Agreeing with the authors who perceive the Prague Spring as the first attempt of the “color revolution” organized from the outside, attention to the fact that although at the start of Operation Danube the ATS troops managed to block the Czechoslovak army, the fighting continued in the format of the so-called “new generation war” with a characteristic desire to achieve military goals non-military bubbled means, with increasing influence on the course and outcome of military operations of their non-combat component (which does not make war more humane). 
Of course, such an understanding of the Czechoslovak events differs significantly from the traditions of liberal historiography, stemming from the so-called "ideological" concept of the Cold War as a whole and 1968 as one of its peaks.  There is a new way to answer a whole series of fundamental questions related to determining the true nature of the Prague Spring, with the emergence of the idea of “socialism with a human face”, with the reasons for the introduction of troops and the nature of the unfolding events. These questions were asked many times and over the past period they moved from the category of “rather political” to the category of “rather historical”, but did not cease to cause heated debate, determined by the personal civil choice of the authors.  At the same time, the reality that is being experienced today makes it possible to solve them from the point of view of the political experience accumulated so far, and thus makes it possible to get substantially closer to the final answers. We proceed from the obvious fact that the military-strategic operation "Danube", in essence, was only a kind of counterattack, caused by the desire to stop the pressure of the "Prague Spring", reliably cover the border and fix the limits, which could not be crossed by opponents in the cold war . As a result of its implementation, it was possible not only to prevent a major war in Europe and a revision of the postwar world order, but also to minimize the consequences of the implementation of the American project of the transatlantic partnership, which assumed the movement of the Old World in the wake of the New and limited European political subjectivity. Today it is obvious that it is necessary to clarify the nature of the opposition that unfolded then. Despite the fact that relations between the two superpowers, the USSR and the USA, which determined the geopolitical situation in the world, became its main axis, it would not be right to reduce all the events of the Cold War to a straightforward confrontation between the two ideologies. More noteworthy is the understanding of the Cold War as a general global form, within which specific events were the result of conflicts of 2 types:
- firstly, the conflict associated with the confrontation of the global, capitalist and communist systems, the USA and the USSR, the West and the East;
- secondly, the conflict associated with the struggle for hegemony on the European continent and in the capitalist system.
This second conflict was formed long before the confrontation of the two systems and was perfectly comprehended by its participants, although they externally acted within the framework of the ideological declarations adopted at that time, but, in essence, far from political primitivism and, in practical politics, go beyond capitalist and communist ideological the limits. It appears that these circumstances also determined the political determination of the Soviet leadership, for whom the geopolitical necessity of bringing troops into Czechoslovakia was of paramount importance, which determined the dominance of the military-political component in the Czechoslovak events of the 1968 year.
Indeed, without recognition of the military strategic operation “Danube” as a central (and not a derivative of the Prague Spring) event, we will not be able to answer the main question - why was it to send troops, if it was only in Brezhnev’s protégé, the “ideological heretic” Alexandra Dubceke (whose independence from the political will of the Kremlin should not be exaggerated). After all, there were a lot of other ways to change the Czechoslovak leadership (which started transformations very similar to Kosygin’s famous reform), right down to that fatal accident that the Duke of Richelieu referred to in the famous novel, arguing about one of those events that change the face of the state. And why was Aleksandr Dubcek removed from power only in April of 69 (and the head of government, Blueberry, in January of 70)? Why did you need to enter into a small Czechoslovakia to half a million soldiers and about five thousand units of armored vehicles? Is it only because, according to modern "clever men", "in the Kremlin they were afraid that" ideological contagion "would spread to the Soviet Union." 
In answering this question, it is necessary to take into account the dual nature of Czechoslovak events. On the one hand, these events are a typical result of a bloc confrontation, on the other hand, the beginning of a new era associated with the desire to implement new global geopolitical projects in Europe, which in their main contours have survived to the present and continue their confrontation. The highest peak of the outward manifestation of geopolitical shifts, on the surface of waves of anarchist protests turning against all authorities and traditional commandments, was the so-called "global revolution of the 1968 of the year." However, while the revolutionary protests were a manifestation of spontaneous dissatisfaction with past values, the result of the freedom-loving aspirations of young people, their energy was skillfully accumulated and used to implement a specific version of the Transatlantic Partnership, which provided for the unconditional dominance of the United States. The desire to oppose the American project attracted the attention of far-sighted European politicians, clearly aware of the reality of the threat, to the ideas of "Greater Europe." As a concrete political option, these ideas were tried to be realized by the desperately decisive de Gaulle, who, in 1959, made the famous speech on “Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals” and subsequently turned this slogan into a kind of creed of French politics. Of course, taking into account the existence of the USSR, what was least meant was a formalized political union, it was only supposed to steadily build up economic, political and cultural ties between continental countries in response to the claims of the Anglo-Saxon world for world domination. Despite the fact that initially this project was negatively received by the Soviet leadership, in many respects, as a result of the short-sightedness of N.S. Khrushchev, he could count on certain sympathies in the Soviet Union, which was interested in a stable and economically strong Europe.  In addition, in his political practice, he merged with the pragmatic aspirations of the Soviet leadership to establish gas exports to Europe in the context of its economic growth and conquest niche market. This desire was predetermined by the colossal changes of the late 60-beginning of the 70's associated with the end of an era in world energy history - the “era of cheap oil” and the transition of the oil and gas theme from the state-corporate level to the level of world politics.
The formation of large-scale energy exports is a fundamentally new feature of the entire Soviet foreign policy of the second half of the 60s. "Strategically-minded leaders of the USSR oil and gas complex (NK Baibakov, AK Kortunov, B.Ye. Shcherbina, N.S. Patolichev and others) understood that it was short-sighted to use all the oil and gas reserves of the USSR fields for internal needs . True, this theory had opponents, but the idea of organizing the export of oil and gas to Europe won. ” Energy cooperation could become a kind of bridge, thrown over ideological barriers, and contribute to the rapprochement of Western Europe and the Eastern bloc.
At the same time, the movement towards the “Greater Europe” met with fierce resistance from the Americans. The essence of Washington’s policy was to put into practice the theory of conflict management developed by intellectuals in the United States in the same years. As part of this struggle, the Anglo-Saxon world managed to provoke the Red May in France, where trust in the “obstinate general” (not only coping with the situation, but ensuring the victory of his party in the early elections) was artificially (and, alas, skillfully) undermined, and he himself, being harassed by the anti-Gallist press, was soon forced to resign. 
For the Soviet Union, the “European unrest” was a direct threat - the development of protest sentiments in Prague could lead to the disruption of the gas project, which had already spent a lot of effort. It became obvious that the same controlled youth energy was used by political opponents for the “battle for Czechoslovakia”, not only occupying a key position in the center of Europe, but also being the territory along which the Brotherhood gas pipeline passed. The fact that this energy was outwardly directed not against capitalism, but against communist dogmatism and socialist bureaucracy, although for the same notorious “freedom”, did not in the least alter the essence of the strike on the country that played a special role in the Soviet energy project. And the aspiration of the Soviet Union in the context of aggravated confrontation with NATO, the embargo on the supply of large-diameter pipes (introduced by the US as part of NATO in 1962 year shortly after the Caribbean crisis) and the appeal of the West German government to large steel companies to cancel contracts concluded about 130 thousand tons of steel pipes) strengthen the position in Central Europe by placing a military contingent in Czechoslovakia. The presence of Soviet troops stabilized the situation and opened up broad opportunities for the quick implementation of the energy project, especially since the construction of extensive gas pipelines and the development of deposits located in remote regions required the concentration of enormous resources from other industries and the well-being of the population. The stake was truly historical, and it is in this sense, in our opinion, that the famous words of L.I. Brezhnev, who declared that if Czechoslovakia had been lost, he would have had to leave his post as secretary general.
It must be borne in mind that in Czechoslovakia itself in the second half of the 60-s, the illusions remained from the pre-war period and inspired the Prague Spring, according to which the country's role was reduced to the “second Switzerland”, acting as a mediator between the liberal West and the socialist East. These illusions suggested the need for an eclectic combination of seemingly incompatible political traits of both systems. The idea of serving as a bridge between the East and the West, which has been cherished by the Czechs, has long since acquired a new sound and has made national pride wicked. The need for the ideological justification of these aspirations has brought about such an amusing ideological construction, as the notorious “socialism with a human face”. Of course, at the same time, all external forces saw the future of Czechoslovakia in a fundamentally different way and assigned him in their geopolitical plans nothing more than the role of a strategic foothold.  This was especially evident in connection with the beginning of the concentration of NATO troops on the Czechoslovak border and with the preparations for conducting special operations inside the country. In general, the pre-war situation repeated itself, when Prague, trying to outwit all the great powers, was itself the victim of its own intrigue. The failure of “socialism with a human face” became apparent already in the course of the Prague Spring. All the numerous assurances about control over the political situation in Czechoslovakia and the ultimate loyalty to the ideals of socialism (which should only be “humanized” a little) were no more than a good mine in a bad game. It is quite obvious that the reforms that were carried out became only a cover for the anti-Soviet forces. The fears that, faced with the failure of the very idea of “humanized socialism” and losing the real levers of political power, the leadership of Czechoslovakia would ultimately be forced to “merge” socialism (and with it the union with the USSR) in exchange for any personal guarantees (something like this happened a little bit later when Dubcek and his entourage “merged” those who essentially saved this company without hesitation - the XIX emergency congress of the Communist Party of People’s Congress, which gathered on August 22 in Prague’s Vysočany working district, and decided which threatened the real conflict of the Soviet leadership with the world communist movement). The need for the most rigid control over the development of the situation became inevitable, especially since the immersion of Czechoslovak society, especially the youth, was too deep into the imagination of well-being. And the development of this situation was increasingly bearing the distinct imprint of the national neurosis with all its characteristic features. Soon after the introduction of troops, the crowd of onlookers quickly turned into organized organisms, in which an absolute majority with an unstable psyche, fueled by new leaders pursuing their goals, went against concrete will to provoke concrete actions against the Soviet military, and it was very difficult to stop these actions.
The development of events in Czechoslovakia could easily lead to a big war with the Soviet Union being drawn in, which fully complied with the American strategy of fighting specific variants of “Greater Europe”, inevitably led to a final European split. However, the brilliant planning and implementation of the military-strategic operation "Danube" disrupted these plans. 10 September the 1968 year in Moscow signed an agreement on the supply of natural gas from the USSR to Czechoslovakia and on cooperation during the 1969 year in the construction of a gas pipeline on the territory of the Soviet Union. Despite the external strengthening of anti-Sovietism, cooperation in the energy sphere has become a fait accompli.  Over the next two decades, the Soviet Union became a leading producer and exporter of natural gas. “At the end of 1960, Soviet gas came to Czechoslovakia, to 1968 to Austria, to 1972 to 1973 to Germany and Italy, and to 1975 to Hungary. A little later - in France and Finland. It was the beginning of gas supply to almost all of Europe. The main gas flows went through Czechoslovakia to Austria, Germany, Italy. ” At the same time, despite the height of the Cold War, the energy sector of the USSR and Germany began to discuss the gas-pipe deal. 
As soon as the outlines of interaction with the leadership of Czechoslovakia were determined and 10 of September 1968 in Moscow signed an agreement on the supply of natural gas from the USSR to Czechoslovakia and on cooperation in 1969, the troops were immediately withdrawn from Prague.  It is interesting that after 1968, the relationship with continental Europe has improved so much that we can safely talk about direct continuity with the project of de Gaulle. The initiative, however, has now passed to Germany, and it was the gas-pipe deal that became the forerunner of Willy Brandt's eastern policy. It was followed by a series of historical agreements that changed Europe. In March, Willy Brandt first met with East German Prime Minister Willy Shtof, and later an agreement was signed on the foundations of relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the GDR. In the same year, treaties were concluded with the USSR and Poland, which provided for the waiver of the use of force and the recognition of existing borders, a four-party agreement on West Berlin. This defused international tensions, culminating in the signing of the Helsinki Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in 1975. 
Over the next two decades, the role of the USSR in the system of international relations was largely based on the success of the military-strategic operation Danube. It was then that the Soviet Union, skillfully taking advantage of the exacerbation of the project confrontation between the United States and continental Europe, not only defended the post-war world structure, but also took the path of creating an “energy empire”, which later determined both its historical fate and the fate of modern Russia. It was a period of relatively favorable development, and it would be absurd to reproach the participants of the Czechoslovak events in the subsequent dependence of the country on gas exports. As it should be in history, a new reality was born in a fierce military-political confrontation, and, we emphasize again, one has only to be surprised at the level of planning and implementation of the “Danube”, which became almost the highest advance of the entire Soviet military art, and at the same time demonstrated the possibility of successful use of the army against today's popular political and military technologies.
On this one could put an end. Moreover, it can be considered in many respects a new redivision of the world, which followed the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the last century. We witnessed the dismantling of the “Yalta” system and the formation of a new - “Maltese” one. But too much makes 1968 of the year relate to modernity. This is not only the desire to discredit those who in the distant 1968 year did not allow a "big war" in Europe, but also a poorly concealed intention to solve all the problems at the expense of Russia, having previously exposed it as an aggressor. This is the mass production of "color" revolutions, the ease with which overseas opponents are ready to go to war in Europe in order to implement their own commercial projects. This is the traditional vagueness of the European position with a characteristic desire to preserve selfish well-being even at the expense of its own future, and Europe's internal weakness, which is unable to defend its own values, and the unenviable perspectives of the Greater Europe project, which may be completely buried by today's geopolitical processes . However, historical alternatives do not disappear without a trace. Even if they did not take place in a certain historical period, they still continue to be preserved in a “deferred” mode and at the new round of historical evolution they are repeated, if not in full, then in their main components.
1 South Russian lawyer. 2014, N 3 (October-November); URL: http://www.advpalataro.ru/publications/index.php?SECTION_ID=406&PHPSESSID=31ed49f931fe147e39d821f1afe2fdf5 (date of access 12.08.2015). After publication in this journal, this article was posted on a number of electronic resources, primarily on the website of V.P. Suntseva "Operation Danube"; URL: http://dunay1968.com/books.html (date of treatment 12.08.2015/70454/12.08.2015), on the popular portal "Military Review" (URL: http://topwar.ru/00-prazhskaya-vesna-ili-voenno-strategicheskaya -operaciya-dunay.html (date of treatment 24/0002419/12.08.2015)), on the website "Historic.Ru: World History", where it was called "a kind of manifesto of the Danube veterans" (URL: http: //historic.ru/news/ item / f12.08.2015 / sXNUMX / nXNUMX / index.shtml (date of access XNUMX), on the official website of the Russian Military Historical Society URL: http: //histrf.ru/ru/lenta-vremeni/event/view/vvod-voisk -stran-varshavskogho-doghovora-v-chiekhoslovakiiu (date of treatment XNUMX) The authors express their sincere gratitude to everyone who did not remain indifferent to the preservation of historical memory and the restoration of historical justice.
2 See Other: Suntsev, VP Operation Danube: As It Was; URL: http://dunay1968.com/article/readbook.html (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015). In an interview with the newspaper "Culture" 16 August 2013, V.P. Suntsov stressed; “If we had not entered Czechoslovakia on the night of 20 on 21 in August of 1968, then in a few hours there would already be troops of the North Atlantic Treaty. In turn, this would not have stopped the Soviet Union, and then the Third World War could have begun. ” (URL: http://dunay1968.com/pdf/culture-2.pdf (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015)).
3 This conclusion is fully supported by the available documents and is fully consistent with the historical memory of the Czechoslovak events. Other see eg. Shevchenko V. Towards Dawn; URL: http://rassvet21-go.ru/index.php/kniga (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015).
4 For more details on the ideological approach, see, for example, M.Y. Davydov. The ideological approach to the origins of the Cold War in modern Western historiography. Bulletin of Tomsk State University; URL: http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/ideologicheskiy-podhod-k-istokam-holodnoy-voyny-v-sovremennoy-zapadnoy-istoriografii (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015).
5 It seems that the controversy surrounding the Czechoslovak events only intensifies over time. Once again, the desire to preserve the untenable liberal dogmas and stereotypes by all means was observed in connection with the screening of the documentary film “The Warsaw Pact. Declassified pages ”on the“ Russia 1 ”TV channel (see on: URL: http: //www.bbc.com/russian/international/2015/06/150601_czechs_slovaks_russians_row_over_film (12.08.2015 circulation date)). This time, the discussion not only quickly turned into political squabbles (see, for example: URL: http: //www.bbc.com/english/international/2015/06/150601_czechs_slovaks_russians_row_over_film (12.08.2015 appeal date)), but also accompanied by characteristic nervousness (see: URL: http://echo.msk.ru/programs/vottak/1561766-echo/ (the address of 12.08.2015 treatment)).
6 Mlechin LM Brezhnev; URL: http://www.e-reading.mobi/chapter.php/91018/36/Mlechin_-_Brezhnev.htm (12.08.2015 contact date)
7 Sam de Gaulle did not hide that he pinned high hopes on the Soviet Union. See, for example: How General de Gaulle glorified Russia; URL: http://inosmi.ru/world/20150720/229189212.html (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015).
8 Involuntarily agrees with those modern authors who claim that “Americans are well aware of how to lead the crowd, then whispered there they threw cobble-stones. Some intellectual are advised to raise their voice in defense of students. Students are alluded to by the names of police agents and all of a sudden they are nonprofessionals students decode (what smart they are) ... So, the general was punished and the new technology of inciting revolution was checked "(URL: http://www.contrtv.ru/common/2709/ (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015)).
9 See Other: The Prague Spring and the position of the Western European Communist Parties; URL: http://aleksandr-kommari.narod.ru/1968.htm (the date of the appeal 12.08.2015).
10 “The agreement was prepared from the beginning of 1968 (ie, since the fall of Novotny and the election of Dubcek as the Chairman of the Communist Party - aut.) And it was signed during the crisis period of Czechoslovakia. It has become one of the most important tools for overcoming the crisis and the gradual stabilization of the economic and political situation in Czechoslovakia. The signing took place immediately after the August events (after the military invasion - ed.) 10 September 1968. At the same time, additional Soviet supplies were agreed to, which helped solve the immediate problems of Czechoslovakia with raw materials and food ”(F. Mares (F. Mares)) ( First Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade of Czechoslovakia.) 30 Jahre Handels- und Wirtschaftsbeziehungen UdSSR und CSSR (30 years of trade and economic ties between the USSR and Czechoslovakia). - “Außenhandel” No. XXUMX, 4 g., c. 1975).
11 Selfless labor - the key to overall success ...
12 See other: Pipe to infinity. Chronicle of the largest deal in Russian-German history News N ° 169, November 17, 2000 http://www.vremya.ru/print/3739.html (accessed June 12.06.2015, XNUMX).
13 The key part of the gas component is fully understood by the most astute Czech authors, noting that the Warsaw Pact armies were not included because of the emergence of “socialism with a human face”, but for the sake of control over the territory necessary for the “big deal” being prepared in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic of Soviet troops, that military control over this country was much more important than political and ideological control. See eg: URL: http://ceskapozice.lidovky.cz/zivy-sen-o-prichodu-sovetskych-vojsk-dw7-/tema.aspx?c=A101130_114847_pozice_378 (the date of the appeal 12.06.2015).
14 Yuri Solozobov. Once again about pipes and gas; URL: ttp: //www.apn.ru/opinions/article9309.htm (the date of the appeal 12.06.2015).
* BBBulgakov –Russian commander, Hero of Russia, Colonel General, Candidate of Military Sciences;
VV Shevchenko - honorary worker of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Major General, participant of the military-strategic operation "Danube"; Chairman of the Rostov public organization of warriors-internationalists "Danube-68";
AVBaylov - Candidate of Historical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Sociology,
history, political science of the Institute of Management in the environmental, economic and social systems of the Southern Federal University.