How the Guardian reported the Russian and Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, 50 years ago

On the night of August 20 1968 Soviet tanks and troops invaded Czechoslovakia in an effort to stop the so-called Prague Spring. For four months, under the leadership of Alexander Dubček, the country broke free from Soviet rule, with the government allowing freedom of speech and removing state controls over industry.

Dubček claimed he was offering ‘socialism with a human face,’ but the Soviet Union viewed developments as tantamount to counter-revolution. Czechoslovakians did not fight the invading Russians but instead stood in front of the tanks, with some putting flowers in the soldiers’ hair. The reforms were curtailed, hard-line communists retook positions of power and Dubček was deposed in April 1969.

Related: From the archive: Stoicism as the darkness descends

Related: 1968: Russia crushes the Prague Spring

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