Updates: 26.05.2022 16:36
Released: 26.05.2022, 16:36
Prague – Soviet Marshal Ivan Koněv (1897 to 1973) ceased to be an honorary citizen of Prague, who he was since June 1945. The reason is some of his problematic actions, such as the bombing of Mladá Boleslav after the war or participation in suppressing protests in Hungary in 1956. today the Prague representatives. The revocation of citizenship has been criticized by some YES opposition representatives, who consider it a useless gesture and a populist step. A woman who praised Russian President Vladimir Putin also spoke in the citizens’ debate. In protest against her speech, deputies whistled and pounded on the tables.
Konev was a Russian military leader and a Soviet marshal. At the end of the Second World War, Prague, parts of Poland, Silesia and Saxony were threatened with liberation. He also led the bloody suppression of the uprising in Hungary in 1956 and worked in Berlin during the construction of the Berlin Wall.
According to the mayor Zdeněk Hřiba (Pirates), who presented the document to the deputies, they came out over time, confirmed by the facts, due to which Koněv was not an honest man. “That’s why he can’t be an honorary citizen,” he said.
Koněv became an honorary citizen of the capital on June 6, 1945. According to the document of the approved representative, the act of granting honorary citizenship must be seen in the context of the period and with regard to the further historical development of Czechoslovakia.
Among them, Hřib mentioned that the army led by Koněv came to Prague only after an agreement was reached between the Prague insurgents and the leadership of the German Nazi garrison on leaving the city. Another is that Koněv decided to bomb Mladá Boleslav on May 9, 1945, the day after the end of the war. At that time, 148 locals died, including children.
The operation of the marshal elsewhere in Europe is also problematic, such as the bloody suppression of the Hungarian uprising in 1956, when thousands of Hungarian civilians died. He served as commander in Berlin from 1961 to 1962 during the so-called Second Berlin Crisis, which culminated in the construction of the Berlin Wall. “He advocated strong ideological events, such as Nikita Khrushchev’s decision to criticize Stalin’s crimes and condemn the cult of his personality. In response to democratization efforts, he also intended to intervene militarily in Poland in October 1956,” the document said.
The city’s action was criticized by opposition YES representatives. “I am not enthusiastic about this (revocation of citizenship), even though we condemn the Russian aggression,” said ANO chairman Ondřej Prokop. He called the city’s move a populist pre-election step. “I can’t call it otherwise,” he added. Finally, he raised the rhetorical question of why the city administration did not choose one of the other Russians who have honorary citizenship of the city. Coalition representative and MEP Jiří Pospíšil (TOP 09) described the city’s move in the current situation as unnecessary.
Coalition representatives Jan Wolf (KDU-ČSL) and Jan Hora (Pirates) rejected the criticism. According to Wolf, the revocation of citizenship is in place and he does not consider it a rewriting of history. Hora said it was a matter of correcting history.
One of the citizens who defended Putin spoke during the discussion and said that Russia was only defending itself. Deputies changed her words by roaring, beating benches and whistling. Pospíšil and Hora subsequently said that the woman had apparently committed a crime. “I hope it turns out that it was some kind of viral video or stand-up comedy. It has nothing to do with taking away honorary citizenship. It was something scary that someone should sit after,” added opposition councilor Radomír Nepil (YES).
The municipality and some town halls have been dealing with the figure of Marshal Konev and his life in the last few years. Last April, Prague 6 had its statue removed from Interbrigády Square in Bubeneč, and the Žižkov City Hall again wants to rename Koněvova Street after the first mayor of Žižkov, Karel Hartig. In connection with the current war in Ukraine, Prague recently renamed part of Korunovační Street near the Russian Embassy in Prague 6 to Ukrajinských hrdinů Street.