| 17 June 2024, Monday |

Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia were wrong, Putin says

The Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, were incorrect.

He stated at a symposium in eastern Russia that it is not right to engage in foreign policy that hurts the interests of others.

His comments come as Russian forces continue to combat in Ukraine.

Following huge protests and calls for more freedoms, the Soviet Union invaded Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

On Tuesday, President Putin made the remarks at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia’s far easternmost city.

A moderator asked him how he would respond to those who say the Soviet Union behaved like a colonial power when it sent tanks into Prague in 1968 and Budapest in 1956.

Mr Putin said: “We acknowledged a long time ago that that part of the Soviet policy was mistaken and only led to tension in relations. One must not do anything in foreign policy that comes in direct contradiction with the interests of other peoples.”

Mr Putin went on to say that countries in the West, primarily the US, were now making the same mistake as the Soviets made then.

“They put pressure on their allies, so-called partners. They have no friends. They only have interests. That is a continuation of a well-known British formula,” he said.

Mr Putin’s comments about the Soviet Union’s actions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia appear to contradict the views of some within his inner circle.