- Title: Russia opens criminal case after WW2 monument dismantled in Prague
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC (APRIL 3, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Czech) DEPUTY MAYOR OF PRAGUE 6 DISTRICT, JAN LACINA, SAYING: "The removal is done according to the decision of Prague 6 District Municipal Council from September last year which stated the statue should be taken to a dignified memorial institution and also that a public contest for the new memorial of the liberation of Prague in 1945 will be announced." TAPE CORDONING OFF AREA, WORKERS STANDING NEAR TRUCK WITH KONEV STATUE MAN CLOSING TRUCK WITH STATUE AT BACK WOMAN REMOVING BARRIER TRUCK WITH KONEV STATUE LEAVING INTERBRIGADY SQUARE
- Keywords: Czech Republic Ivan Konev Russia WWII war monuments
- Reuters ID: LVA006C8WRM0P
- Location: MOSCOW, RUSSIA / PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- City: MOSCOW, RUSSIA / PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
- Country: Russia
- Duration: 00:00:57
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Story Text: Russia will open a criminal case for the dishonouring of a symbol of military glory, a spokeswoman for the Russian Investigative Committee said on Friday (April 10) a week after the city of Prague dismantled a statue of a Soviet general.
The statue to Marshal Ivan Konev, who led Red Army forces during World War Two that drove Nazi troops from Czechoslovakia, is reviled by some in Prague as a symbol of the decades of Communist rule that followed the war.
But in Moscow, Konev is lionised by authorities as a war hero, and the removal of his statue was cast as a diplomatic insult and part of what Russia sees as a dangerous attempt to rewrite history.
The statue to Konev, who also played a leading role in crushing the 1956 Hungarian uprising and building the Berlin Wall in 1961, was taken down on April 3 by municipal Prague authorities who said they planned to put it in a museum.
Ahead of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two, the Soviet military campaign has become a highly sensitive subject for Moscow.
Russia's Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has appealed to his Czech counterpart, asking that the statue be sent back to Moscow and Russia would be prepared to pay for transport or any other costs, the Russian defence ministry said.
The Czech Foreign Ministry said it was up to the Prague district municipality where the statue had been located to decide what to do.
(Production: Dmitry Madorskiy, Tatiana Gomozova, Lewis Macdonald)
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