Armed forces of the Soviet Union supported by four other East European Communist allies invaded Czechoslovakia Wednesday, August 21.
Armed forces of the Soviet Union supported by four other East European Communist allies invaded Czechoslovakia Wednesday, August 21. The first indications of the invasion were from Radio Prague when it announced Soviet troops were crossing the Czech frontier. At first there was little resistance from the Czechs and Radio Prague made pleas for citizens to report to their jobs and not to resist. Despite the pleas, reports of machinegun fire in downtown Prague were reported late Wednesday.
The Soviet news agency Tass said that several unidentified Czech officials had asked the Soviet Union for urgent assistance against the threat to hard-line communist doctrine in that reform-minded country.
Soviet troops and tanks surrounded the Central Committee building in Prague where Party Chairman Alexander Dubcek and the Presidium were meeting. Dubcek and the other party leaders are reportedly being detained there.
Reaction around the world was urgent. All over Europe heads of government called their cabinets and ministers into emergency meetings in Washington, D.C., President Johnson called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council that lasted most of the night. In New York, United Nations Secretary General, U Thant said a meeting of the Security Council would be held today.