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Soviet Commentary Re-evaluates Reaction To 1968 Invasion

February 20, 1989

PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia (AP) _ A Soviet commentary printed in a Czechoslovak newspaper today acknowledged for what was believed to be the first time that the 1968 Kremlin-led invasion caused ″deep disillusionment″ in Czechoslovakia.

The appearance of the commentary in the Communist Party daily Rude Pravo follows Premier Ladislav Adamec’s visit last week to Moscow.

The commentary said that not all Czechoslovaks welcomed the Soviet invasion in which Soviet and Warsaw Pact troops crushed the ″Prague Spring″ reforms, many of which were similar to economic and social changes now embraced by Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

″Some people saw in this an important support in the struggle to preserve the foundations of socialism,″ it said. ″In others, the action created a state of shock.″

″This was later replaced by deep disillusionment, the feeling of national dignity being trampled upon, leading among a part of these people to anti- Soviet moods,″ said the commentary, reprinted from the Soviet daily Sovietskaya Rossiya.

The banned Czechoslovak writer Vaclav Havel and eight other activists go on trial Tuesday on charges in connection with demonstrations last month in Prague. Their detention has prompted more than 2,000 cultural figures and scientists to sign petitions calling for their release.

The Soviet commentary did not refer to Havel or the protests, but it traced intellectual disillusionment to the invasion.

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