Assess The Importance Of The Political And

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Assess The Importance Of The Political And Military Considerations That Led The Ussr Towards The Invasion Of Czechoslovakia In August 1968. Essay, Research Paper The Novotny regime in Czechoslovakia fell in December 1968 due to lack of economic reforms unresolved political problems of the Slovak part of the country, and Novotny s failure to deal with growing friction between the regime and the country s intellectuals and students. Dubcek was appointed the new president, however during the Prague Spring, the reforms that were brought in by the new leadership began to pose many problems. Although, according to several sources, Moscow felt it necessary to introduce some economical reform in Czechoslovakia, one of the most faithful Warsaw allies, the extent to which the Spring

went proved too far for the orthodox leaders of the Soviet Union. After trying to put pressure on Dubcek to make him halt back the reforms, USSR came to the final decision – invasion. On August 21st Czechoslovakia was invaded by the Warsaw Pact troops. This essay looks at the situation that developed in Czechoslovakia during the memorable Spring of 1968, and focuses on the factors that finally pushed USSR towards invading one of its allies. Behind the invasion were sets of considerations, political as well as military. I will assess the importance of these considerations in the essay. When in the winter of 1967 Novotny invited Brezhnev to help him against opposition within Czechoslovakia, Brezhnev washed his hands off the affair, saying: It s your business . The relaxed

attitude at this stage suggests that Moscow felt it was time to introduce some reforms in Czechoslovakia in order to modernize the country where, under Novotny the economy had atrophied and the morale had sunk . A few days after Brezhnev s visit the revolt against Novotny s regime came into the open at a Czech Central Committee plenum. Shortly thereafter, at the plenum of January 3-5, 1968, Alexander Dubcek replaced Novotny as party secretary. It is interesting to look at the question of new leadership in Czechoslovakia, to what extent did USSR support it? Alexander Dubcek was an obscure forty-six-year-old Slovak party functionary, brought up and educated in USSR . According to P.J. Mooney Dubcek s pedigree was impeccable . Moscow was happy with Dubcek s appointment, even though

his ambition to renew the party was known, Brezhnev sent his congratulations . It seems rather ironic that Moscow supported the new regime, however yet there was no evidence that Dubcek was planning to liberalize the Czechoslovak political system as much as he did. Dubcek was seen as a loyal party member, and the communiqu that followed the meeting of Brezhnev and Dubcek in Moscow in the end of January 1968 spoke of the full identity of views on all questions discussed . In my opinion at this point not even Dubcek imagined where the reforms would lead and how quickly the situation would develop. The new leadership had to face multiple problems, it had to satisfy the demands of the intellectuals, students and other reform-minded groups within Czechoslovakia, while at the same time

assure the Soviet Union of loyalty and show awareness of the extent to which the reforms will go. Dubcek fell between two stools . He sought to find balance, regarding the internal situation he promised there would be no return to administrative methods of governing. At the same time he tried to reassure those who concerned about the weakening of principles of socialism by telling them the new regime would not go too far. On the 23rd of March the Soviet concern at the trend of events was expressed to Dubcek and his colleagues at the Dresden conference. This was an emergency meeting of the Warsaw Pact members (excluding Rumania), as the allies felt the threat of Czechoslovak reforms to the common policies of the Warsaw bloc. One of the factors that especially alarmed USSR was that