Putin: Sending Soviet tanks to Hungary and Czechoslovakia was a mistake

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens to a report briefing on the development of Russia’s Far Eastern regions via video link on September 11, 2023 in Vladivostok, Russia. There is a sign saying “Eastern Economic Forum”. REUTERS/File Photo by Sputnik/Vyacheslav Prokofyev/Pool Get license rights

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Sept 12 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the Soviet Union’s decision to send tanks into Hungary and Czechoslovakia to crush mass protests during the Cold War was a mistake.

“It’s a mistake,” Putin said when asked about Moscow’s decision to send tanks to Budapest in 1956 and Prague in 1968 to view Russia as a colonial power.

“It’s not right to do anything in foreign policy that harms the interests of other peoples,” Putin said, sending tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in 2022, triggering Europe’s biggest ground war since World War II.

Putin said America is making the same mistakes as the Soviet Union. Washington had “no friends, only interests,” he said.

1956 Hungarian uprising crushed by Soviet tanks and troops. At least 2,600 Hungarians and 600 Soviet troops were killed in the fighting.

The Prague Spring of 1968 ended when Soviet-led Warsaw Pact forces invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic. According to Czech historians, about 137 Czechs and Slovaks died as a result of the invasion.

By Guy Falconbridge; Editing by Mark Trevelyan

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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