During the night of August 20-21, 1968, then Czechoslovakia was invaded by about 500,000 Warsaw Pact troops in "Operation Danube." Radio Free Europe published a four-page Situation Report on August 21, 1968, which contained both factual information and Cold War rhetoric.
Here are two excerpts from that report:
Occupation of Czechoslovakia
At 0050 hours this morning, Radio Prague went on the air with the announcement that armed units of the Soviet Union,Poland, GDR, Hungary and Bulgaria had been moving into Czechoslovakia since about 2300 hours yesterday. Shortly before 0200 hours, Czechoslovak radio stations broadcast a declaration of the Party Presidium which stated that the border crossings were taking place with the knowledge of the President of the Republic, the National Assembly chairman, the Prime Minister, the First Party Secretary, or their respective organs. The Party Presidium called upon all citizens to maintain peace and quiet, and not to resist the advancing armed forces. For this reason, neither the army, the police, or People’e militia had been ordered to defend the country.
The Soviet Union has secured for a time the Czechoslovak bridgehead and will probably attempt to rule it with the help of domestic quislings. On the other hand, the world-wide image of Communism has suffered irreparable damage. The brutal suppression of an experiment which was trying to unite a social system of nationalized means of production and distribution with a large measure of guaranteed personal freedom cannot but alienate left-wing opinion throughout the world. With the Soviet Union revealing itself unabashedly as an imperialist state, the concept of world revolution inevitably recedes into unreality.
Reportedly about 500 persons were wounded and 108 killed resisting the invasion. The occupation of Czechoslovakia lasted to 1991.
Dramatic photographs of what happened in Prague on August 21, 1968, were put up on RFE/RL's web page last year and can be viewed at
The full Situation Report can be viewed and/or downloaded here:
"Situation Report: Czechoslovakia, 21 August 1968", 21 August 1968. HU OSA 300-8-47-57-27; Records of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute: Publications Department: Situation Reports; Open Society Archives at Central European University, Budapest: