Photos: 50 Years Since a Soviet Invasion Ended the Prague Spring

In 1968, during a period called the “Prague Spring,” Alexander Dubček, the newly elected leader of Czechoslovakia, enacted pro-democracy reforms that loosened state control and expanded individual rights, giving hope to citizens and angering the Soviet Union. Soviet leaders in Moscow believed that Czechoslovakia, a member of the Warsaw Pact, had gone too far, and summoned the country’s leaders for discussions. By late summer, the talks were not going the way the Kremlin had wanted, so more than 2,000 tanks and thousands more Warsaw Pact troops were sent to invade and occupy the country on August 21. In the first weeks, occupying soldiers were met with protests and limited resistance, and more than 70 civilians were killed in the conflicts. Within the following year, resistance faded, Dubček was removed from office, his reforms were undone, and a more Soviet-controlled government was installed.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Simon Bruty for OIS / IOC Handout via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Impeachment Trial, Virtual Singer, Bat Clinic

    The annual Women’s March in New York City, the Tour Down Under cycling event in Australia, a firefighting robot in India, anti-government protests in Iraq, the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics in Switzerland, and much more.

  • Carl Court / Getty

    Juhyo: The Snow Monsters on Japan’s Mount Zao

    Windblown ice and snow build up hulking shapes on the trees atop Mount Zao.

  • Eloisa Lopez / Reuters

    The Colorless Landscape Around Taal Volcano

    In the Philippines, parts of the landscape near Taal have gone completely gray, covered in a blanket of volcanic ash.

  • Stephanie Keith / Reuters

    Photos From the Pro-gun Rally in Virginia

    Thousands gathered around Virginia’s state capitol to protest proposed gun-control laws.