Bulgarian Soldiers About the "Prague Spring": "We were not Aggressors"

Sofia. "We were not aggressors!" Fifty years after taking part in the Prague Spring Crush under the leadership of Moscow, former Bulgarian soldiers say they have no regrets and feel they have simply "done their homework", reported AFP.

"It was a political decision: it was unimaginable to let go of Czechoslovakia.Military, we have accomplished our duty, without shooting civilians," said reserve colonel Lubcho Banov, 80, who commissioned in August 1968 a company responsible for the protection of the Prague Ruzyne Civil and Military Airport.

"If, by the Warsaw Pact, we were aggressors in Czechoslovakia, what are now our soldiers engaged in NATO missions in Iraq or Afghanistan!" Exclaims the former officer.

Pentcho Valkov, a contractor from Drianovo (center) who had served under his command, kept on his chest a small scar left by a rebel bullet that had touched him during an unexpected shot from a house near the airport. "I hid, I was not allowed to respond to fire," he says.

A young 18-year-old recruit in charge of the connections, he said he had not known until the last moment that he was going to be sent to Czechoslovakia in full boiling.

- 'Go home!' -
Its infantry section, normally based on the Bulgarian-Turkish border, first carried out training in "patrols and fighting in built-up areas" before being transferred by plane to Ukraine, then a Soviet republic, on July 28, 1968. .

"We were flying very low on the Black Sea, 200-300 meters, not to be spotted by Turkish radars (NATO)." We were surprised to find ourselves in Kalmia, in the region of Ivano -Frankivsk in western Ukraine, "says Gospodin Tchonkov, who commanded a platoon of transmissions.

A detour...

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