Czech press survey - March 7


07.03.2014 07:38

Prague - Will the world take a lesson from what happened in Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1968 now in Ukraine? This is the question asked by Ludek Navara in a commentary in Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) today.


Ukrajinský prezident Viktor Janukovyč. ČTK/AP Pavel Golovkin

There are lots of parallels cited when it comes to the current situation in Ukraine, Navara writes.

At first the Russian invasion of Crimea was likened to the Munich crisis in 1938 and Adolf Hitler's annexation of the Czechoslovak Sudeten borderland, he adds.

Then there was the invitation for foreign troops from Ukrainian quasi-president Viktor Yanukovych and another comparison: the "inviting letter" for the Soviet Union from 1968, Navara writes, hinting at the Communist hard-liners' behaviour before the invasion that crushed the Prague Spring reform movement.

One can find all the parallels in the recent developments in the East. They have one thing in common: they relate to a rather small country. This is our country, Navara writes.

In fact, an ordinary Czech can say that he knows all of this and that he cannot be surprised by anything, he adds.

Perhaps one could take a lesson from the history. Or wait quietly for a repetition of the history that is now taking place some 1,000 kilometres from here, Navara writes.

Can the sanctions change Russia's imperial behaviour? Zbynek Petracek asks the crucial question in Lidove noviny (LN).

The sanctions did make sense against apartheid in South Africa. They helped push it to free elections or the representation of all races, Petracek writes.

However, to what can the sanctions push the developments in Russia or Ukraine? he asks.

No one can claim that Vladimir Putin is not a legitimate president. The same was true of Yanukovych, Petracek writes.

Would the sanctions push Russians or Ukrainians into electing some different, more representative elites? he asks

No one would bet on this, Petracek answers.

In fact, this changes nothing in the West having no force with which to change Putin's Russia and to make it similar to it, he adds.

It cannot be ruled out that in free elections, most inhabitants of Crimea would choose the Russian way, but Putin is not interested in Crimea's real will, Petr Pesek writes in Lidove noviny (LN).

The "applications" to join Russia will only silence the Western criticism that he behaves like an emperor, Pesek writes.

It has turned out that he is able in a twisted, but also efficient way to make the most of the advantages of democracy such as elections and referenda, he adds.

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