It’s the 40th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Many Czechs and Slovaks remember, but here’s a shocking factoid:

In a 2006 visit to the Czech capital, then-president Vladimir Putin expressed Russia’s ‘moral responsibility’ for crushing the Prague Spring.

However, a recent poll found that 70 per cent of Czechs younger than 20 have ‘no opinion’ on the events of 1968.

I suspect that if you asked young Czechs how they felt about the “Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia” they’d have an opinion after all. But I continue to be disappointed by the failure of the Soviet experience to fill Eastern Europe with revulsion against all things socialist. The sad truth is that propaganda works.

Still, I’m not one to dwell on the negative. The members of former Soviet bloc – including Russia itself – are not free. (Hey, neither is the U.S.). But they are far freer than any reasonable person would have guessed in 1988 when a few Czech and Slovak emigres were protesting the 20th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of their homeland.

HT: David Cesarini