Time will tell …

It’s been nearly thirty years since students protest against the communist regime and got their Velvet Revolution. Nowadays Russia has a growing influence in world politics and the West is getting more and more afraid of Russia’s impact. The Czech Republic, a former country from the Sovjet Union State and was under the communist regime, has an openly pro-Russian leader, President Milos Zeman.

Could the land of the Velvet Revolution be slowly falling under the spell of Putin’s propaganda and should there be a new student rising to stop it? Or is it just a West view on this topic?

On 17 November 1989 students began protests to commemorate the death of Jan Opletal, a student who was shot at a Czechoslovak Independence Day on 28 October 1939. However the protests turned into demonstrations, a student uprise demanding democratic reforms. The number of protesters grew by day and eventually led to the resigning of the entire top of the Communist Party.

With the victory of the Velvet Revolution Russian involvement was over. But according to Jakub Janda, director of the European Values think tank, there is always been Russian invasion in the Czech Republic. ‘’New is the infiltration, nowadays the Russian do it with online desinformation and powerpolictics instead of tanks and uniforms.’’

Katarina (27), a student at Charles University, thinks that in every post-communist country there is Russian involvement. ‘’Especially the ones where the president is pro-Russia, like in the Czech Republic.’’ Lately she read a lot about Russophilia, it is a strong interest in the Russian culture, country or people. ‘’I think there a many Czech politicians who has Russophilia.’’ She never discuss this with friends or other students. ‘’I do not know why. We just do not talk about it.’’

‘’We are always joking about Russia, but nothing serious’’, tell Petr Blazka (19) and Jan Schlosarik (19). If there is any Russian involvement in the Czech Republic they find hard to tell. Although they do have an opinion about president Zeman. ‘’He is far from perfect’’, says Jan. According to Petr is Zeman not a president anymore. ‘’In my opinion the president should be on the side of their own country, but Zeman is trying to be best friends with Poetin and because of that he puts Russia first instead of our country.’’

Russia had an huge impact in the history of the Czech Republic, for that Petr and Jan will always hate Russia. ‘’But there is not more anger and hate right now, it is alright for now.’’ Petr says that time will tell and we will see how students react. ‘’If the involvement is getting dangerous, we will definitely do something.’’

So there is not a student rising, but why would it be necessary? Students see no danger in Russia’s involvement and if there is than we should trust the students that they will come in action like they said. Just as they did during the Velvet Revolution. In the Czech Republic the fear of Russia is not as big as in the West. According to Petr ‘time will tell’, so in the meantime take another beer like students do. Na zdraví.


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