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Last Updated: Friday, 13 May, 2005, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
Payouts due for Prague victims
A Soviet tank in Prague in 1968
Soviet tanks remained in Czechoslovakia until 1991
Victims of the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia are to receive compensation from the Czech government.

President Vaclav Klaus approved a law allowing descendants of those killed to ask for a one-off payment of up to 150,000 koruna (3,400 or 5,000 euros).

Those injured or raped by members of the invading armies between 20 August 1968 and 27 June 1991 can claim around 70,000 koruna (1,587 or 2,331 euros).

The 1968 invasion put an abrupt end to the "Prague Spring" liberal reforms.

Moscow feared liberalisation in Czechoslovakia would lead to similar movements in other eastern bloc countries.

About 30 Soviet divisions backed up by troops from the Warsaw Pact - Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and East Germany - entered the country on 21 August 1968 and remained there until 1991.

The opposition Civic Democrats, who introduced the bill which is now law, say the invasion left 72 people dead, 266 seriously injured and 436 with light injuries.

But it is not clear how many people will seek the compensation payments.

Country profile: Czech Republic
26 Jan 05 |  Country profiles

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