Prague strips Soviet WWII commander of honorary citizenship

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech capital stripped a Soviet World War II commander of his honorary Prague citizenship Thursday.

The Prague City Council ’s approved Mayor Zdenek Hrib’s proposal to revoke the honor bestowed in June 1945 on Soviet Marshal Ivan Stepanovic Konev.

Konev led the Red Army forces that liberated large parts of Czechoslovakia from Nazi occupation in 1945 and also contributed to Prague’s liberation. He died in 1973.

The mayor said the general and his army were welcomed in Prague in 1945 but he based his proposal on Konev’s post-war activities.

Hrib cited Konev’s authorization of a Soviet bombardment of the Czech town of Mlada Boleslav a day after World War ended, an attack which killed some 150 Czech citizens, and his role in crushing the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising in Hungary.

Two years ago, a Prague district removed a statue of Konev. The action angered Russia.

After communism ended in 1989, Prague authorities stripped honorary citizenship from Soviet dictator Josef Stalin.

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