Memories Of The Russians

In Life on August 21, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

The Russian Army came to then-Czechoslovakia in 1968. I was born in 1976, relatively long after they settled down. They settled down in my home town of Olomouc, where they had huge headquarters. And there used to be a gigantic military base called Libava. The place is now a military training area, almost a ghost town.

Of course I would see Russian soldiers in the town. But not all over the town, I must say. I have never seen them in the suburb I used to live in. I have never seen them in a zoo.

They had a special shopping centerin an ugly house in downtown Olomouc. The store sold Russian stuff they used to have back home. The Russian term for this store was univermag and Czechs were allowed to shop there, too. Their jeeps were so old and rusty I was surprised they did not fall apart. I knew that most of the boys did not come voluntarily. They did not have the professional devoted soldier look on their faces that I knew from action movies that somehow made it to the then-censored TV. And they didn’t look like the tough Western cops, like Bodie and Doyle from the Professionals. The boys looked a bit scared…

Men didn’t go to univermags voluntarily. Only with their viwes. It didn’t sell anything they would need. But they would say Hell, you are not going alone to this Russian store ALONE. I am coming with you.

Between 1982 and 1989 I didn’t hear of anything they would destroy, or of anyone they would shoot.

Nowadays I have the feeling that some kids don’t even know there were some Russians here.

Useful link: 1968 Invasion – Wikipedia entry


One Response to “Memories Of The Russians”

  1. To je fakt, nová generaci stále zapominá. To je bohužel taktéž v Rusku. A mužstvo nikdy dobrovolně nejde v vojsko.

    (promin’ jestli jsem chybně pišu nebo používam zvlaštní slova – jen se učím 🙂 )

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