Wednesday 27 November 2019
A local Czech politician wants to erect a monument to Andrei Vlasov in Prague. The former Soviet general changed team during World War II and fought against Stalin. The Russian Embassy is protesting against the plans. In Moscow, Vlasov is considered a traitor.
A local politician in the Czech Republic has created outrage plans to erect a monument to the former Soviet general Andrei Vlasov. Vlasov had deserted the Germans after his capture in 1942 and taken command of the Russian Liberation Army (ROA), which he fought alongside the Wehrmacht against the Soviet Union. In Russia, Vlasov, who was executed in Moscow in 1946, is still considered a deserter and a traitor.
Russia is not expected to consult on the project, said Pavel Novotny, mayor of the Reporyje district of Prague, in a letter addressed to President Vladimir Putin. Novotny cites the fact that the so-called Vlasov army had changed sides shortly before the end of the war. In May 1945, he participated in the Prague uprising against the National Socialist occupiers. They wanted to solve a "historical injustice" with the monument, explained Novotny.
However, some historians believe that the struggle was on the side of the Prague insurgents against Vlasov's will, or just to avoid the punishment of the Red Army. The Russian Embassy in the Czech Republic protested against the monument's plans. He warned against a violation of international agreements. Vlasov had collaborated with national socialist Germany and was a war criminal.
The Russian liberation army existed from November 1944 until the end of the war. The association was composed of volunteers. It included former prisoners of war, forced laborers and Russian emigrants. Officially, the ROA was considered an army of an allied state. Their soldiers fought in German uniforms, but used their badges. Overall, around 125,000 men have served in the ROA.