Final Word from Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Unless we missed someone, Michael Kocáb is the most prominent Czech to state publicly that he thinks that the "death" on Nov. 17, 1989, of Martin Šmíd was a KGB operation. Kocáb makes his case in his new book, "Vabank" (Going for Broke). If the view that the KGB and StB were under orders of Mikhail Gorbachev to speed up reform in Czechoslovakia is a conspiracy theory, Kocáb is only half a conspiracy theorist. He maintains that the KGB lost control of the operation and that he and other dissidents and students led the people to a different, better outcome. Thirty years later, 250,000 Czechs turned out at Letná to protest against agent Bureš. The easiest thing for these protesters to argue is that the prominent role today in Czech society of Andrej Babiš and Petr Kellner proves that the KGB and StB in fact got what they wanted. This argument, though, is a no go, because it would negate the heroism of so many of those who are sure that they won the Velvet Revolution. [ Czech Republic Ludvík Zifčák Soviet Union USSR ]

Glossary of difficult words

to maintain - to assert; to state something strongly to be the case;

to negate - to make ineffective; to deny the existence of.

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