World's premier FREE site for learners + teachers of English
This Week in History

This Week in History

Soviet-led Forces Invade Czechoslovakia

21 August 1968

Soviet-led forces invade Czechoslovakia to halt pro-democracy reforms.

In 1968, Soviet-led forces invaded Czechoslovakia after the country's communist government, led by Prime Minister Alexander Dubcek, began a series of democratic reforms. Protests against the invasion followed, during which dozens of people were killed and hundreds more injured. After the invasion, Dubcek's government was replaced by a repressive, Soviet-backed regime and Dubcek's democratic reforms were halted.

invade (verb): enter an area by force with the goal of taking it over
democratic (adjective): following the principal where the government represents the people
reform (noun): change (something, often social or political) in order to improve
repressive (adjective): inhibiting or restraining people's freedom
Soviet-backed (adjective): supported by the Soviet Union
regime (noun): a government (esp. an autocratic or repressive one)

Test your understanding:

Czechoslovakia's democratic reforms had been introduced by

  1. Soviet-led forces
  2. the communist government
  3. pro-democracy protesters

Soviet-led forces invaded Czechoslovakia in order to

  1. halt the reforms
  2. support the reforms
  3. support the government

A repressive government is one that is likely to

  1. guarantee press and media freedom
  2. allow anti-government protests
  3. suppress pro-democracy movements

Teacher's Notes - how to use This Week in History in your classes

Contributor: Matt Errey creator of Word Up