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This Week in History

Listen to and learn about events that happened this week in history—including politics, war, crime, inventions, entertainment and fashion. An archive of events that have shaped history — for learners and teachers of English, with vocabulary, audio recordings and quick quizzes.

21 August 1968

Soviet-led Forces Invade Czechoslovakia

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
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Contributor: Matt Errey