Despite appearances, Russia historically played a relatively minor role in Czech politics before the Second World War. The two countries never shared a border and any cultural exchange was limited to the romanticised notion of Russia as a ‘Slavic oak’ and the hosting of Russian emigrees following the 1917 Revolution. All of this changed dramatically with the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany and subsequent incorporation of Czechoslovakia into the Soviet bloc following the 1948 Communist coup. After the country’s democratisation in 1989, the Soviet Union/Russia once again became much less relevant for the Czech Republic, both politically and economically. Russia in turn retreated from public debate, becoming a symbolic representation of post-communist underdevelopment, from which the country tried to escape.
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Kratochvíl, P., Sychra, Z. (2022). The Czech-Russian Relations: From Bridge-Building to Open Hostility. In: Kaeding, M., Pollak, J., Schmidt, P. (eds) Russia and the Future of Europe. The Future of Europe. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-95648-6_6
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