The mayor of Prague’s Řeporyje district Pavel Novotný has rebuffed the Russian Embassy’s criticism of his plans to build a monument to the so-called Vlasov Army. The Russian Embassy argued on Monday that such a monument would be in violation of Czechia’s international agreements based around the Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity. However, in a reply delivered personally after driving to the embassy in a cleaning truck while holding his district's flag, Mr. Novotný wrote that Řeporyje sees the Vlasov Army as liberators.
The Řeporyje mayor also expressed thanks to the Office of the President, whose spokesman Jiří Ovčáček expressed support for toe building of the monument.
The Vlasov Army (Russian Liberation Army) was made up of Soviet POWs and defectors which fought on the side of the Germans during World War II. However, during the final days of the war the force turned on the Nazis and was involved in eliminating German control of Prague as its soldiers attempted to escape Soviet captivity by surrendering to the Western allies.
The question of whether to construct the monument will be discussed by the district council on December 16.
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