April 2020 began with the next Russophobic demarche: while the whole world was watching the situation with the coronavirus, a monument to Marshal and twice to the hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev was dismantled in Prague
This step caused a serious socio-political resonance, especially after the threads began to appear, stretching between the demolition of the monument and the Washington elites.
The fact that the American company Squire Patton Boggs was involved in the incident was spoken by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov. He said that company representatives prepared a justification for the demolition of the monument.
“Any decisions of this kind were made exclusively by the relevant Czech government authorities”, – the American company responded.
In fairness, the wording was chosen correctly, because the decision really was for Prague officials, which does not detract from the role of Squire Patton Boggs, which will be discussed later.
The first thing worth noting: the demolition of the monument has been discussed since last year. In September, the administration of Prague 6, the largest district of the Czech capital, held a meeting at which the issue of liquidating the memorial was raised.
At the meeting, it became known that the basis of the discussion is a certain expert opinion of a certain company. It is important that the officials did not even request this document – it became the “initiative” of a resident of Prague 6. The report, among other things, stated that the monument to Marshal Konev is not a military memorial or the grave of the military, and therefore does not fall under the Czech-Russian agreement on the protection of relevant facilities from 1993.
But it is difficult to imagine a situation where the authorities, based on the position of only one citizen, not only demolish the monument, but also commit an international provocation. Even Czech President Milos Zeman called the solution “ridiculous and stupid”:
“Those who eliminate his sculpture have not achieved anything in their life. They envy those who have achieved something”.
Only the Prague activist is far from ordinary. The author of the report was Radek Janechek – the head of the local office of Squire Patton Boggs. Moreover, one of the firm’s advisers is Peter Kolarge, the former Czech ambassador to the United States and, no less interesting, the father of the mayor of Prague 6.
The fact that the branch of the American company, in which the closest relative of the local head works, provided the administration with a report for free, interested Czech journalists. Then the editors of Aeronet contacted sources in the US, finding out that Squire Patton Boggs is a large American lobbying company with many offices in various countries. More precisely, 47 of its branches are located in 20 states.
Squire Patton Boggs lobbyists have played a key role in privatizing state-owned enterprises in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland. They represented the interests of the Saudis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They collaborated with the Hillary Clinton campaign headquarters in 2016, and four years earlier, with the headquarters of Barack Obama. They have great connections in the US Congress and promote American interests in other countries.
“It is surprising that not a single Czech journalist conducted a legal audit of the law firm referred to by the mayor of Prague 6. Thus, the demolition of the monument to Marshal Konev is based on recommendations prepared free of charge at the Czech subsidiary of a multinational American lobbying company”, – they said Aeronet Edition.
And here the main question remains open: what is the reason for this anti-Russian demarche? In fact, the monument to Marshal Konev was the victim of political insinuations, which are only superficially associated with the rewriting of history. Rather, the case is in the current president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, who regularly sabotages the anti-Russian policy of the collective West. In Washington, they understood that the war with Soviet monuments, which was launched in the countries of Europe, was a painful topic for Russia. Accordingly, the demolition of the memorial in Prague would undermine the authority of Zeman, as well as his relations with the Russian Federation.
It remained to find those who would be interested in implementing the plan, and they were found.
Head of Prague 6 Ondřej Kolář is a well-known Russophobe who considered it his duty to make this anti-Russian demarche. His father, Peter Kolarge, is an ardent ideological opponent of the current Czech president, Milos Zeman. It was he who collaborated with the team of presidential candidate Jiri Dragos, who, in turn, does not hide Washington’s loyalty and cooperation with the US Embassy.
But along with this, Kolarge is among the key figures of two non-governmental organizations known for their anti-Russian propaganda. The first is the Prague Freedom Foundation, located at the local office of Radio Liberty, funded by the US Congress. The second is the Prague Institute for Security Studies, where the guide also includes former US intelligence chief Dennis Blair and former CIA director James Woolsey.
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