In the latest development surrounding the removal of the statue of Soviet Marshal Ivan Konev from Prague 6, the Social Council at the Russian Ministry of Defense has proposed a sort of revenge in the form of renaming Moscow’s Prazhskaya (Пражская) metro station to Marshal Konev.
The proposal was first reported by the Russian state-owned television network Zvezda.
One of Moscow’s new metro stations in the 1980s, the Prazhskaya station was named so as a new Prague metro station on the B line was given the name Moskevská, after Moscow.
The two stations were designed in concert with each other by Czech and Soviet architects, and open concurrently in 1985.
Prague’s Moskevská station was renamed to Anděl in 1990 after the fall of Soviet rule in the country, but Moscow kept the Prazhskaya station name.
Earlier this month, Prague 6 removed the statue of Marshal Konev after years of controversy, with P6 Mayor Ondřej Kolář joking that he “had no face mask.”
Konev played a role in freeing the city of Prague from Nazi forces at the end of WWII, but his involvement in building the Berlin Wall, suppressing the 1956 Budapest uprising, and 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia have turned him into a controversial figure in post-communist years.
The removal of his statue, nonetheless, was condemned by local politicians including Czech President Miloš Zeman, whose spokesperson Jiří Ovčáček tweeted that “Extremists who … dishonor the heroes and victims of war are not part of Czech politics.”
Greater outrage has been expressed in Russia, where the Czech embassy in Moscow was recently attacked by extremists.
Last week, Russia launched a criminal prosecution over the removal of the statue, with the Russian Foreign Ministry stating that it “was a crime that would not remain unanswered.”
Local media have reported that Russia seeks to sentence Prague 6 Mayor Kolář to one year of hard labor for his his offense.