Russia angered by Prague plans to build Vlasov monument

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PRAGUE (AP) — A Prague district has approved a plan by its mayor to build a monument to the soldiers of Gen. Andrei Vlasov’s army, a move that has angered Russia.

The plan approved Tuesday is meant to honor the soldiers who helped liberate Prague at the end of World War II.

The role of Vlasov’s Russian Liberation Army is controversial. Formed by former Soviet soldiers, it was fighting against the Red Army together with Nazi troops.

In early May 1945, Vlasov’s army came to help the Czech uprising against Nazi rule before the Soviet troops arrived and helped save the city from destruction. About 300 people died.

Vlasov was executed by the Soviets after the war.

The design of the monument to be completed in May wasn’t immediately clear, but might include an explanatory text about Vlasov’s role in history.

The Russian Embassy in Prague protested the move proposed by Reporyje district mayor Pavel Novotny, who made news by recently sending a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, explaining to him that Moscow has no say in it.

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