At the unveiling of a memorial commemorating the Velvet Revolution in Prague, protesters booed and threw food at Czech President Miloš Zeman. Zeman has come under fire for his soft, even warm, stance on Putin’s actions in Ukraine, and for downplaying the seriousness of the November 1989 police brutality which sparked the Revolution 25 years ago. The Wall Street Journal reports on the embattled president:
The anti-Zeman protesters cheered Mr. Gauck and other visiting presidents when they spoke at the event, but they made Mr. Zeman’s speech barely audible.Several times the crowd applauded Poland’s Bronislaw Komorowski and Slovakia’s Andrej Kiska when they spoke in favor of Ukraine in its fight against separatists. The protesters also heeded a request by Hungary’s leader Janos Ader to hold a minute of silence to remember all victims of communist repressions in the former Soviet bloc.Nevertheless most protesters raised symbolic red cards—a penalty sign in many sports—above their heads to show their anger with Mr. Zeman. The public’s discord with the Czech leader, elected in early 2013, started to grow two weeks ago when he used vulgar words in a live radio interview to describe members of the anti-Kremlin Russian punk band Pussy Riot.Even ahead of Monday’s protests, Mr. Zeman also drew criticism from senior local politicians, including ex-President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
Czechs have made it clear: After 25 years, they remember what a Kremlin stooge looks like, and they feel nothing but disgust for Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the cheap, ugly propaganda tricks with which Putin’s apologists try to cover his crimes.