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RFE 1968

Broadcasting Through The Information Blackout

Fifty years ago, in the early morning hours of August 21, 1968, a Soviet-led army of troops from five Warsaw Pact countries invaded communist Czechoslovakia, putting an end to the country’s brief period of liberal reforms known as the Prague Spring. One of the first acts of the occupying force was to shut down local radio and TV at gunpoint, heightening the need for Radio Free Europe (RFE) as a surrogate provider of reliable information and news. In a frightening and uncertain time, listeners said RFE broadcasts were truthful, uncensored, and calm—a signal of hope.​