“It was a mistake,” Putin said when asked by the moderator about Moscow’s decision to send tanks to Budapest in 1956 and to Prague in 1968 during the cold war.
The Russian President also added that the West, and primarily the United States was making the same mistakes as the Soviet Union. “They put pressure on their allies, so-called partners. They have no friends. They only have interests. That is a continuation of a well-known British formula,” he said.
Despite President Putin’s interpretation of the events of 1956 in Hungary, Magyar Nemzet reported that a Russian history textbook written by Vladimir Medinsky, an adviser to President Putin, for 11th grade students, contains two paragraphs concerning the 1956 Hungarian revolution, claiming that “the Hungarian crisis was initiated through the actions of the Western secret services and the internal opposition they supported. The Soviet Union sent troops to Hungary and helped the Hungarian authorities to suppress the protests.” Some reports have later emerged claiming that news about the new Russian textbook are untrue.
In 1956 the Hungarian Uprising was crushed by the Soviet Union, in the fighting over 2.600 Hungarians were killed along with over 600 Soviet troops. During the 1968 anti-communist uprising in Czechoslovakia some 137 citizens have lost their lives.