Part 2: Spying on the Soviet Bloc
Dubček later described the eight months after the Soviet invasion as "an organized retreat, in which no inch of territory was given up without calculated resistance."1 It was a retreat, however, which was doomed to end in defeat. Dubček's position and that of the other leading reformers was steadily undermined by a combination of Soviet pressure, the old guard within the CPCz and former allies who decided to throw in their lot with the invaders to save their own careers.
The immediate pretext for Dubček's removal was the World Ice Hockey Championship in Stockholm in March 1969. On March 21, Dubček later recalled, "The whole country watched [on TV] as Czechoslovakia played the Soviets; it was much more than ice hockey, of course. It was a replay of a lost war . . ."The national rejoicings after the Czechoslovak victory led the KGB to prepare, with assistance from its stooges in the StB, an anti-Soviet riot to follow the next match between Czechoslovakia and the USSR on March 28. Shortly before the match a team of police agents disguised as city workers unloaded a pile of paving stones in front of the offices of the Soviet airline, Aeroflot, in Wenceslas Square. Prague police documents show that the whole operation was directly supervised by a Soviet agent in the Czech ministry of the interior.2 Immediately after the Czechoslovak team had defeated the Soviets for the second time in a week, StB plain clothes personnel mingling with the celebrating crowd began to throw the conveniently placed stones at the Aeroflot office. The office furniture was dragged out on to the pavement and set alight.
Moscow now had the fabricated evidence it required to demand that, "The counter-revolution must be beheaded." Dubček believed he had no option but to resign. "Otherwise the Soviets would set up another provocation that could lead to further public turmoil and even a bloodbath."3 On April 17 he was succeeded as First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Party by the Slovak first secretary, Gustáv Husák As Dubček broadcast the news of his replacement, he broke down and wept.
PROGRESS operations in Czechoslovakia] continued. A senior officer from FCD Directorate S, Dmitri Kirillovich Vetrov, arrived in Prague to supervise and coordinate the work of the illegals as they penetrated the ranks of the unrepentant reformists.4 Posing as a Swiss sympathizer with the Prague Spring, Galina Vinogradova (ALLA) was instructed to cultivate Ladislav Lebovič (codenamed KHAN), one of the trainers of the victorious Czechoslovak ice hockey team which was viewed