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Documents show Soviet KGB targeted intellectual elite in 1968 operation against Prague Spring

A researcher says Cold War documents released this week show that Soviet leaders were so worried about the 1968 Prague Spring reform movement in Czechoslovakia that they sent experienced KGB spies to help thwart it.

Ordered by KGB head Yuri Andropov, 15 agents came in May 1968 to target the intellectual elite in Czechoslovakia, a major force behind attempts to reform the communist regime in the 1960s.

Czech researcher Milan Barta, who examined copies of documents released by Cambridge University to The Associated Press, said Thursday the subversive operation against the Prague Spring protagonists was the first such KGB action against a Warsaw Pact ally.

The documents are copies of KGB files smuggled out of Russia in 1992 by senior KGB official Vasili Mitrokhin.