Strougal initially opposed the invasion but later joined the hard-liners.
After Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced a reform program known as ″perestroika,″ or restructuring, Strougal was considered a pragmatic reformer.
But the hard-liners led by Milous Jakes prevailed, with Strougal resigning from his post in 1988 — a year before the Velvet Revolution led by Vaclav Havel ended more than 41 years of communist rule.
Legal attempts after 1989 failed to hold Strougal responsible for the communist-era persecution and the deaths of people killed at Czechoslovakia’s borders while trying to flee for the West.
Born Oct 19, 1924 in Veseli nad Luznici, Strougal was a member of the Communist Party’s leadership for three decades and also served as agriculture minister and interior minister before becoming prime minister.
He retired from politics in 1989 and was expelled from the party a year later.