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Putin like Hitler in 1930s: former Czech foreign minister

Russian President Vladimir Putin is repeating history by acting in Crimea much like Adolf Hitler did in central and eastern Europe in the late 1930s, a former Czech foreign minister said in an interview Monday. "What's happening in Ukraine is history repeating itself," Karel Schwarzenberg said in an interview with Austrian daily Osterreich. "Putin is acting along the same principle as Adolf Hitler" did during his invasions of Austria, Czechoslovakia and Poland in 1938 and 1939, he said.

UPDATE 2-Leftist ex-PM Zeman wins Czech presidential election

* Former PM Zeman beats Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg * Zeman to take Czechs closer to European mainstream * Critics note links with former communist officials (Adds quotes from Zeman, Schwarzenberg, updates results) By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE, Jan 26 (Reuters) - Leftist former prime minister Milos Zeman won the Czech Republic's first direct presidential election on Saturday, beating a conservative opponent he had accused of favouring foreign interests in a bitter campaign.

Czechs pick between prince and earthy leftist for new president

* Prince Schwarzenberg, former PM Zeman in closely-contested race * Both candidates more pro-European than outgoing President Klaus * Results expected on Saturday afternoon By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Czechs were picking between an elderly prince and an earthy leftist on Friday in the central European country's first direct presidential election.

Czech prince mixes charm and punk in run for presidency

(Refiles adding dropped word in lead) * Schwarzenberg energises voters tired of graft * Followers see him as heir to Vaclav Havel * Running neck-and-neck with former leftist prime minister By Jan Lopatka PRAGUE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - A 75-year-old prince with a centuries-old lineage and a taste for the unconventional has won a surprise following in his bid for the Czech presidency with a "punk rock" campaign that has energised Czechs weary of the current political class.

UPDATE 1-Former PM to square off with prince for Czech presidency

* Czechs vote to replace Euro-sceptic Vaclav Klaus * Former PM Milos Zeman narrowly wins first round * Foreign Minister Schwarzenberg surges to finish narrowly behind * Second round result is widely open (Adds quotes, nearly complete results) By Jan Lopatka
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