Czech daily news roundup: Monday, April 18, 2022

A police video courts Easter controversy, Czechs celebrate Easter Monday without restrictions, and a warm spell lies ahead.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 18.04.2022 10:21:00 (updated on 19.04.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

POLICE Czech police remove Easter video from social networks

A video released by Czech police in honor of the Easter holiday was removed from social networks. In the clip, a group of Easter revelers in traditional folk costumes holding whips rush a woman getting out of a car. Her bodyguard takes out the men before they can finish the job. The video features the Protection Service of the Parliament of the Czech Republic, a special unit of the police. According to various reports in the Czech media, the video was removed after mixed public reactions. You can still view it here.

Holiday Czechs celebrate Easter Monday without restrictions

This year, for the first time in two years, measures against the spread of coronavirus will not prevent Easter traditions from taking place. A year ago, a state of emergency was in place in the Czech Republic due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Babiš government feared a significant spread of the illness, similar to what had taken place the previous Christmas, and strongly advised people to celebrate only with members of their own household. 

Folk customs and traditions heralding the arrival of spring include boys and men going from door to door with pomlázka whips to receive decorated eggs, sweets, or ribbons from girls and women. 

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Ukraine Czechia collects over CZK 3 billion in aid to Ukraine

Czechs have collected at least CZK 3.4 billion for aid to Ukraine since it was attacked by Russia, sending some one-third of the total to the account of the Ukrainian Embassy in Prague for the purchase of military equipment for the Ukrainian military and home defense, organizers have told journalists. Since the Russian invasion, several million people have fled Ukraine and about 300,000 have come to the Czech Republic.

Over one billion crowns have been sent to the collection in support of the Ukrainian armed forces. The embassy has already spent roughly nine-tenths of the sum. Czech company Seznam.cz has contributed CZK100 million crowns to the collection for the Ukrainian embassy. In early April, its owner Ivo Lukacovic did so in response to video footage from the town of Bucha where hundreds of dead civilians were left behind following the departure of Russian troops.

ESPIONAGE Russia tried to recruit expelled Czech diplomat as spy

Russian secret services tried but failed, to recruit Czech diplomat Tomáš Hart, expelled from Russia earlier this week, Respekt.cz is reporting today. On Wednesday, Moscow expelled the Czech deputy ambassador in reaction to the March expulsion of his Russian opposite number from the Czech Republic. Respekt.cz writes that in late March, Russian secret services tried to recruit Hart. He received a letter with an invitation to a meeting in Moscow but didn't respond to the offer and reported it to Prague headquarters.

Along with Hart, a Czech diplomat was addressed on the street by an unknown man and threatened with expulsion from Russia if she failed to collaborate. Diplomatic relations between Czechia and Russia have been tense for some time, flaring when Prague expelled part of the Russian embassy staff in April over the Czech secret services' well-founded suspicion that Russian agents were behind the 2014 Vrbětice explosions.

Weather Warm weather coming to Czechia later this week

After a colder start to the week, the Czech Republic will gradually start to warm up from Wednesday. By the weekend daily highs could approach 20 degrees Celsius. Tuesday, in particular, will be rainy, with cloudy skies and occasional rain predicted in the coming days, according to the weekly forecast from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute (CHMI). The extended Easter weekend in the Czech Republic saw sunny days with relatively cold nights. Today, clouds could turn to rain and mixed precipitation or snowfall at higher altitudes.

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