Strong winds and snow predicted throughout the Czech Republic tonight

Plus: Czech Republic sends artillery to Ukraine, government to boycott Beijing Olympics, criminal proceedings launched against disinformation spreaders.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 27.01.2022 09:07:00 (updated on 27.01.2022) Reading time: 5 minutes

15:00 Strong winds and snow forecast tonight

Strong winds will hit the entire Czech Republic tonight with gusts of up to 70 kilometers per hour, according to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. A wind and snow warning is valid from 18:00 tonight for 24 hours. There is a risk of damage to trees and buildings, and traffic complications can also be expected resulting from falling trees and branches. People are advised to secure windows and doors, fix down any loose objects outside and be careful while driving. Hikes in the mountains would also be ill-advised, according to the Hydrometeorological Institute.

13:04 Czech Republic supports NATO deployments, says Foreign Minister

NATO is considering deploying troops in Slovakia amid rising tensions over Ukraine. Slovak Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok told reporters that the alliance is considering bolstering its presence in the country. As Russia builds up its military presence at the borders of Ukraine, NATO is considering creating combat units with a thousand members in Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. Korčok emphasized that the deployment in Slovakia has not yet been confirmed. Similar deployments are already in place in Poland and the Baltic states. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský meanwhile said that the Czech Republic should welcome NATO deployments in eastern Europe as they are in the interests of Czech security. Lipavský made the comments after meeting NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels today.

12:33 Czech women through to Australian Open doubles final

Czech players Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková have made it to the Australian Open women's doubles final. They beat Russian-Belgian pair Veronika Kudermetova and and Elise Mertens 6:2 6:3 in the semi-finals. The Czech pair will now face Brazilian-Kazakh combo Beatriz Haddad Maia and Anna Danilina in the final. Krejčíková and Siniaková gave a pitch-perfect performance in Melbourne, sweeping past their opponents to win their fifth doubles match in a row without losing a set. The pair were the top seeds for he doubles competition heading into the tournament.

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11:02 Plzeň Zoo welcomes baby armadillo

A baby armadillo was born at Plzeň Zoo in December, it has emerged. The zoo has been breeding armadillos since 2010, with 11 pups born in that time. Breeders do not yet know the sex of the new arrival because armadillo pups retreat into a fully armored ball during any attempt at inspection. It's also unknown when exactly the pup was born, as armadillo young are carefully guarded and hidden by their mothers after birth. It's hoped that after a few weeks of careful contact, the pup will get used to human touch and allow staff to determine its sex.

10:00 Chaos on Czech railways over two separate anonymous bomb threats

Prague's main train station (Hlavní nádraží) has re-opened after being shut due to a bomb scare. A message from the railway authorities on Twitter read: "At the request of the Police of the Czech Republic, we closed the premises of the main railway station in Prague at 09:50 am due to suspicion of an explosive device. All traffic through the station is now stopped, we will inform you about its resumption." Twenty minutes later, a follow-up post said "Operation at the station has resumed!" Shortly afterwards, police also reported the evacuation of the train station in Česká Třebová due to another anonymous bomb threat.

Russia-Ukraine Czech Republic sends 4,000 artillery shells to Ukraine

The Czech government will send 4,006 artillery shells in a 152-mm caliber to Ukraine, according to the Czech Ministry of Defense. The decisions was made following government discussions about how to provide assistance to Ukraine in the face of possible Russian aggression. Various types of defense equipment have already been supplied to that country by the Czech Republic’s NATO allies, including the U.S. and Great Britain.

Over 100,000 Russian troops are stationed at the country’s border with Ukraine, and the Kremlin is demanding concessions from NATO including the withdrawal of NATO forces from all countries which joined the alliance after 1997 (including the Czech Republic). Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský is meeting NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels today for consultations.

Human rights Czech government to boycott Beijing Winter Olympics

No Czech government politicians will attend the Winter Olympics in Beijing, according to the Czech Foreign Ministry. Diplomats, including the Czech ambassador to China, may attend events, but this is as yet undecided. The games will begin in nine days’ time, and some western countries including the United States have declared a full diplomatic boycott over Chinese human rights abuses.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry said that in China “draconian measures apply almost with every step.” The Czech Senate is also critical of the Beijing Games; it invited a Tibetan filmmaker to speak to senators, who called for a political boycott of the games.

Covid Criminal proceedings launched against disinformation spreaders

Czech police have launched criminal proceedings against people accused of spreading disinformation related to Covid-19. Police say individuals often spread false information about the pandemic in order to operate fraudulent activities for personal gain. Individuals are also being prosecuted for stalking and harassing Czech doctors.

Prominent figures accused by the government include Patrik Tušl, accused of stalking the president of the Czech Medical Chamber, and Jana Peterková for supposedly spreading disinformation about old people dying after receiving a Covid vaccine.

Roma Community Czech policeman calls Roma children “brats” in TikTok video

A video has recently surfaced on TikTok showing a police officer in Mladá Boleslav arguing with a Roma family. The officer refers to the family’s children as “brats” and threatens a woman with physical violence. Local police have confirmed that the video was filmed last summer, that the incident ended with both parties apologizing, and that the officer has already been disciplined.

The video showed an argument in which the Roma group accused Czech policemen of discrimination. Although the video ended with all parties shaking hands and apologizing, Roma authorities say the policeman’s behavior during the incident was “incompatible with the mission of a patrolman.” It’s thought the incident took place after police found Roma children playing with a shopping trolley found next to garbage bins.

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Traffic incident Pile-up near Brno causes motorway closure

A collision involving a lorry, van and four passenger cars closed the D52 motorway in the direction of Brno this morning, with traffic diverted through nearby villages. Two people were injured in the pile-up, which was attended by medical rescue crews and traffic police. The motorway is expected to re-open at around 10:00 this morning.

The accident will provoke additional concerns about safety on Czech roads following a huge 39-car pile-up near Prague last week. Adverse weather is also a concern, with snow and ice on roads recently prompting warnings from transport authorities.

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