Czechia sends over CZK 40 billion in military aid to Ukraine, with more to come

A joint effort by the government, defense industry, and public raised money for dozens of tanks and other military equipment.

Thomas Smith ČTK

Written by Thomas SmithČTK Published on 23.02.2023 12:15:00 (updated on 23.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia has in the past 12 months sent over CZK 40 billion of military aid to Ukraine, Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced at a diplomatic meeting in Poland. 

Huge figures, with support to continue

The Czech government has sent CZK 10 billion in materiel, with the Czech defense industry providing about CZK 30 billion. National security adviser Tomáš Pojar said Wednesday that roughly double the total amount donated so far is scheduled to be sent to Ukraine in the coming months.

Since February 2022, Czechia has given Ukraine 226 armored vehicles, 89 tanks, 38 howitzers, 33 rocket launchers, and 1.5 million rounds of ammunition.

Czechia has also offered Ukraine treatment for its wounded soldiers, and late last year allowed Ukrainian infantrymen to train on Czech soil. By the end of 2022, around 700 soldiers were in Czechia.

Fiala noted that the Czech Republic was among the first countries to have sent arms to Ukraine for defense against the Russian invasion, and had motivated other countries by its move. He noted that there was total solidarity among NATO nations to assist Ukraine in the months ahead.

Fundraisers for Ukraine showcase Czech people's generosity

The government and defense sector are not the only sources of aid to Ukraine, however. The Czech public – via multiple fundraisers – has raised millions of crowns in the past year. 

For example, the Gift for Putin initiative has raised enough funds in 2022 to buy multiple tanks, drones, and air-defense mobile systems for Ukraine. The project recently surpassed the CZK 400-million mark in donations, with over 100,000 people contributing. 

Another example of public aid is the CZK 165 million collected by NGO Charita ČR. In total, Czechs donated about CZK 4 billion to Ukraine by the end of 2022.

“We have tough weeks and months ahead that could be crucial. Ukraine needs our help to be able to defend itself against Russia.” - Petr Fiala

A recent opinion poll has found that Czechs’ support for the government’s efforts in ending the war is beginning to cool down. Findings from the Center for Public Opinion Research at the end of last year found that just 42 percent of people agreed with the government’s actions in relation to the war, a drop of 16 percentage points from spring last year.

A separate poll from January 2023 found that 28 percent of people supported NATO expanding its resources eastwards – something that Fiala encouraged in Poland this week.

With a spring offensive from Russia expected, Czechia’s resolute and enduring support of Ukraine will bolster the attacked country’s chances of winning the war.

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