Defense Minister wants to reinforce country's protection against Russian threat

Czechia plans to strengthen its military resources and infrastructure. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 10.10.2022 11:25:00 (updated on 13.10.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Czech Defense Minister Jana Černochová (Civic Democrats) has been preparing changes of regulations to enable more effective protection of Czechia’s critical infrastructure. This comes amid Russian aggression against Ukraine and Russia’s efforts to weaken the arms industry in countries assisting Ukraine, she said yesterday.

Černochová would like to give more powers to the military police and military intelligence, she said in the discussion program "Questions with Václav Moravec" on Czech television, according to Denik. The defense minister has proposed an increase of the country's active reserve troops - from 4,000 to 4,500.

Czech soldiers, who this month are guarding the border with Slovakia due to illegal migration, may then help secure better protection of important buildings and premises, she said.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, efforts to safeguard vital parts of Czechia’s infrastructure have been strengthened. The defense minister stated that she would be “submitting legislative changes that enable faster reaction to these attempts and their subsequent punishment”. 

An explosion on Tuesday last week in a Bulgarian arms factory, which affects the Czech arms industry, only strengthens reasons to protect Czechia. For Černochová, this harkens back to 2014 explosions in Czech ammunition depots in Vrbětice, which - according to Czech authorities - were caused by Russian military intelligence agents.

Objects that could next become a target of attacks are ammunition warehouses or other places important for the critical infrastructure of the Czech Republic, according to

NATO’s role in protecting Czechia and Europe will be pivotal. Černochová expects that NATO’s eastern flank in the bloc will be bolstered, as per the framework agreed upon at the organisation’s Madrid summit in June. The defense minister also noted the benefits of NATO activity in Africa and the Middle East, to prevent these areas falling under Russian control. 

"The reinforcement of the eastern flank of NATO certainly has the effect of deterrence", Petr Pavel, the former head of a NATO military committee and current Czech presidential candidate, said in the discussion programme.

General Pavel believes that Russia is leading a hybrid war against Czechia: "I would be naive to think that Russia does not wage war against us…it considers us the enemy", he noted. The presidential candidate believes that Russia will attempt to drag the war on for as long as possible, until the West’s support of Ukraine wanes. 

Pavel states that a peaceful end to the conflict is currently impossible, owing to Russia’s unreasonable territorial claims in the east of Ukraine. He tweeted yesterday his belief that Ukrainians would liberate all previously annexed regions since the February 24th invasion by the winter.

Czechia intends to support Ukraine and has enough military means to continue doing so, the defense minister said. "It will depend on how fast our Western allies will be able to deliver Western equipment to us so that we can send [it] to Ukraine. This support must not stop", she said. 

Černochová plans to travel with Czechia’s prime minister, Petr Fiala (Civic Democrats), to Kyiv at the end of October for a meeting with Ukrainian heads of state. She mentioned that the Czech government would continue to support injured Ukrainians in Czechia.

Russia’s decision to enlist inexperienced personnel without the required military training, and that now face the Ukrainian offensive, has shed doubts over the strength of the Russian army.

"Russia wanted to be the second strongest military in the world, now it is the second strongest military in Ukraine", Černochová said.

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