The Daily Dozen: 12 things to know about Czechia today

A pardon for Polish shamans, auction for naked Putin statue, snow coming, and more buzzworthy headlines for Nov. 18. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 18.11.2022 15:55:00 (updated on 18.11.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes


War in Ukraine | The West should not have a say about Ukraine's territorial integrity, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský told the Guardian in an interview yesterday. “We should not be in a position where we dictate to Ukraine with other conditions for peace, if they are fighting for their own survival,” Lipavský said. He added that, through his actions in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin "wants to destroy the principle that the borders of states are not changed by brute force.”

Polish shamans | President Miloš Zeman will pardon a Polish couple sentenced to prison for trafficking in the psychotropic drink ayahuasca, Seznam Zprávy reports, citing Justice Minister Pavel Blažek, who thanked Zeman for his "wise and human" decision. Jarosław Kordys and his wife were given prison sentences of eight years for making and distributing a prohibited Peruvian substance in Moravia.


Fear of World War III | A survey carried out by the polling agency Median a week ago showed that more than half of Czechs are afraid that the war in Ukraine will reach global proportions, iDnes reports. Median director Přemyslav Čech said that this week's incident, which saw a missile crash into Polish territory, will likely compound these fears. Another poll showed that the majority of Czechs wished that the Ukrainians were victorious in the conflict.

Havel benches | The fourth Prague bench honoring former Czech President Václav Havel was unveiled to the public yesterday on the Vltava embankment, iDnes reports. Initiated by the former Czech ambassador to the U.S. Petr Gandalovič, together with the architect and designer Bořek Šípek, the construction of Havel benches is a worldwide project, with installations in Venice, Hiroshima, and Tel Aviv.


Remarkable find | Archaeologist of the University of Hradec Králové found a Bronze Age burial ground while exploring the route of the future highway between Sadová and Hořice, ČTK reports. While the archeological survey was preceded by a detector survey, which in other places recorded finds from the Late Middle Ages or the early Middle Ages, the Bronze Age burial ground came as a surprise, according to UHK archeologist Ladislav Rytíř.


  • 150,000: The expected attendance of an anti-government protest held yesterday at Prague's Letná that only "dozens" of people turned out for, according to iDnes.
  • 15: The expected snowfall (in centimeters) in parts of the Czech Republic this weekend, ČTK reports, citing the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute.
  • 1.5 billion: The amount in Czech crowns that the Czech Republic is seeking to recuperate from two post-Soviet banks, Seznam Zprávy reports.


Medieval Madonna| The National Gallery Prague (NGP) presented yesterday to journalists a 14th century Madonna, which will be introduced to the public after restoration, ČTK writes. The Czech state bought the statue, which is known as Madonna on the Angel's Throne from Havrana, this year from a private owner for CZK 4.5 million. NGP believes that some of its previous owners were Sudeten Germans.

Naked Putin | The activist group Kaputin is auctioning off a statue showing Russian President Vladimir Putin in the nude, sitting on golden toilet, ČTK reports. The starting price for the auction, which lasts until Dec. 20, is EUR 10,000. According to the statue's creator Otakar van Gemund, its purpose is to show "the evil of the current Kremlin regime in full nakedness."


Travel plans | Prague Airport announced three new routes connecting Prague to European cities and major tourist destination. Ultra low-cost carrier Ryanair will offer twice-weekly flights to the Italian city of Rimini starting on Mar. 26, 2023; to the Polish city of Gdańsk starting on Mar. 29, 2023; and to the Greek island of Skiathos starting on Jun. 2, 2023.


How's your English? |Czechia ranks 23rd out of 111 countries in a survey of English proficiency from the English Proficiency Index; compared to the rest Europe, Czechia is a disappointing 19th out of 35 countries. Prague, however, made it into the "Very High Proficiency" category. Read more here.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more