Ukraine crisis in Czechia: What's happening now (April 14)

A daily dispatch on how the war in Ukraine is impacting life in the Czech Republic.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 28.03.2022 15:33:00 (updated on 14.04.2022) Reading time: 27 minutes

April 14, 2022

From today, the Regional Assistance Center for Ukrainian refugees in Prague is operating at a new location in Vysočany. The new location, lent to the capital by the Central Group for free for the next six months, replaces the previous Prague Congress Center location. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib said that operations at the new location continue to rely on the work of volunteers who can translate from Czech to Ukrainian, and asked anyone interested to sign up for volunteering at icpraha.com or pomahamepraze.sinch.cz.

  • REFUGEES Interior Minister Vít Rakušan stressed today that the worst-case scenario for the refugee crisis being considered by the Czech government, which would see one million refugees arrive in the country, is unlikely. Rakušan noted that some refugees are already leaving the country, and "the figures do not suggest that the situation will radically alter."
  • HEALTH The Czech state will pay up to CZK 9.9 billion for the health insurance of Ukrainian refugees, according to a strategy approved by the government on Wednesday. The strategy states that if the number of refugees grows to half a million, the state will only cover adults' health insurance for six months, to motivate refugees to seek employment.
  • VISAS The Czech Republic has so far granted 289,000 emergency visas to Ukrainian refugees, the Interior Ministry tweeted today. On Wednesday, 2,800 more visas were granted: a similar number to that seen a week ago.
  • EDUCATION The integration of Ukrainian refugees into the Czech school system will cost around CZK 12.3 billion, according to the government's refugee strategy document. The cabinet currently sees a need to integrate around 125,000 children; if 250,000 children arrive, the capacities of existing Czech schools will no longer suffice, according to the document.
  • DIPLOMACY Czech Senate Chairman Miloš Vystrčil arrived in Kyiv this morning along with other senators from the Czech Republic and Poland. The group is in the city to meet Ukrainian Supreme Council head Ruslan Stefanchuk.

April 13, 2022

The Assistance Center for Refugees in Prague will move from its current location at the Prague Congress Center to the Central Group building in Vysočany tomorrow morning. The relocation is taking place due to planned events to be held in the Congress Center over the coming weeks. Opening hours at the new location will be adjusted during the Easter weekend, and the center will thereafter run from 07:00 until 21:00. Operations at Prague Congress Center will end at 17:00 p.m. today.

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  • REFUGEES A worst-case scenario for the Ukraine war being contemplated by the Czech government would see up to one million refugees arrive in Czechia. The government is discussing possible scenarios for the war and associated refugee crisis today. The best-case scenario sees the refugee influx calming with no further increase from the 300,000 refugees already in Czechia, with estimated integration costs of CZK 54 billion. The middle-case scenario sees a worsening of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and the arrival of 600,000 refugees in total. The third scenario considers the spread of conflict throughout the country and the arrival of a million people in Czechia.
  • DEMONSTRATIONS The Russian Embassy in Prague has seen another demonstration of public anger about the war in Ukraine. Various appliances and household items were strewn on the pavement outside the embassy, in a reference to the mass theft allegedly committed by Russian troops in Ukraine.
  • AID Czech helicopters which joined an international mission called Helping Aircraft have distributed over nine tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine, transported from Moravia. The aid mostly consisted of drugs, health equipment and sanitary products. On their return flights to the Czech Republic, helicopters carried Ukrainian fleeing the war.
  • VISAS Czechia granted another 3,000 visas to people fleeing the war in Ukraine yesterday, a similar number to a week earlier. A total of 286,000 visas have so far been granted to Ukrainian refugees. The steady decline in arrivals seen in late March now seems to have stopped.
  • ACCOMMODATION Emergency humanitarian accommodation for refugees, such as tents, gyms and other makeshift premises, is currently only being used by 900 people, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said today, thanking NGOs, regions and municipalities for their assistance in finding better accommodation for refugees.

April 12, 2022

A city representative for Semily, a town in the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic, has attracted major controversy by posting photos online of traditional Czech chlebíčky (open sandwiches) decorated with cheeses in a Z-shape, recalling the symbol used to support Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Bronislav Kalvoda, a representative for the Freedom and Direct Democracy party, later deleted the post from his Facebook profile, but local police are already looking into the matter. Kalvoda has been removed from his position on a local commission and local councilors are calling for his resignation. Police are meanwhile dealing with another case of the "Z" symbol in nearby Turnov, where it was spray-painted onto a flag of Ukraine and a portrait of Václav Havel in a local underpass.

  • PRAGUE From Thursday, Prague's Assistance Center for Refugees will move to the Central Group building near Vysočanská metro station. It is moving out of the Prague Congress Center due to events scheduled to be held there. The Center will close at the Congress Center on Wednesday at 5 p.m., and open at the new location at 8 a.m. on Thursday.
  • REFUGEES The Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs has launched a Smart Migration mobile app developed by Brno's Mendel University to help refugees with practical advice for starting a new life in Czechia. The app contains useful information about employment, healthcare and education. It is available in Ukrainian, Russian and English. The app is currently available for Android only via Google Play.
  • EDUCATION Around 26,500 refugee children from Ukraine had enrolled at kindergartens and primary schools in the Czech Republic as of April 7, a spokesperson for the Education Ministry said today. The Ministry said the highest numbers of remaining school capacities available to refugees are in the Moravia-Silesia Region, while the lowest are in the Karlovy Vary and Liberec regions.
  • VISAS The Czech authorities granted nearly 4,000 visas to Ukrainian refugees on Monday, taking the total number of special visas issued to refugees to over 283,000, the Interior Ministry tweeted today.
  • AID The Czech Employment Office has so far received 218,000 requests for the CZK 5,000 monthly humanitarian benefit for refugees, and 189,000 of these requests have already been paid. Some 19,000 refugees have so far started working in Czechia and 9,400 more are registered with job centers.
  • ENERGY After a meeting with other Foreign Ministers from the "C5" group (Czechia, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Slovenia) in Prague, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský told reporters that cutting out Russian oil imports in Europe will be a priority of the Czech EU presidency later this year. Lipavský said the Czech presidency will focus on minimizing relations with Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine.

April 11, 2022

An allowance of CZK 3,000 per person per month available to those sheltering Ukrainian refugees in their homes or vacant flats is available from today. As of the early afternoon, around 500 people had already applied for the benefit, according to the government. The CZK 3,000 allowance is given for each refugee sheltered regardless of their age, although a cap of 12,000 is in place even if accommodation is being provided for more than four refugees. The benefit covers costs for those hosting refugees for more than 16 consecutive days. Applications can be made online on the Labor Office's official website.

  • HEALTHCARE Ukrainian medical professionals who have arrived in the country as refugees will be able to work in Czechia without having their diploma certificates recognized for the first three months of their activities, based on a proposal to be submitted by Health Minister Vlastimil Válek on Wednesday. Válek said "hundreds" of Ukrainian refugees have so far registered to be healthcare workers in Czechia.
  • AID Almost a billion crowns has been collected by the Ukrainian Embassy in Prague's public fundraiser for purchases of arms and other military materiel for the Ukrainian armed forces in their fight against Russia. 115,000 donors have sent money to the collection, which is separate to the Czech Defense Ministry's military support for Ukraine. The biggest donor is Seznam CZ, which sent CZK 100 million, while the Jablotron company donated CZK 50 million.
  • NATO Military bases in Přerov and Mošnov, both in North Moravia, could be home to a possible future U.S. military presence in the Czech Republic, according to Labor and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka. At the weekend, Defense Minister Jana Černochová told reporters that discussions would be held on establishing a U.S. military presence in Czechia.
  • REFUGEES The Czech Republic has granted 279,229 special visas to Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion since the war began. On Sunday, 2,572 visas were issued, allowing refugees to stay for up to a year and giving them access to public health insurance, education and the labor market.
  • POLITICS Czech President Miloš Zeman will meet Prime Minister Petr Fiala for discussions on the situation in Ukraine at Zeman's Lány residence tomorrow evening. Meetings between the Prime Minister and President are held regularly once a month, and tomorrow's talks are expected to be dominated by discussions of the war in Ukraine as well as Czech military aid and the refugee crisis.

April 10, 2022

The Czech Republic has now granted 276,657 special visas to Ukrainians fleeing from the war, including 2,340 on Saturday, according to the latest data provided by the Interior Ministry. More than 161,000 refugees have registered with foreign police, about 1,500 on Saturday. Children under 15, who make up around 35 percent of the refugees in the Czech Republic, are not required to register with foreign police; others must do so within 30 days of entering the country.

The special visas issued to Ukrainians allow them to stay in the Czech Republic for up to one year with access to public health insurance and education. They can also be employed without the need for a work visa, and are eligible for additional assistance including accommodation. The real number of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic is estimated at more than 300,000. The number of visas issued over the past week has been slightly declining.

April 9, 2022

Czech Radio has expanded its content offer intended for Ukrainian refugees living in the Czech Republic both through its website and a mobile app. It now offers a practical Ukrainian-Czech audio dictionary with lessons for children and adults, as well as fairy tales in Ukrainian from Czech writers. The new content can be accessed online through this link.

"We keep expanding our service for Ukrainians in Czechia," Czech Radio CEO René Zavoral said in a press release, adding that the dictionary helps refugees with communication in a new environment. Fairytales in Ukrainian are very popular with young listeners, Zavoral said, noting that the website also features a folk tale about a goat recorded by Olga Perebyinis, wife of the Ukrainian Ambassador to Prague.

  • VISAS Czechia has now granted special visas to more than 274,000 Ukrainians fleeing from the war, including almost 2,500 on Friday, according to the Interior Ministry has tweeted. The number of visas being granted has been slowly declining over the past two weeks.
  • AID Ukrainian Ambassador to the Czech Republic Yevhen Perebyinis thanked Czechia for the aid given to Ukraine at the ODS congress in Prague today, stating that the Czech Republic is one of the leaders in sending supplies to Ukraine. "We are living in non-standard times and must be taking non-standard steps," Perebyinis said, calling for increased sanctions on Russia.
  • EU The Czech Republic and eight other European states have prepared a joint letter to the European Commission, asking for help with the current migrant crisis. Czech Regional Development Minister Ivan Bartoš organized an online meeting to prepare the letter with representatives from Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria.

April 8, 2022

British rock band Pink Floyd released their first new music for 28 years to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, and Prague's Letná park appears in the song's music video. The song, called "Hey Hey Rise Up", was released today with all proceeds going to Ukrainian Humanitarian Relief. The song is the first released by the band since their 1994 album Division Bell, and features long-time band members David Gilmour and Nick Mason playing their instruments to accompany vocals from Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk. Footage from a benefit concert for Ukraine in Prague's Letná appears briefly at the end of the video in the top-right corner.

  • WAR CRIMES The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs has tweeted its condemnation of Russia's missile strike against a train station in Kramatorsk, Eastern Ukraine. The Ministry said Russia no longer hides that it is deliberately killing civilians and its behavior is no different to that of a terrorist organization.
  • NATO Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala held discussions with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the need to reinforce NATO's eastern flank and continue military equipment supplies to Ukraine as it faces Russian invasion. Stoltenberg thanked Czechia for its support for Ukraine to date and its role in the formation of a new NATO battle group in Slovakia.
  • EU On a visit to Prague today, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson called on Czechs to record Ukrainian refugees' testimonies of war crimes in their homeland. Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said staff at refugee centers are focusing on the issue as details emerge of atrocities committed in Ukraine.
  • REFUGEES The Czech Finance Ministry has put the costs for dealing with the refugee wave from war-torn Ukraine this year at CZK 50 billion. Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura said Czechia intends to negotiate with the EU about the provision of financial support.
  • VISAS The Czech authorities have granted special visas to over 270,000 Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion. 2,824 visas were granted on Thursday, in keeping with a general decline in numbers to below 3,000 per day for most of this week.

April 7, 2022

The Czech Senate has rejected an amendment to the military service law which would allow Czech volunteers to join the Ukrainian armed forces fighting Russia's invasion of the country. Senators rejected the amendment by 63 votes to 35. Prime Minister Petr Fiala and President Miloš Zeman have already promised no punishment for people who want to fight alongside the Ukrainian army. Critics of the proposed amendment enshrining this permission in law argued that it lacked definitions of the precise conditions for joining the Ukrainian army, as well as necessary parliamentary checks.

  • HEALTHCARE Conditions for the employment of healthcare professionals from Ukraine will not differ from the regular requirements for the employment of doctors from non-EU countries. Health Minister Vlastimil Válek said Ukrainian doctors wanting to work in Czechia can attend a one-year mentored internship, the same as before the war in Ukraine began.
  • VISAS The Czech Republic has granted over 269,000 special visas to refugees from Ukraine. Almost 3,000 visas were granted on Wednesday, 500 fewer than a week ago. The daily number of issued visas has been falling for two weeks now.
  • MILITARY The Czech government has approved another military aid package worth CZK 133 million for Ukraine, according to Defense Minister Jana Černochová. So far, the country has donated military materiel worth CZK 1.1 billion to Ukraine. No further details were provided about the latest aid package.
  • CULTURE The Czech Culture Ministry has earmarked CZK 2 million from its budget to buy and deliver packaging materials for evacuating museum items from Ukraine. The money will be transferred to the Czech National Museum, which will coordinate the purchases and transportation. Ukraine has called for help in protecting its cultural heritage from damage amid war with Russia.

April 6, 2022

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance will urgently help Ukraine re-arm and replenish its supplies in Kyiv over the coming weeks, as it's feared that Russian forces in the east of the country will re-group and launch another major offensive on the capital. NATO allies are therefore speeding up arms deliveries to Ukraine, including reports of tanks and armored vehicles being sent to the country by the Czech military. Stoltenberg warned that Russia is now moving its forces from Kyiv to the east and south of Ukraine to try to take full control of the Donbas region and establish a land connection with annexed Crimea.

  • AID Czech charity People In Need has dispatched foodstuffs to feed 4,000 people and sanitary products for 1,500 people to Eastern Ukraine, the region now most affected by Russia's invasion. The charity's humanitarian aid package is being carried within a UN convoy.
  • POLITICS The lower house of the Czech parliament has recognized the Holodomor, or Great Famine, in Ukraine in 1932-33 as a genocide. Parliament strongly condemned the crime and the mass human rights violation it entailed, and offered its condolences to victims' relatives. The resolution said the "criminal regime of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin" intentionally provoked the famine which was "cynically and cruelly planned."
  • MILITARY Ukraine has asked Slovakia and the Czech Republic to help repair damaged vehicles. Negotiations on the request are underway and no decision has yet been made, according to Slovak Defense Minister Jaroslav Naď.
  • VISAS The Czech Republic issued 2,684 visas to Ukrainian refugees on Tuesday. A total of 266,018 visas have so far been issued since the invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24. The number of visas issued per day has been falling since last week; on Tuesday last week, around 3,500 visas were issued.
  • REFUGEES Ukrainian refugees can now communicate with the Czech authorities in their mother tongue online, if they set up a data box and citizen identity. To set up a data box and identity, citizens need to have been granted a temporary protection visa, have a passport or other official form of ID, and a phone number with the Czech country code +420. More information in Ukrainian, Russian and English can be found at chciidentitu.cz and chcidatovku.cz.

April 5, 2022

Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said the government is preparing a strategy for the integration of up to half a million Ukrainian refugees. At present, it's thought more than 300,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the country. Rakušan said yesterday that the country is transitioning from short-term crisis activities to long-term planning. The integration strategy should be presented to MPs next week. Rakušan earlier predicted that up to a third of the refugees who arrive in Czechia will want to stay in the long-term.

  • AID The head of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Markéta Pekárová Adamová, told media today that the head of the Ukrainian parliament requested more anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense systems as tanks in discussions with the parliamentary chiefs of Czechia, Slovakia and Austria.
  • WAR CRIMES The execution of civilians in Ukrainian towns such as Bucha by Russian soldiers was described by the lower house of the Czech parliament as a war crime under international law. Parliament declared that Czechia should participate in preparations for the establishment of an international tribunal to hold the perpetrators to account.
  • REFUGEES The Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party has asked the government to present a strategy for managing the huge migration wave from Ukraine. The party has criticized the government for allegedly lacking a long-term plan for dealing with the refugee wage; its leader, Tomio Okamura, said today that social and healthcare systems in the Czech Republic are in danger of collapsing.
  • WORK Some 12,600 refugees from Ukraine started working in the Czech Republic in March, and another 10,000 registered at labor offices, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Meanwhile, 162,000 refugees applied for the monthly state refugee benefit of CZK 5,000.
  • WAR The Czech Republic has sent several dozen T-72 tanks and combat vehicles to be used by the Ukrainian military in its fight with Russia. The tanks are a gift from Czechia agreed with the country's NATO allies. The tanks are older items from the Czech army's arsenal, of which around 90 are in stock.

April 4, 2022

Czech President Miloš Zeman, Prime Minister Petr Fiala, and other politicians have condemned the murder of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops. The Foreign Ministry called it a war crime on the part of the Putin regime and demanded punishment of those responsible. President Zeman also condemned the murder of civilians in Ukraine as a war crime and called for punishment by an international tribunal. Anatoly Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, told the Reuters news agency that over 300 people had been killed in the town.

  • REFUGEES The Czech Republic granted 2,496 visas to those fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 259,607 in total since the start of the invasion six weeks ago, the Interior Ministry tweeted Monday. The number of visas issued for temporary protection has been declining in recent days. A total of 146,143 refugees have registered with the immigration police, including 1,681 on Sunday. The actual number of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic is likely much with PM Fiala estimating roughly 300,000 at the beginning of last week.


  • POLICY Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala believes that Hungary, after its general election which saw conservative Viktor Orban win a fourth consecutive term, will be more involved in dealing with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, adding that Europe needs to jointly back Ukraine.


  • MILITARY Czech soldiers are today leaving for Slovakia where they will command a multinational battlegroup that will be deployed there to boost the allied forces on the eastern flank of NATO in reaction to the situation in Ukraine. The battle group may have up to 2,100 members and soldiers from Germany, Poland, Slovenia, the Netherlands, and the U.S. will be also part of it. Czechia will send several hundred soldiers to it. The battlegroup will operate in the Lest military area, southern Slovakia.


  • AID Ivo Lukačovič, owner of Seznam.cz, is donating CZK100 million (over USD 4 million) to buy weapons for Ukraine. The entrepreneur said he made the sizeable donation in response to seeing footage from the Ukrainian city of Bucha near Kyiv, where hundreds of civilians died after the departure of Russian soldiers. Lukačovič announced the donation on Twitter on Monday morning.


  • EDUCATION Czech NGO Good Will Committee-Olga Havlova Foundation will provide scholarships to secondary school and university students from Ukraine. The foundation has earmarked CZK 500,000 and will accept applications until the end of April. The money has been donated by the ČSOB bank which has also donated 200 tablets and computers to be distributed to Ukrainian students for free.

April 3, 2022

Prague will host a large-scale benefit concert for Ukraine today from 3:00 p.m. on the spacious Letná Plain, a outdoor open space that has seen a number of significant cultural events over the years including 1989 Velvet Revolution protests.

Titled Together for Ukraine, the concert will feature performances by prominent musical artists and speeches from actors, athletes, and those who have escaped the war in Ukraine. Among the performers at the concert will be Arinka, an 8-year-old musician from Kharkiv who recently arrived in Prague.

For those unable to attend the concert in person, it will also be broadcast live on social media and YouTube through the video below:

  • REFUGEES The Czech Ministry of the Interior has spent 10 billion crowns to handle the current influx of migrants, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said this on Czech Television this morning. The government will further discuss the strategy for managing migration on Wednesday, and currently estimates around 500,000-600,000 refugees from Ukraine will permanently stay in the Czech Republic.
  • DIPLOMACY Russian diplomats have laughed off an appeal by the Czech Foreign Ministry to stop serving Putin's regime. "Thanks for the 'generous offer,'" the Russian Mission in Geneva tweeted at the Czech ministry, "but we’ll pass. We have plenty of conscience and already maintain the capacity to recognize an American lapdog, when we see one."

April 2, 2022

Prague's Direct Action Theatre staged a short performance protesting Russian President Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine outside the Russian Embassy in Prague on Friday. With its performance, the theater troupe wanted to show support to both those in Russia who are protesting against Putin's regime, as well as those in Ukraine fighting to defend their homeland.

Members of the theater troupe dressed as Russian police arrested a performer filling in for Putin with a paper mask during the performance. About 20 Prague police officers monitored the event.

  • REFUGEES The Czech Republic granted another 2,824 special visas to refugees fleeing Ukraine on Friday, and the total number of visas granted to refugees during the war in Ukraine now totals 254,537. A total of 142,529 refugees have registered with the Czech immigration police, including 3,363 on Friday; children under 15 are not required to register.


  • MILITARY Germany has approved the sale of 56 PbV-501 armored vehicles from the Czech Republic to Ukraine. The vehicles originally belonged to East Germany but now have a Czech owner, the German Defence Ministry confirmed. States or companies who want to export arms or military equipment that were originally produced in Germany must first receive approval from Berlin.


  • DIPLOMACY The Czech Foreign Ministry has urged Russian diplomats abroad to stop serving Putin's regime, stating that after the war in Ukraine, Russia and those who serve for it will face serious consequences. The statement from the ministry, in English and Russian, can be found here.

April 1, 2022

The Czech Foreign Ministry has called on Russian diplomats not to serve Vladimir Putin's regime in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Foreign Ministry also warned that after the war, Russia will face the consequences of its violent acts. The ministry released its appeal to Russian diplomats in English and Russian today, arguing that although diplomats represent their state, "there must be limits" to what people are willing support and that Russian envoys "have been cheated" by their leaders.

  • REFUGEES The Czech government is underestimating the Ukrainian refugee crisis and should establish an office specifically for refugee affairs helping the hundreds of thousands of people arriving in the country find lodgings and employment, according to People in Need NGO Director Šimon Pánek.
  • MILITARY The German government has given the green light to the sale of 56 PbV-501 armored vehicles, owned by a Czech company after previously belonging to East Germany, to Ukraine. Until recently, Berlin rejected significant arms shipments to Ukraine as part of its post-WWII defense policy.
  • CZECHS Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said yesterday evening that Czechs who volunteered to fight in Ukraine are already sustaining injuries and some are disappearing. "We have already recorded some missing Czechs and the like," Rakušan said, claiming that dozens or "perhaps even hundreds" of Czechs are already fighting in Ukraine.

March 31, 2022

The Czech cabinet has asked the ministries of finance, foreign affairs and industry to work on a sanctions package against Russian entities in the Czech Republic in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said the country lacks an effective instrument for bringing in effective sanctions against foreign entities, so the three ministries must prepare such an instrument in accordance with Czech law. The ministries will therefore speed up work on the so-called Magnitsky law, enabling sanctions for gross violations of human rights, which the current cabinet had earlier pledged to submit by the end of 2023.

  • REFUGEES Deputy Health Minister Jakub Dvořáček said accommodation for Ukrainian refugees is not currently being allocated in accordance with availability of healthcare, and that most refugees are currently in areas of the currently where healthcare capacities are already full. Dvořáček warned that some healthcare providers could become overwhelmed, leading to limited services for Czechs as well as refugees.
  • AID The Czech Red Cross has delivered over 60 tons of medical material to Ukraine, with supplies since the Russian invasion began including protective helmets, stretchers, medical tents, 22 medical vehicles and three cars for humanitarian aid transportation. The goods were delivered in 12 separate humanitarian missions by the Czech Red Cross to Ukraine.
  • VISAS The number of visas granted to refugees by the Czech Republic is approaching the 250,000 mark, reaching 249,000 yesterday. A total of 137,102 refugees have so far registered with the immigration police; children under 15 do not have to register.
  • LEADERSHIP Czech Catholic priest, theologian, and philosopher Tomáš Halík and former diplomat and director of the Václav Havel Library Michael Žantovský have proposed that this year's Nobel Peace Prize be awarded to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In the letter sent to the chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, the diplomats said that by resisting the Russian aggression at the head of the Ukrainian nation, Zelensky was defending peace for the whole of Europe.

March 30, 2022

Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib has conveyed concern from the Central Crisis Staff of the Czech Republic about the concentration of Ukrainian refugees in some specific regions. There are up to four times more Ukrainian refugees per capita in Prague than other regions, putting a disproportionate strain on the capital's assistance services. Hřib therefore called for better coordination of services for refugees at the national level to better handle the long-term effect of the crisis. Meanwhile, Prague Deputy Mayor Petr Hlubuček said the refugee influx is on a downward trend, with less than half of the number of arrivals seen at the start of March. As such, the Prague Assistance Center for Ukrainian refugees could shorten its opening hours.

  • CARE An 18-month-old Ukrainian baby girl with burns on 60 percent of her body, who was airlifted for demanding treatment from Poland to Prague, has undergone the first of a series of procedures. Her condition remains critical, though, according to a spokesperson from the Vinohrady Teaching hospital.
  • EMERGENCY The state of emergency in the Czech Republic, in place since March 4, has been extended by parliament until the end of May. The extension of the emergency state until May 31 has attracted controversy due to the governing parties’ previous stern criticism of the overuse of mechanism by the ANO government during the Covid pandemic. The vote on its long extension due to the ongoing refugee crisis was preceded by a nine-hour debate in parliament.
  • CRIME Czech police are investigating nine cases in a shortened procedure in connection with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A total of 133 cases have resulted in criminal proceedings, with almost 40 of these relating to expressions of approval for the Russian invasion.
  • VISAS The Czech Republic has issued over 245,000 visas to Ukrainian refugees since the war in Ukraine began. 3,600 visas were granted on Tuesday. It's thought the real number of refugees in the country will now have broken the 300,000 mark.
  • WAR A Czech volunteer fighting with the Ukrainian armed forces spoke to Czech Television about the situation in the country. He said Ukrainian soldiers face a permanent barrage of Russian missiles and artillery. The Czech soldier, named Filip, previously trained with an elite unit of the Czech military and left to fight in Ukraine as soon as the war broke out.
  • SECURITY The Foreign Ministers of the Czech Republic and Germany held discussions on European energy security and the Ukrainian refugee crisis yesterday. Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský stressed that instead of a relocation scheme for refugees, the Czech Republic favors a system in which the EU provides financial aid to states hosting the most refugees. The German minister has previously argued for the establishment of humanitarian centers along the EU's borders with Ukraine, from where refugees could be quickly relocated.
  • RUSSIA A diplomatic employee of the Russian Embassy in Prague has been declared persona non grata, and will have to leave the country within the next 72 hours. The Czech Foreign Ministry announced the news on Twitter, saying that together with allies "we are lowering the Russian intelligence presence in the EU." Multiple news servers have claimed the person being expelled from the country is deputy ambassador Feodosiy Vladyshevsky, over alleged links to Russian secret services. Russia is now likely to expel the Czech deputy ambassador in Moscow in a tit-for-tat move.

March 29, 2022

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the Czech Republic's support for his country's resistance to Russian aggression in a Twitter post today. Zelensky said that in a phone call with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, he expressed his gratitude for the humanitarian and security assistance provided by the Czech Republic, as well as the "exceptional treatment" of Ukrainian refugees who have been welcomed in Czechia. Fiala and Zelensky met in person in Kyiv during an international visit of leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia in mid-March.

  • CRISIS Police from the Czech Republic helping register refugees on Slovakia's border with Ukraine will rotate as the first group of 80 policemen have been stationed at Slovakia's eastern border for around a month now. A new group of 50 officers will set out for the border tomorrow.
  • VISAS The Czech authorities have issued almost 242,000 visas to Ukrainian refugees, according to the Interior Ministry. Over 5,100 visas were issued to Ukrainian migrants on Monday, a slight increase compared to late the previous week. It's thought the real number of refugees in Czechia is much higher, with 300,000 the latest official estimate.
  • NATO Czech army Chief-of-Staff Aleš Opata and NATO Military Committee Chair Rob Bauer discussed the situation in Ukraine at a meeting today. Bauer expressed appreciation for Czech troop deployments in Latvia and Lithuania, as well as Czech leadership of a new multinational NATO battle group in Slovakia.
  • EDUCATION The Czech National Agency for International Education and Research will spend approximately CZK 13 million on support for Ukrainians within the Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps programs. The agency will launch a spring round for applications to provide schools with the chance to support study opportunities for Ukrainians.
  • HEALTH Over 240,000 refugees from Ukraine have so far registered for Czech public health insurance, the chair of the board of public health insurer VZP told journalists today. The total includes 103,000 children and 28,000 men. Quarter of the registrations took place in Prague, and 20,000 each in the Central Bohemia and South Moravia regions.
  • AID The Czech State Office for Nuclear Safety has donated protective equipment including masks, chemical protective clothing, detection and decontamination systems, and other material to Ukraine amid threats of a Russian chemical weapon attack on the country. Ukraine requested help from member states of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the Czech nuclear safety office passed material worth CZK 360,000 to the Embassy of Ukraine in Prague on Sunday.

March 28, 2022

The Czech Republic has frozen assets worth millions of dollars belonging to Russian tycoons as a result of sanctions, according to Prime Minister Petr Fiala. Speaking on television, Fiala didn't name the individuals whose assets have been frozen. He said the government will take care of Czech citizens working for firms owned by the sanctioned Russians, but rejected the idea of nationalizing assets. Other countries to have frozen Russian-owned assets include the U.S., Britain, Canada, Japan, and other EU countries such as France, the Netherlands, and Italy.

  • ALLIES Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala will visit Berlin on April 6 to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. This will be Fiala's first trip to Germany since becoming Prime Minister. The trip has been planned for some time but had to be postponed after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which will be the main topic of discussion at the Fiala-Scholz talks.
  • REFUGEES The Czech Republic has granted 236,585 visas to Ukrainian refugees to date and 3,167 on Sunday alone. The real number of refugees in Czechia is now likely to be in excess of 300,000; around half of this number are children and four-fifths of the adults are women.
  • EDUCATION Around CZK 5.2 billion will be required for the integration of Ukrainian refugees into Czech schools by the end of August, according to Education Minister Petr Gazdík. The money will be needed to pay extra staff members who must be hired to handle increased numbers of students. It will also go towards arranging Czech language courses and summer camps for integrating Ukrainian children into the Czech education system. In the long-term Gazdík has previously put the cost of integrating refugees into Czech schools at CZK 17 billion.
  • EMERGENCY Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has defended the government's proposal to extend the national state of emergency until the end of May. Former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš described attempts to extend the state of emergency beyond the usual thirty-day limit as "unbelievable arrogance." The lower house of the Czech parliament will discuss the government's request on Tuesday.
  • HEALTHCARE Ukrainian doctors fleeing war in Ukraine need intensive language courses as a matter of urgency so that they can take up their profession in the Czech Republic, according to the president of the Czech Medical Chamber Milan Kubek. The Health Ministry is already working on arranging such courses, according to Deputy Health Minister Jakub Dvořáček.
  • PROTESTS More red paint was daubed on the entrance to the Russian embassy this weekend. The latest incident saw four suspects detained by police on the spot.
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