Czech players from Russian KHL barred from playing for national team

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

Written by Staff Published on 22.08.2022 14:04:00 (updated on 28.08.2022) Reading time: 8 minutes

August 28, 2022

Cooperation Czechia could help Ukraine rebuild Dnepropetrovsk region

The Czech Republic could participate in the post-war reconstruction of the Dnepropetrovsk region in Ukraine, Czech Ambassador to Ukraine Radek Matula tells ČTK. According to the Ambassador, Czech assistance in this region is logical as a number of Czech companies have operated there in the past. Involvement in the reconstruction of this area has yet to formally approved, however.

Apart from assisting in specific areas, individual countries may also be asked to help Ukraine rebuild according to economic sectors, Matula adds. In this scenario, the Czech Republic could assist Ukraine in rebuilding its transportation infrastructure, healthcare, or energy sectors, he adds. There should be some clarity regarding international efforts to help rebuild Ukraine by the end of September.

Matula, who is stationed in Kyiv, adds that despite some restrictions the city as a whole is functioning with regards to almost everything. "I have to say that in this period, in many parts of the city, you no longer know that you are in the capital of a country that is at war," Matula said, noting that the atmosphere in Kyiv is much different now than it was in April and May.

Visas Czechia has now issued 420,000 emergency visas to Ukrainians

The Czech Republic has now granted temporary protection visas to 419,975 Ukrainian refugees since the war in Ukraine started in February. A total of 4,284 visas have been issued over the past seven days, slightly more than the previous week, the Interior Ministry tweeted today.

The exact number of the refugees staying in the Czech Republic is difficult to estimate as many of the refugees are presumed to have left for other countries or returned to their homeland. According to Interior Minister Vít Rakušan, there are currently more than 300,000 Ukrainian refugees living in the Czech Republic.

August 26, 2022

sports Czech players from Russian KHL not to play for national team

Hockey players who signed or will sign a contract with one of the Continental League clubs after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will not be called up to the Czech national team. This was decided by the executive committee of the Czech Ice Hockey Association at its meeting.

Czech hockey chose the same approach as Finland and Sweden. They have already announced that the players who will play in Russian competitions in the upcoming season will not be nominated to the national team.

Defenders Libor Šulák (Vladivostok) and Michal Jordán (Khabarovsk) and forwards Rudolf Červený (Vladivostok) and Dmitrij Yaškin (Petersburg) are engaged in the KHL for the next season. All four played for the national team. The players who signed the contracts before the invasion will not be affected, informed the association.

refugees Half of refugees in Czechia want to return to Ukraine

Almost half of the refugees from Ukraine who moved to Czechia (47 percent) plan to return to their homeland. Most of them want to do so once it is safe, and the others expect to be able to return within the next 12 months, a survey of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) showed.

About half of the adult refugees (49 percent) said they do not plan to move from the place where they settled in Czechia. The survey, which is a part of the Displacement Tracking Matrix project, was carried out among 1.006 refugees who came from Ukraine to Czechia. The authors said the findings are not representative but show the current trends.

August 25, 2022

cooperation Czechia, Ukraine plan agreement to coordinate education

The Czech Republic and Ukraine plan an agreement on cooperation in education to harmonize their steps in instruction that is to be signed in the autumn, Education Minister Balaš said at a press conference today after his visit to Ukraine.

Experts from the Czech Education Ministry and their Ukrainian counterparts mainly negotiated about securing the education and school attendance of Ukrainian children as of September.

According to the original estimates, up to 130,000 pupils from Ukraine were expected to start attending schools in the Czech Republic in the new school year. Balaš said last week some 57,000 children from Ukraine had so far enrolled in Czech schools for the new school year starting on Sept. 1, and the school capacities should be sufficient in most municipalities in the country.

Exclusive Ukrainian classes might run in some schools, along with adaptation groups for refugee children, Balaš added. Ukrainians would also like to have "Ukrainian Saturday schools."

Special centers where Ukrainian students could pass entrance or other exams would be established in Prague and Brno.

REFUGEES National Museum launches Ukrainian version for its app

The Czech National Museum (NP) launched a Ukrainian version of its application for mobile devices today on the occasion of the Independence Day of Ukraine, announced NP representatives at the closing event of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) conference in Prague.

Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska greeted the participants in the ICOM meeting on a video recording. "I supported the introduction of an audio guide (in Ukrainian) in world museums long before the war. Now, this initiative has completely new dimensions. A tour of the museum in Ukrainian can bring Ukrainians closer to their home they had to leave due to the Russian aggressor," she said in the video.

August 24, 2022

support Czechia has donated military supply worth almost CZK 4 billion to Ukraine

The Czech Republic has sent military supplies worth CZK 3.8 billion to Ukraine over the six months of the war, and it is also helping the wounded soldiers, Defense Minister Jana Černochová said. Referring to security reasons, the ministry does not elaborate on the gifts for Ukraine.

Along with the government's help, the provisioning of the Ukrainian military has also been joined by Czech firms. Helicopters, tanks, howitzers, and missile launchers delivered by the Czech Republic have been used in Ukraine in the past months.

politics President Zeman fully supports arms deliveries to Ukraine

President Miloš Zeman fully supports arms supplies to Ukraine. He believes Czechia will take part in the reconstruction of Ukraine and has appreciated the acceptance of Ukrainian refugees in the country, he told Czech ambassadors at Prague Castle on Wednesday, Aug. 23.

The military attack against Ukraine means Russia has not gained anything and has lost practically everything, said Zeman, referring to the lost lives, materials, and reputation.

He said Israeli President Isaac Herzog presented a plausible explanation for the Russian aggression when he visited Prague in July. Herzog said then that Russian President Vladimir Putin attacked Ukraine after NATO capitulated in Afghanistan.

NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan last year. Zeman has been criticizing the withdrawal after which the Taliban movement got control over nearly the whole country. He labeled the withdrawal from Afghanistan cowardice.

"I pointed out that this would lead to the creation of a new terrorist center," he said.

According to Zeman, the Russian leadership seemed to conclude that when NATO withdrew from Afghanistan, it will withdraw also in the case of the Russian attack on Ukraine.

celebration Prague will celebrate Ukraine's independence day

  • Due to the war in Ukraine, this year the Embassy of Ukraine decided to celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine with a cultural event for the public. 

  • The event will take place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m in front of the Industrial Palace at Výstaviště.

August 23, 2022

COOPERATION Czech Education Minister Balaš pays visit to Ukraine

Czech Education Minister Vladimír Balaš is visiting Ukraine today to negotiate aid for Ukrainian pupils and students in the Czech Republic and possibilities of further cooperation.

On the way to Kyiv, Balaš visited the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv where he talked to the university heads about cooperation with Czech universities. He also plans to meet representatives of the Kyiv university and the Ukrainian center for the assessment of education quality with which the Czech School Inspection is collaborating.

refugees 107,000 Ukrainian refugees found jobs in Czechia

The Ministry of Labor informed that 107,000 people from Ukraine with protection visas work in the Czech Republic. Labor Minister Marian Jurečka called the employment of a large number of refugees a "great success". 

According to statistics from the Labor Office, at the end of July, a total of over 248,900 people from Ukraine were employed in the Czech Republic. It is roughly 39,300 more than at the end of February. 

According to the data, over the past six months, employed Ukrainian women have increased in the Czech labor market, while the number of men has not changed.

August 22, 2022

protest Charles Bridge rally draws attention to companies cooperating with Russia

Around 60 people took part in a rally called the Way of the Cross with sponsors of the Russian economy (Křížová cesta sponzorů ruské ekonomiky) in the early evening on Charles Bridge in Prague. The event aimed to draw attention to a number of companies that still did not limit their activities in Russia after the outbreak of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

People on the bridge carried symbolic crosses in the color of the Ukrainian flag with logos of, for example, the New Yorker clothing brand, the Bonduelle food company, the Emirates airline, and the UniCredit bank. 

The participants of the event gathered at the beginning of the Charles Bridge from the Malostranské náměstí side. The procession then went roughly halfway across the bridge, where people lined up with crosses. 

In addition to company logos, some people carried banners in Czech and English with inscriptions such as "Russia is a terrorist state," "Stop Russian imperialism," and "Russia lies, Russia tortures, Russia murders."

The banners also urged passers-by to visit the Yale University website, where a list of companies that still have not curtailed their operations in Russia can be found. "We want to support companies leaving the Russian market, and as consumers to express our support for those who have already left," Julie Levková, one of the event organizers, told ČTK.

It was from this list that the organizers selected roughly 30 brands that are well known to Czech consumers. They also wanted to point out, for example, that the New Yorker company opened a new branch in Moscow in March, i.e. after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Among other fashion brands were United Colors of Benetton, Diesel, Lacoste, and Georgio Armani. "These companies have not even stopped investments or new projects in Russia in six months," added Levková.

politics Czechia's interest is to stop Russian imperialism, says PM

The heads of Czech embassies abroad met at the Černín Palace for a regular meeting on Monday. The topic of negotiations with Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský was mainly economic and security issues in connection with the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ČT24 reports.

Among other things, the Prime Minister urged the ambassadors to look for all, even hitherto overlooked, possibilities in the energy sector. In a speech, the head of Czech diplomacy then appealed to diplomats to "explain why one cannot be indifferent to evil in the form of war."

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