Czech President condemns Russian annexation of Ukraine territory

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 29.08.2022 13:52:00 (updated on 02.10.2022) Reading time: 10 minutes

Oct. 2, 2022

Politics Czech President condemns Russian annexation of Ukraine territory

Czech President Miloš Zeman and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová are among nine European heads of state to sign a letter condemning the Russian annexation of Ukrainian territories. The letter urges NATO members to significantly increase military aid to Ukraine to continue their fight against Russia.

Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland and Romania have also signed the letter.

"We do not recognize and will never recognize the Russian Federation's efforts to annex part of the Ukrainian territory," the statement reads.

"We cannot keep silent face to face with the apparent violation of the international law by the Russian Federation and this is why we are releasing the following statement: We confirm our support for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine."

"We support Ukraine in its defense against the Russian invasion, we demand that Russia immediately withdraw from all the occupied territories and we call on all allies to considerably increase military aid to Ukraine. All who are committing the crime of aggression must be brought to responsibility and face justice."

Sept. 21, 2022

Russian threat Partial mobilization proves Russia is the only aggressor-PM Fiala

Partial mobilization ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin this morning is an attempt to further escalate the war in Ukraine started by Russia and another proof that Russia is the only aggressor, Czech PM Petr Fiala told CTK today.

"The help for Ukraine is necessary and we need to keep helping them in our own interest," Fiala added.

Putin addressed the public this morning saying that the mobilisation was ordered for the protection against the West, which attempted to weaken, split and destroy Russia.

The mobilisation will mainly affect the Russian reservists and the citizens with military experience and it starts immediately, Putin said.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Russia would call 300,000 reservists in the mobilisation.

Minister of Defense Jana Černochová commented on the partial mobilization announced by Putin that mobilization will not help Russia in the war. "The international community has long known that Putin is already sending whoever is at hand to Ukraine...there is no indication that there is anyone else to mobilize," she wrote on Twitter.

Sept. 17, 2022

Politics Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko meets with Czech officials in Prague

Former boxing world heavyweight champion and current Mayor of Kyiv Vitali Klitschko met with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib, and other Czech leaders yesterday in Prague.

"I met with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Petr Fiala," Klitschko wrote on social media after the pair met at Kramářova vila.

"I emphasized that we are grateful to the Czech Republic for its support and assistance. Petr Fiala expressed his admiration for the courage and determination of Ukrainians. He assured Ukraine of further assistance and noted that Czech society's support for Ukrainians has not wavered."

"It was an honor to welcome the mayor of Kyiv Vitaliy Kličko to Prague!" Mayor Zdeněk Hřib wrote on Facebook.

"Prague stands and will stand on the side of democracy and human rights. Over the past four years, we have stopped bowing to authoritarian regimes, straightened our city's spine, and joined the family of pro-Western free cities!"

Sept. 14, 2022

MILITARY AID EU may pay up to 80 percent of military help to Ukraine to Czechs

The Czech Republic may receive up to 80 percent of its military help to Ukraine paid from EU funds, Defence Minister Jana Černochová told journalists today. So far, the Czech Republic has sent unspecified arms and equipment valued at about CZK 4 billion to Ukraine. The Defence Ministry declined to elaborate further, citing security reasons.

Unofficial sources say helicopters, tanks, howitzers, and missile launchers delivered by the Czech Republic were used in Ukraine in the past months.

Černochová said the monetary value of the support given to Ukraine was around CZK 4 billion and the Czech Republic might get most of it back from EU funds. "We have an about 80-percent success of acknowledgment," she added. The EU could start paying out the funds in the months to come, Černochová said.

Sept. 10, 2022

Politics Czech PM Fiala honored with plaque on Kyiv's Constitution Square

Czech PM Petr Fiala and four other European leaders were honored with plaques at the newly-opened Alley of Courage on Kyiv's Constitution Square for their support of Ukraine during the Russian invasion. The plaques were official unveiled by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a ceremony yesterday.

Latvian President Egils Levits, who attended the ceremony, received his own plaque, while Fiala shares a plaque with Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki, who also attended the ceremony, former Deputy PM of Poland Jarosław Kaczyński, and Slovenian PM Janez Janša.

"It is here on the Alley of Courage that the names of the leaders of the states whose people stand with us from the beginning to the end, to the victorious end, appear," Zelenskyy stated.

Fiala, Morawiecki, Kaczyňski and Janša were among the first European leaders to visit Kyiv in the first few days after the Russian invasion. Their countries then provided extensive military and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. Levits was one of the first world leaders to call the invasion a genocide.

Kyiv's Alley of Courage was inaugurated last month by President Zelenskyy alongside Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. It was designed to honor world leaders and others who have supported Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion. Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously received a plaque on the Alley of Courage.

Sept. 4, 2022

SUPPORT Ukrainians stage March of Gratitude in Prague centre

Ukrainians living in Prague walked through the city center for the March of Gratitude on Sunday afternoon, in an effort to thank the Czech Republic for providing support to the country during the Russian invasion. Some 500 participants gathered at Wenceslas Square to show thanks. So far, over 400,000 people have fled from Ukraine to the Czech Republic since the start of the Russian aggression in late February.

Marchers gathered before the Saint Wenceslas statue at around noon. After the opening speech and chanting "We thank you!", they set out towards the Old Town Square. Women were primarily among the participants who were carrying Czech and Ukrainian flags as well as a banner with thanks for the warm reception in the Czech Republic.

The exact number of Ukrainian refugees in the Czech Republic is not known, but Interior Minister Vít Rakušan estimated it at over 300,000 in late August. So far, 424,302 Ukrainian refugees have been granted temporary protection visas.

Organizers of the biggest collections are saying Czechs have sent over CZK four billion n support of Ukraine. The money is mainly to help the victims of the war and to purchase arms for the Ukrainian military. During the six months of the war, the Czech Republic provided Ukraine with military materiel for CZK 3.8 billions.

VISAS Czech Republic has now issued 424,000 emergency visas to Ukrainian refugees

Over the past seven days, the Czech Republic has granted 4,327 emergency visas to refugees from Ukraine. The number of visas granted is roughly the same as the previous week. Since the start of the Russian invasion in February, the Czech Republic has granted a total of 424,302 visas to refugees from Ukraine.

The emergency visas give holders access to public health insurance, education opportunities, and the local job market. The exact number of refugees residing in the Czech Republic is not known, as many have left the country after receiving a visa. Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan estimated that there were in the range of 300,000 refugees in the country in early August.

Sept. 1, 2022

Politics U.S. Secretary of Defense to come to Prague to discuss help to Ukraine

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will come to the Czech Republic on Sept. 9 to discuss help to Ukraine and the current security situation. He will meet with Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Defence Minister Jana Černochová. This will be a follow-up to Černochová's working trip to Washington in the spring when she discussed the modernization of the Czech military, including the possible purchase of U.S.-made F-35 fighters.

Education Up to 60,000 Ukrainian children entering Czech schools

Some 57,000 to 60,000 children from Ukraine have entered schools in the Czech Republic, Education Minister Vladimír Balaš told journalists. He had expected a bigger number of secondary school students from Ukraine. "There is some problem with the secondary school youths. This is due to their having a different educational system, as they have an 11-year system," he added.

As a result, many teenagers at 17 did not enroll in secondary schools in the Czech Republic since they want to finish school attendance in Ukraine although they have online teaching now there.

Contrary to original expectations, about one-fourth of Ukrainian secondary school students, mostly aged around 16, have enrolled. For them, there is also the problem of the language barrier. First, they must learn Czech.

August 31, 2022

sanctions Ukraine's ForMin urges EU to ban Russian tourists

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba before the Prague talks of EU foreign ministers called for the EU to ban the issuance of visas to Russian tourists, describing it as an adequate step in reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine since most Russians support what he called a "genocidal war."

The issuance of tourist visas to Russians will be one of the topics on today's agenda of the two-day informal ministerial summit that started on Tuesday, hosted by Prague as part of the Czech Republic's EU presidency.

A possible suspension of the agreement facilitating the visa issuance to Russian tourists is the first right step, but it is not a sufficient measure, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said. Europe must send a clear political signal, Lipavský said, adding that the Nordic countries' borders are overburdened.

EU diplomacy head Josep Borrell said the EU should get inspired by Finland, which had cut the number of visas issued to Russian citizens to one-tenth of their previous number.

August 30, 2022

government Czech Chief of Staff Karel Řehka visited Ukraine

  • Czech Chief of Staff Karel Řehka and his delegation have visited Ukraine, in particular, Chernihiv and Kharkiv near the Ukrainian-Russian border and the front lines, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote on its Facebook page today.
  • Ukrainian Chief of Staff Valerii Zaluzhnyi said he appreciated the involvement and help of the Czech Republic both in the military area and in the hospitality the Czechs gave to the Ukrainian refugees.


refugees VZP paid CZK 593 million for Ukrainian refugees' healthcare

  • The Czech General Health Insurance Company (VZP) paid about CZK 593 million for some 104,600 Ukrainian refugees' health care as of late June, or less than CZK 5,000 per person, insurance company representatives said at a press conference after the board of directors meeting.
  • VZP has so far registered 349,000 insured refugees, out of whom 123,000 are children and 52,000 of the insured already found jobs, and their insurance is paid for by their employer.


military EU wants training mission for Ukrainian soldiers

  • The EU countries' defense ministers will debate the establishment of a training mission for Ukrainian soldiers at their informal summit in Prague today, EU diplomacy head Josep Borrell told reporters before the meeting.


  • The situation in Ukraine has not improved since the start of the Russian invasion, he said, adding that the European Union supports and will keep supporting Ukraine.


  • The idea of this training mission is old and the EU states had discussed it already before the war started, Borrell said.

August 29, 2022

support Prague residents can donate to Ukraine through virtual sunflowers

On the occasion of the celebration of the Independence Day of Ukraine on Aug. 24, exactly six months after the beginning of Russia's invasion, a charity project called Flowers of Hope was launched in Prague. 

The project uses 11 outdoor advertising spaces in the most frequented places in Prague, through which it is possible to contribute to the restoration of the country. 

The concept is based on the national flower of Ukraine and the symbol of resistance against the invasion of the Russian army — the sunflower. After sending a contribution by scanning the QR code via mobile phone, the sunflower will bloom on the screen, gradually creating a whole field of flowers. 

The money that people donate will go to the account of the Ukrainian Ministry of Regional Development and will be used for the reconstruction of the war-torn country and humanitarian aid.  

A donor will also be able to leave a message on their sunflower, which will be visible on the project website. The next stage of the project is the placement of a large-scale interactive screen in the center of Kyiv, on which Ukrainians will be able to touch individual flowers and read messages of support from around the world.

"In the first few months, we witnessed huge financial, humanitarian and other help from Czech citizens, but after that, interest began to gradually decrease, however, the war in Ukraine is still ongoing and the living conditions for its residents are constantly deteriorating," Tomáš Szczotka, manager of Dentsu Creative agency that developed the campaign, said

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