Ukraine update: Czech volunteer fighting in Ukraine killed in action

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

Written by Staff Published on 06.06.2022 14:10:00 (updated on 11.06.2022) Reading time: 8 minutes

June 11, 2022

War Czech volunteer fighting in Ukraine reportedly killed in action

  • A Czech volunteer who fought alongside Ukraine's armed forces was reportedly killed in action in Donbass on Friday, according to information posted to Facebook by photojournalist Lenka Klicperová.

  • Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has confirmed that a Czech citizen died while fighting alongside Ukraine's army. "I can confirm that a Czech citizen died in Ukraine," Lipavský told journalists this afternoon.

  • According to unverified reports, the Czech volunteer had been fighting in Ukraine since late February, after the start of the Russian invasion, and was killed on the front lines near Kharkiv.

  • About 100 Czech volunteers have received permission from Czech President Miloš Zeman to fight alongside Ukraine's armed forces, though the total number of Czechs fighting in Ukraine is not known.

AID Czech pontoon bridges arrive in Ukraine

  • Two 36-meter-long pontoon bridges donated by the Czech Republic have reached Ukraine to help restore transportation connections at places where local bridges were destroyed by fighting.

  • In late May, Czech State Material Reserves Administration head Pavel Švagr announced that the Czech Republic would donate two pontoon bridges to areas of Ukraine damaged by Russian military aggression.

  • The Czech Republic has previously donated large volumes of military aid to Ukraine, including combat helicopters, tanks and rocket systems.

June 10, 2022

politics Babiš would no longer supply weapons to Ukriane

  • According to the former PM, who is considering running in the presidential elections, Ukraine has already managed to defend the occupation of the entire territory. He said other countries should take care of it.

  • Meanwhile, Ukraine is warning that the weapons delivered to fight back against Russia are not enough, with the Battle of Donbas at a critical phase.


transport RegioJet introduces new train connection Prague-Kiev

  • In response to the high demand of Ukrainians who want to return to their country, RegioJet launched a new rail connection from Prague to Kyiv.

  • For holders of Ukrainian passports, a ticket from Prague to Lviv will cost CZK 229, to Kyiv—CZK 639.

refugees Czechia grants 370,000 temporary protection visas to Ukrainians

  • The number of temporary protection visas the Czech Republic has granted to Ukrainian refugees since the start of the Russian invasion is now close to 370,000.

  • Right now, there are some 280,000-300,000 Ukrainian refugees staying in the Czech Republic.

  • Some refugees are leaving for other countries, some are returning to Ukraine.

sanctions Czech, Ukrainian foreign ministers talk about new sanctions

  • Czech and Ukrainian foreign ministers Jan Lipavský and Dmytro Kuleba talked by phone today about the seventh package of EU sanctions against Russia and about the possibilities of strengthening bilateral cooperation.

  • Lipavský tweeted that he invited Kuleba to the August meeting of EU foreign ministers and to the Forum for Ukraine that will be held in Czechia. The foreign ministers of EU countries are to meet in Prague on August 30-31.

June 9, 2022

sanctions ČVUT asks Russian, Belarusian students to denounce war despite possible persecution

  • Russian and Belarusian students at the Czech Technical University (ČVUT) are facing a dilemma. If they want to continue their studies, they have to write a motivation letter, specifying whether they condemn the war in Ukraine. But their families at home may face persecution, and so do the students upon their return.

  • Students told the news server portal that if they write a letter expressing their view on the war, they could face prison time in Russia. Although the university promises confidentiality, some students don't want to rely on it. Meanwhile, families could not visit students due to visa sanctions.

  • In its order, ČVUT refers to the sanction measures of the European Union, which prohibit so-called technical assistance to Russia and Belarus. Education also falls under assistance, especially in the so-called high-risk fields in which graduates could be later employed, for example, in the armaments industry.

support Red Cross offers experts on refugees to Czechia

  • International Red Cross President Peter Maurer has offered to send a team of experts to work with refugees to the Czech Republic at a meeting with the Czech lower house delegation headed by its chairwoman Markéta Pekarová Adamová in Switzerland.

  • The lower house representatives also met United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet. "She pointed out the urgent need of experts to help collect pieces of evidence and subsequent investigation into brutal war crimes committed by the invasive Russian army to the Ukrainian civilians," said spokesman Martin Churavy said.

refugees Govt. approves 'lex Ukraine'

  • The government approved an amendment dubbed "lex Ukraine" at its meeting on Wednesday. Under the bill, the regions and municipalities will be obliged to provide accommodation capacities to refugees even after the state of emergency expires on June 30. 

  • The Czech Republic has so far granted 368,551 temporary protection visas to Ukrainian refugees fleeing from the war since its start on February 24, 2022.

aid Zeman rejected 127 Czechs' requests to join the Ukrainian Legion

  • Another 127 Czechs did not receive the approval of President Miloš Zeman to join the Ukrainian army.

  • According to spokesman Jiří Ovčáček, the reason for rejecting the applications was a non-recommendation from the Ministry of the Interior.

June 8, 2022

policy Macron, Fiala talk about war in Ukraine, energy security

  • French President Emmanuel Macron and Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala agreed on the importance of the presidency of the Council of the EU that Czechia would assume after France on July 1 in their talks in the Elysee Palace in Paris tonight.

  • Fiala said the talks with Macron were friendly. He said he appreciated that Macron was interested in the view of the Czech government and Central Europe on the war in Ukraine. They also dealt with energy security, he said.

  • Fiala said he asked Macron about his experience from negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and whether he believes it makes sense to try to talk with Putin after the Russian military aggression in Ukraine.

  • Macron assured Fiala that he did not share Putin’s opinions but considers it important to know the way Putin is thinking and how far he is willing to go. He also thanked the Czech Republic for its support of Ukraine and the admission of 350,000 Ukrainian refugees.

refugees Czechia, Poland to upload refugee crisis data into EU database

  • Czechia and Poland will start uploading large datasets on the refugee crisis into the European registration system of refugees from Ukraine that will be launched in the forthcoming days, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told reporters today.

  • The Interior Ministry's data show that some 50,000 people currently stay at the state accommodation facilities. From 200 up to 400 refugees a day need to be lodged as they have just arrived or their previous accommodation is not available anymore.

  • Roughly 300,000 refugees stay in the Czech Republic, said Interior Minister Vít Rakušan.

June 7, 2022

sanctions Beer stocks in Moscow bars are running low due to sanctions

  • More than 100 days into what Russia calls a special military operation in Ukraine, foreign alcohol is still available in Moscow pubs, but the once ample reserves are dwindling, Reuters reports.

  • "Sorry, that was the last bottle of Czech beer we had," said a waiter at a central Moscow restaurant, a month after Russia sent troops into Ukraine and the West imposed sweeping sanctions, writes a reporter from Moscow.

  • The cheerless beer situation is there to stay as the country faces problems not only with beer imports but even import of hops on which Russian breweries are heavily dependent.

Policy Visas may not to be issued to Russians, Belarusians until March, 2023

  • The regulation on suspending the issuance of Czech visas and residence permits to Russians and Belarusians should be in force by the end of March 2023, according to the Foreign Ministry's draft.

  • The submitted government regulation fulfills the legal authorization embedded in the amendment to the law dubbed "lex Ukraine", which the lower house of the Czech parliament passed in late May.

  • The provision does not target the foreigners who already have a residence permit in the Czech Republic. Consequently, Russians and Belarusians can keep applying for a residence permit extension and their applications will be processed in a standard regime based on the law on the foreigners' stay in the Czech Republic, the ministry noted.

aid Czechs sending further humanitarian aid to Ukraine

  • The Czech Republic sent another humanitarian aid to Ukraine this morning, primarily health supplies, firefighting gear, and workwear in 38 carriages, said Tomáš Pořízek from the firefighting authority.

  • The total value of aid amounts to roughly 230 million crowns.

refugees Third refugee camp may soon appear

  • The Education Ministry approved the use of its plots in Nové Domky, West Bohemia (close to the German border), for a new tent camp for refugees. It could accommodate up to 150 people, the same capacity as in the Prague tent camps Malesice and Troja.

  • Since the start of the war in late February, temporary protection status has been granted to 366,490 Ukrainians in the Czech Republic.

  • Interior Minister Rakušan said the Czech Republic would be able to look after the displaced people even after the Prague center is closed.

June 6, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin should be put on war trial over the invasion of Ukraine and also put on trial in Russia as he pushed Russia into isolation, throwing back its development, President Miloš Zeman said in an interview for the Ukrainian desk of Radio Free Europe (RFE). He said Russia's invasion of Ukraine was "a cold shower" for him and many others who misjudged Moscow, and he argued that Russian President Vladimir Putin should face a "war [crimes] court" and Russian justice over his actions.

A longtime critic of international sanctions to punish Russia's unrecognized annexation of Crimea and its support for armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, Zeman said the intensified war on Ukraine "is truly and ultimately a war against the whole of the West and Western democracy."

The president called the Czech public's response one of "unprecedented solidarity" and he said he was "in complete agreement" with Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala "on a principled approach to Ukraine."

support Czech and Slovak justice ministers agree on examination of war crimes in Ukraine

  • Czech Justice Minister Pavel Blažek and his Slovak counterpart Mária Kolíková agreed on the importance of examination of crimes in Ukraine that occurred during the Russian aggression.

  • The ministers' meeting took place within preparations for the Czech presidency of the Council of the EU, which the Czech Republic assumes the presidency from France on July 1.

refugees Visas to Ukrainian refugees in decline in Czechia

  • The Czech Republic granted 368 emergency visas to the Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Sunday, 60 fewer than last week, stated the Interior Ministry.

  • The number of the special visas has been constantly falling.

  • Since the start of the war in late February, temporary protection status has been granted to 364,799 Ukrainians in the Czech Republic.

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