Ukraine's First Lady thanks Czechia for support

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

Written by Staff Published on 13.06.2022 12:46:00 (updated on 19.06.2022) Reading time: 6 minutes

June 19, 2022

Refugees Number of Czech visas granted to refugees rapidly falling

  • The Czech Republic granted temporary protection visas to 169 refugees from Ukraine on Saturday, about 200 fewer than a week ago, the Interior Ministry tweeted today.

  • Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in late February, special visas have now been granted to a total of about 378,000 refugees, though the number of visas granted per day has been sharply falling.
  • The temporary protection visa gives holders the ability to stay in the country for up to a year. It opens access to the public health insurance, education, and the local labor market.

  • Right now, there are an estimated 280,000-300,000 Ukrainian refugees living in the Czech Republic. The exact number is difficult to estimate as many have left the country after being granted a visa. The majority of refugees are mothers with children.

June 16, 2022

support Ukraine's First Lady thanks Czechia for support

  • First Lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska thanked the Czech Republic for accepting almost 400,000 refugees. She spoke in a video greeting on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Aspen Institute Central Europe (AICE).

  • She asked the Czech Republic to contribute to Ukraine's accession to the EU during its European presidency. 

aid Govt. to supply Ukraine with additional ammunition and chemical protection

  • Due to the secrecy over supplies to Ukraine, Prime Minister Petr Fiala did not disclose details of the planned donation.

  • According to Jana Černochová, Czechia will supply the anti-chemical material, and another shipment of ammunition is also being prepared.

  • She later said that this military aid was worth just over CZK 8 million.

refugees Prague closed assistance center in Vysočany

  • Prague has closed the Regional Assistance Centre of Aid to Ukraine (KACPU) in Vysočany. The center is closed indefinitely, and only the information service for refugees works on the spot now.

  • The asylum and migration police branches in Prague 6 and 4 will still secure the registration of refugees during the same opening hours as the KACPU.

  • The total number of the issued visas for refugees has reached 376,571 since the invasion started in February.

June 15, 2022

Zelensky thanks Czechs, warns Russia will not stop in Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is only the first step the Russian leadership needs to open its way into other states, and a battle for the future of Europe is taking place in Ukraine, its President Volodymyr Zelensky told the two houses of the Czech parliament in a video transmission today. He thanked the Czech people and the state for their warm acceptance of Ukrainian refugees.

He said that Czechia helped Kyiv with significant weapons when Ukraine needed them most urgently. "But you can be sure that in doing it, you also supported yourself, your own freedom, and your own life," he said. The support should continue until the victory is reached, Zelensky said.

diplomacy Zelensky to address Czech legislators

  • The president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky is due to speak to both houses of the Czech Parliament in an online address on Wednesday morning.

  • Legislators will watch his interpreted address on big screens in the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate.

  • Zelensky's address will be preceded by the speeches of the upper and lower house heads, Miloš Vystrčil and Markéta Pekarová Adamová, as well as Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

policy MPs approve amendment to lex Ukraine

  • The Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Czech parliament, approved in a summary procedure today an amendment to the legislation dubbed lex Ukraine governing lodging and registration of Ukrainian refugees after the state of emergency expires.

  • The amendment allows municipalities to earmark buildings meant to accommodate Ukrainian refugees fleeing their home country amid the Russian invasion. Regions and municipalities should keep providing emergency shelters and lodging.

  • Labor Minister Marian Jurečka pushed into the amendment a clause under which refugees may apply for an allowance equal to subsistence wage six months after they received the emergency protection visa in the Czech Republic.

  • The monthly allowance amounts to CZK 4,250 for adults and CZK 3,050 for children. At present, Ukrainian refugees are entitled to CZK 5,000.

refugees Schools may keep forming classes for Ukrainian refugees

  • Schools are likely to be allowed to form separate classes for Ukrainian refugees next school year, too, if there are not enough places for them in regular classes, under the amendment that the lower house approved today.

  • Education Minister Petr Gazdík told the deputies the amendment should help integrate Ukrainian pupils and students into regular classes. 

Accomodation Prague closes assistance center in Vysočany

  • Prague will close its Regional Assistance Centre of Aid to Ukraine in Vysočany, which also serves the Central Bohemia Region, from Thursday night due to the capital being overburdened. 

  • Fiala said since the system of assistance centers had proven its worth, he could not see any reason to close the Prague one, calling the steps taken by the City Hall ill-considerate.

  • Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib will insist on the creation of the system for the relocation of refugees to other regions with vacant capacities at his Friday talks with PM Petr Fiala, Hřib told reporters.

June 14, 2022

refugees Women and children from Ukraine sleep on the ground

  • Dozens of Roma mothers with small children from Ukraine survive for more than a week in a tent camp near the Brno railway station set up by the city, reports Deník N

  • The city officials tell the women that they are not entitled to any benefits and in some cases even threaten to take their children if they don't leave as soon as possible.

  • Women and their children had to sleep on wet mattresses or in paddles due to heavy rains last week. Some women cannot fit in the crowded military tents and have to sleep on the ground.

  • Czechia granted temporary protection visas to 2,541 Ukrainians on Monday, 850 more than a week ago, and the total number of the visas reached 373,823, shows the Interior Ministry's data.

policy Czech and Lithuanian Foreign Minister discuss containment strategy against Russia

  • Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský and his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis met to discuss helping Ukraine and unblocking its ports.

  • The ministers also expressed mutual interest in building a lasting strategy of containment against the aggressor.

June 13, 2022

refugees A fifth of Ukrainian children go to temporary school premises in Czechia

  • Enrollment of Ukrainian children in Czech schools has begun although it is unclear how many refugees will attend the schools in September, depending on the course of Russia's war in Ukraine.

  • Around 70,000 school-age children came to the Czech Republic from the invaded country, and a third have started school so far. However, many of them go to emergency classes on makeshift premises. 

  • Czechia has issued 371,282 visas to Ukrainian refugees. Nearly 82,000 Ukrainian refugees are staying in Prague.

discrimination Less than three percent of Roma refugees have Hungarian citizenship

  • The interior minister Rakušan has repeatedly referred to a large number of Ukrainian Roma refugees to have dual Hungarian citizenship, exempting them from help in Czechia.

  • However, the findings suggest that only a very small number of Roma refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine to the Czech Republic have dual Ukrainian-Hungarian citizenship.

  • "To date, we have asked for an inspection in approximately 5,500 cases, ... we have identified approximately 150 people who actually have dual citizenship,"  Ondřej Moravčík, a spokesman for the police, told ČT.

policy Ukraine must not be ousted from talks on end to war, says Lipavský

  • Czechia, during its EU presidency in the second half of the year, will strive for Ukraine not to be excluded from the efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the war between it and Russia, said Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský.

  • He reacted to some Western politicians' efforts to seek an end to the fighting even at the cost of Ukraine's territorial concessions towards Russia.

  • Czechia's EU presidency alone will not influence the negotiations with Russia, but the Czech Republic will table the question of the support for Ukraine at EU meetings. "We will emphasize that Europe must not forget about Ukraine," Lipavský said.

AID Ministry of Interior signs memorandum on further assistance to Ukraine

  • Interior Minister Vít Rakušan and Ambassador of Ukraine Yevhen Perebyinis signed a memorandum of understanding. 

  • The Ukrainian embassy will receive a financial donation of CZK 3.2 million from the Ministry of the Interior for the Ukrainian police for selected protective equipment, which the police in Ukraine lack. 

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