Weekend headlines: Petr Pavel concludes official visit to Ukraine

Plus: Storm warning in southeast portions of the Czech Republic, Barbora Krejčíková and Marie Bouzková advance at Madrid Open, and more headlines.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 29.04.2023 11:18:00 (updated on 30.04.2023) Reading time: 5 minutes

Politics Czech President Petr Pavel concludes official visit to Ukraine

Czech President Petr Pavel has ended his official visit to Ukraine, which lasted for three days. On Saturday, he became the first foreign leader to visit the eastern part of Ukraine, where he discussed Czech assistance in rebuilding war-damaged areas in the region. "Go home Russians. [Before] it's too late," Pavel wrote on military equipment provided to Ukraine from the Czech Republic in Dnipro.

Pavel arrived in Poland by bus after 9:00 a.m. this morning, and should make his way back to Prague by plane at around noon on Sunday. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy thanked President Pavel for his visit and expressed his appreciation for the Czech Republic's support for Ukraine.

Weather Tornado reported in the Czech Republic on Saturday

Meteorologists are investigating several reports of a possible tornado that hit the Czech Republic on Saturday. The village of Lubná near Polička in the Svitavy region was affected, and images of a devastated landscape also came from Nejepín near Chotěboř. Storms caused significant damage in several places.

Saturday's band of storms moving across the Vysočina and Southern Moravia regions left behind not only fallen trees and flooded cellars, and more damage. The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute warned of thunderstorms in parts of the Czech Republic on Saturday, and it is possible that there were also tornadoes. Meteorologists announced this morning that they are investigating several reports.

Sports Czech national hockey team tops Austria 2-1

The Czech national hockey team secured a 2-1 win against Austria in Brno on Saturday in their final spring friendly match before the Czech Hockey Games and World Championships in Riga and Tampere next month. The Czech victory comes after a 0-6 defeat at the hands of Austria on Thursday.

The Czech team will next play against Finland, Sweden, and Switzerland in Brno from Thursday to Sunday during the Czech Hockey Games. They'll then kick off this year's IIHF World Championships in Riga on May 12 with a game against Slovakia. This year's hockey world cup will run through May 28.

Culture Děčín Castle to undergo lengthy reconstruction this fall

The Rose Garden and Long Drive at Děčín Castle will undergo repairs starting in the fall, according to Castle Director Miroslava Poskočilová. The cost of restoration is estimated at CZK 110 million, and the work is expected to take at least two years. During this time, visitors will not have access to the Rose Garden, but entry to the castle, courtyard, and tours will not be restricted.

The reconstruction will be supervised by preservationists, and Poskočilová highlighted the importance of their supervision, as unexpected discoveries may arise. The first stage of the reconstruction was completed last year with the repair of the gloriette.

History Czech town remembers Operation Android paratroopers

Ořechov in Jihlava marked the 81st anniversary of the landing of the Out Distance parachute group with a commemorative event on Saturday. The group participated in preparations for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich during World War II. Due to a navigation error, the paratroopers landed in Ořechov instead of their intended location in Jičín in March 1942.

Two members of the group died in the aftermath of Operation Android, after Heydrich was successfully assassinated, while the third became a Gestapo informant and was executed after the war. Yesterday's event was attended by the mayor of Ořechov, Jana Divišová, who emphasized the importance of remembering such historic events while witnesses are still alive.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Politics Pavel meets with Zelenskyy, takes shelter during missile alert

Czech President Petr Pavel and Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová visited Ukraine on Friday, April 29th. The two heads of state met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv, and also toured areas that have experienced Russian occupation. During the visit, the Czech president assured Ukraine that the country is ready to meet all the conditions for joining the European Union. 

In the evening, Pavel and Čaputová were forced to take shelter in a bunker due to a missile alert in Kyiv. Despite the scare, the visit was seen as a show of support for Ukraine in its ongoing conflict with Russia. "We stand united with our friends," Pavel wrote on social media after the visit. "We support Ukraine's sovereign right to decide about its own future and to choose its own security arrangements."

Weather Strong storms to hit southeast Czech Republic today

The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute has issued a warning for strong storms in southeast portions of the Czech Republic this afternoon. Meteorologists predict short-term intense rainfall, hail, and gusts of wind up to approximately 70 kilometers per hour. These storms are expected to be localized, with a low degree of danger.

The warning is valid from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in areas of South Bohemia, Olomouc, Zlín, and Vysočina, as well as the entire South Moravian region. The Institute advises caution as torrential rain can potentially flood smaller streams, tunnels, or basements; strong gusts of wind can also cause tree branches to break and fall in roads.

Tennis Barbora Krejčíková, Marie Bouzková advance at Madrid Open

Barbora Krejčíková defeated Danka Kovinic in three sets at the Madrid Open, securing her first victory at the Caja Mágica and becoming the first Czech woman to reach the top 32. The 27-year-old Krejčíková, who is seeded 11th in the Spanish capital, beat Kovinic 6-3, 4-6, 6-0.

Later in the evening, Marie Bouzkova also advanced to the third round after defeating Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-4, 6-7, 6-3. Previously, Czech stars Petra Kvitová, Markéta Vondroušová, Linda Fruhvirtová and Karolína Muchová had all been eliminated from competition in the second round of the Madrid Open.

Crime Investigation of Bohemian Switzerland arson suspect continues

CNN Prima News has reported a breakthrough in the investigation of the largest modern fire in the Czech Republic. According to the news outlet, a man from the Šluknov region has come forward to police claiming responsibility for recent fires that destroyed several huts near the village of Vlčí Hora, and has also confessed to starting the devastating fire in Bohemian Switzerland last summer.

The police are actively investigating last year's fire, and have confirmed that the potential suspect who came forward has previously been investigated for arson. The fire ultimately destroyed 1,500 hectares of national park land. Police have not provided further details on the potential suspect's identity or the information he provided. The investigation into the summer fire is ongoing.

Crime Graffiti tagger causes damage worth at least CZK 320,000 in Zlín

A 21-year-old man from a village near Šumperk has been accused of committing a crime by damaging property belonging to others. During the month of January, the man spray-painted a record-breaking 25 objects, mostly in Zlín, causing damages amounting to at least CZK 320,000 to their owners.

If convicted, the man could face up to one year in prison. Local police are currently investigating the case and putting together their case against the suspect.

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