Bold visit by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to Ukraine
12:38 Fiala’s visit to Kyiv is a big move, analysts say
Today’s surprise visit by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala to Kyiv to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is a significant move, according to Czech political analysts. Fiala is visiting Ukraine with his Polish and Slovenian counterparts Mateusz Morawiecki and Janez Jansa. The group represents the European Council in discussions with Zelensky. The trip is the first visit by foreign government leaders to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24. Analysts say the move is meant to show Eastern Europe’s commitment to Ukrainian sovereignty, whereas most EU diplomatic and foreign moves tend to be taken by France and Germany.
11:44 Refugees get free access to some Czech exhibitions
Some Czech art and cultural institutions grant Ukrainian refugees free access to collections and exhibitions. Refugees who have solved the basic issues of their stay in Czechia, including accommodation and special visas, can visit the exhibits of the Jewish Museum and the market hall in Holšovice. The Czech Association of Museums and Galleries plans to soon publish on its website a full list of activities in support of Ukrainian refugees, including events freely accessible to Ukrainians.
10:15 Czech tycoon takes over UK lottery
Czech billionaire Karel Komárek has taken over the UK National Lottery through his Allwyn Group, formerly known as Sazka Entertainment. The prestigious UK lottery operating license was won by Komárek’s company after a rigorous selection process to find the replacement for the current UK operator Camelot. Allywn will take over the operation of the lottery when Camelot’s contract expires in 2024. The deal is one of the biggest successes of Komárek’s entrepreneurial career, which started in the oil business but later moved to the lottery industry.
10:00 Czech Prime Minister Fiala meets Ukrainian President Zelensky in Kyiv
A delegation of Central European leaders, including Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, is in Kyiv today to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Fiala entered Ukraine just before 10 a.m., accompanied by his Polish and Slovenian counterparts. The trio will represent the European Council in talks with Zelensky and Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Smyhal. “The aim is to express the EU’s unequivocal support for Ukraine, its freedom and independence,” Fiala said. For security reasons, the trip has been kept secret and the Czech government office will not reveal how the group will reach kyiv.
Ukrainian crisis Government plans stricter redistribution of refugees
Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan announced that the Czech government would seek to redistribute refugees more strictly within Czech regions. Rakušan made the comments after a meeting of the Central Crisis Staff. Refugees will be reallocated to regions as capacities in Prague and the surrounding Central Bohemia region exceed limits.
“We talk about health care, we talk about kindergartens and schools,” Rakušan explained. The criteria for redistribution will be the number of inhabitants in a given region and their level of economic prosperity. In the meantime, the government plans to increase the amount it spends on housing refugees in hotel rooms, probably from CZK 180 per night to CZK 250 per night.
Politics Fiala speaks with US Vice President Harris about Ukraine
Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said US Vice President Kamala Harris expressed support for the Czech position on the war in Ukraine and offered his support to deal with the impacts of the war on Czechia.
Fiala did not specify what kind of support Harris offered during their phone call. The Czech Republic has been facing a massive influx of Ukrainian refugees since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. Fiala said Harris assured him that the United States, along with the rest of NATO, was ready to defend each member state to the fullest.
Armed forces Interest in joining active reserves increases
Interest in joining the active reserve forces of the Czech army and participating in voluntary military exercises has increased tenfold over the past month. Nearly 1,400 people have applied to join the reserves since mid-February, while more than 500 want to take part in voluntary exercises.
Due to increased interest, the military is increasing capacity for entry courses and medical examinations. The increased desire to participate in the activities of the armed forces is the result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month. All Czech citizens aged 18 or over, with a high school diploma and with a higher education diploma can enter the reserve after passing a medical examination.
weird weather The red rain will fall on the Czech Republic this week
Huge amounts of dust and sand from the Sahara desert are heading towards Europe due to unusual weather currents. Most of the displaced dust is expected to arrive in Spain, France and Germany, but dust particles will also arrive in the Czech Republic on Wednesday evening, according to meteorologists. The rain will then turn red and red dust will accumulate on windows, roofs and cars.
Czechs are also warned that air quality will deteriorate due to dust. But spectacular visual phenomena are expected, including “intensely colored twilight phenomena of orange and red color”. Red rain is expected on Wednesday, falling across the country. Motorists are advised to let dust that settles on their car simply wash away, rather than using a cloth or brush to remove it; it would scratch their car. Dust from the Sahara reaches the upper atmosphere above the Czech Republic several times a year, according to the meteorologist; last September, orange snow fell on the mountains.
Spying Three alleged Russian spies detained in Slovakia
Slovak police have arrested three people suspected of spying for Russia, the Slovak daily Denník N wrote. newspaper. It is believed that an employee of the Russian Embassy bribed them to pass on information.
The Slovak Foreign Ministry said three Russian embassy employees would be expelled over the case because their conduct was not in line with good diplomatic relations. In response, the Kremlin said “this baseless action will not go unanswered.” More details about the case are expected to be revealed today.