Overview of Czech news: Tuesday, March 1, 2022

15:34 Stanjura offers transfer of 1.8 billion Czech crowns to help Ukraine

Czech Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura will propose a transfer of 1.8 billion Czech crowns to help refugees from Ukraine and provide humanitarian aid to the country in the face of the Russian invasion. Stanjura announced the proposal at today’s Budget Committee meeting, referring to Friday’s government resolution which launched the second of a four-step plan to help Ukrainian refugees. The current level of preparedness foresees up to 5,000 people requiring assistance in the Czech Republic.

15:29 Eighty-eight Czechs evacuated from Ukraine

Eighty-eight Czechs from Volhynia were evacuated from the Ukrainian villages of Zhytomyr, Malinovka and others in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They will stay with contacts in the Czech Republic or receive free accommodation like other refugees from the war-torn country upon arrival. The evacuation was coordinated by the Ministry of Interior and the Czech police in coordination with expatriate organizations. The evacuated Czechs are currently in Hungary before being transferred to the Czech Republic.

14:01 Zeman’s abdication demanded in the face of Russian aggression

President Miloš Zeman is complicit in Russian aggression against Ukraine and should abdicate his post, according to a joint statement by eight former politicians and Charter 77 signatories. Among those calling for Zeman’s resignation is the former prime minister Czech Republic Petr Pithart, former mediator Anna Shabbat and Zeman’s opponent in the last presidential election Michal Horáček. Zeman has not issued any statement on the call for his abdication, which describes him as “denying the fundamental constitutional characteristics of the Czech Republic as a democratic and legal state, respecting universal concepts of human rights”.

13:26 Zelensky addresses the European Parliament

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky received a standing ovation at a special session of the European Parliament in Brussels today after addressing MPs who are expected to pass a non-binding resolution calling on Ukraine to be granted EU status candidate for EU membership. Zelensky called on Monday morning for Ukraine to immediately receive EU membership.

12:24 Russia steps up attacks on major cities

The Russian army has stepped up its shelling of major Ukrainian cities, including city centers, on the sixth day of fighting in Ukraine. Mariupol and Kharkiv reported more fighting as Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that Russian troops will remain in Ukraine until the country’s goals are achieved. Ukrainian media meanwhile claim that Belarusian troops have crossed the border. However, Russian troops have still failed to penetrate the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, and heavy casualties are being seen on both sides of the conflict.

12:04 Válek sends letter to doctors calling for help for refugees

Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Válek today sent a letter to Czech doctors stating that their task now is to help refugees fleeing Ukraine to the Czech Republic in local doctors’ surgeries and hospitals. The letter was published by the Czech Medical Chamber and the Ministry of Health. Válek said while many may be tempted to travel to Ukraine’s borders to help those in need, their task is to stay in their home country and help prepare Czech hospitals for the surge. of Ukrainian refugees to come.

European Union Eight EU presidents call for candidate status for Ukraine

Heads of state from eight EU countries, including the Czech Republic, have called on the bloc to immediately grant EU candidate status to Ukraine. An open letter urging Ukraine to join the EU has been signed by the presidents of Bulgaria, Czechia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, who said they believed “Ukraine deserves to be given the prospect of immediate EU membership”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday signed the country’s formal application for EU membership. Ukraine has been applying for EU and NATO membership for years, but has yet to gain candidate status for either organization.

Ukrainian War Zelensky’s calls for a no-fly zone rejected by the United States

The US government will not support declaring a no-fly zone over Ukraine because it would put the US at war with Russia, according to the White House. The statement follows renewed calls by Ukrainian President Zelensky for a no-fly zone to be instituted over the country, which would force NATO members to fight Russian planes.

The request came as Russian troops stepped up their assault on Ukraine. Airstrikes in the country left dozens dead yesterday, and a large convoy of Russian military armor was seen en route to the capital Kiev this morning. Russia claims to have taken control of the skies over Ukraine.

cyber security The Ministry of the Interior and the police face cyberattacks

Czech police, fire department and Interior Ministry websites have all been victims of cyberattacks in recent days, according to Police Vice President Martin Vondrášek. On Friday, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks took place against the ministry’s website, described as a standard cyberattack by authorities.

Interior Minister Vit Rakušan said the National Information and Communication Technology Agency reacted to cyberattacks effectively, restoring affected web pages within minutes. The attacks as such can be considered a failure, Rakušan said.

Defense EU history written with arms financing for Ukraine

Yesterday, EU Defense Ministers unanimously agreed to fund the supply of arms to Ukraine. The historic step was announced after a meeting of ministers chaired by the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell. The EU will finance the supply of anti-tank missiles and other large caliber weapons, as well as fuel for tanks and aircraft.

The EU will therefore jointly pay for arms deliveries to a third country for the first time in its history, setting aside €500 million in its budget for this purpose. Some countries plan to send fighter jets to Kyiv separately, but these will not be funded by the EU.

Refugee crisis Czech doctors offer free medical care to refugees

Czech societies of general practitioners and cardiologists have called on their members to provide free medical care to Ukrainians fleeing the war. The associations have also allocated money to help refugees.

Ukrainian refugees can obtain public health insurance with insurance costs paid by the Czech state. The special visa will be valid for four months, VZP health insurance announced. Doctors who provide free care to refugees are listed on the Doctors for Ukraine website.

Berta D. Wells