The Czech Republic has welcomed one of the largest numbers of Ukrainian refugees per capita, with absolute numbers coming close to 380,000 in June, 2022. Approximately 160,000 of them are women and 130,000 are children. Having settled in Czechia until the Russian war is over, more than 70,000 refugees have already found a job in the country and started paying taxes to the state budget. Czech government – and the people – have demonstrated a steady support of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.
There are several factors driving such support. First, the Czech Republic has its own painful memories of the Soviet tanks in 1968, suppressing the “Prague Spring” uprising. This page of history that Russia consistently justified has always been an important factor shaping the bilateral relations between both countries. There are, however, much more recent developments, such as the 2014 ammunition depot explosions that resulted in deaths of Czech citizens – and that were later traced to the Russian secret services.
Moscow kept undermining relations with Prague not only over its support of Ukraine since 2014, but also over support of the popular protests in Belarus. Supporting Aleksandr Lukashenka’s dictatorship in Minsk, Russia has put emphasis on the propaganda narrative that protests against dictatorship were coordinated from abroad, naming Czechia as one of the responsible parties.
However, the biggest blow is, without a doubt, a full-scale invasion of Ukraine launched by Russia on February 24,2 2022. Moscow’s aggressive militarism and clear plans to go beyond Ukraine, should it fall to the Russian forces, have solidified understanding of the Russian regime as hostile even among those political actors who could previously express pro-Russian sentiment. Ukraine In Flames #188 takes a look at the impact of Russian war at the Czech Republic.
- Pavel Fischer, Chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Security, the Parliament of the Czech Republic
- David Stulik, Senior Analyst at European Values Center for Security Policy
UKRAINE IN FLAMES project is created by Ukraine Crisis Media Center and NGO “Euroatlantic Course”. We are aiming at searching a loud support for Ukraine in the war started by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.
If you want to support Ukraine against Russian aggression, check the link with recommendations by Ukraine Crisis Media Center – https://uacrisis.org/en/help-ukraine.
NGO Euroatlantic Course collects donations to support Ukrainian Army and civilians – https://eac.org.ua/en/main-page/.