Jan 01, 2024

Czech President Allows 20 Czechs to Join the Fighting in Ukraine

During the initial year of President Petr Pavel’s tenure, he granted permission for 20 Czech individuals to participate in the Ukrainian army.

However, the enthusiasm for engaging in the defense of Ukraine, with the accompanying risk to one’s life, significantly waned by the second year of the conflict.

Meanwhile, President Miloš Zeman received a total of 477 applications, out of which Pavel reviewed 76, rejecting the majority—56 of them.

Since taking office in early March of this current year, 76 Czech citizens have approached President Pavel seeking approval to join the Ukrainian army.

Pavel granted a positive response to 20 of these requests, while the remaining were turned down.

Securing such approval is a crucial step for those wishing to legally support Ukraine with arms, given that Czech law prohibits its citizens from serving in foreign armed forces. Exceptions exist for individuals with dual citizenship or those interested in serving in one of the armies affiliated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

The interest among Czech citizens to partake in Ukraine’s defense appears to be on the decline. Over the nearly two years since the war’s commencement, a total of 553 applications have been submitted.

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The majority (477) were directed to President Miloš Zeman, and 132 applicants obtained the necessary permission from him.

The actual number of Czech individuals who have ventured to Ukraine remains unclear. Additionally, the figures for those who engaged in combat without seeking prior permission are unknown.

Both military intelligence and the president’s office refrain from commenting on these specific details.

It’s essential to note that anyone joining the Ukrainian or any other army without proper authorization faces the risk of criminal prosecution.

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