Body of Czech volunteer fighter discovered in mass grave near Kyiv

Iuliia Loseva, center, and her sons Hryhorii and Denys stand over the coffin of their husband and father Volodymyr Losev, 38, during his funeral in Zorya Truda, Odesa region, Ukraine, Monday, May 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
By Kristýna Čtvrtlíková
3 Min Read

The body of a Czech volunteer fighter was discovered in one of the mass graves near Kyiv along with three other victims, with documentation confirming the Czech victim’s identity, according to the newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda.

The grave was located at the side of the road near Makariv, which was temporarily under Russian control. A fragment from an F-1 grenade, which was left there by Russian soldiers, was also discovered near the grave.

“Two people were killed in the head, one man in the stomach. Documents of one of the victims, a citizen of the Czech Republic, were found at the burial site. The data matches,” said the Kyiv region police chief, Andrij Nebytov.

The Czech foreign ministry also confirmed the information.

The Ukrayinska Pravda newspaper, referring to the police, wrote that a 49-year-old Czech citizen worked in Ukraine as a truck driver before the war. After the outbreak of fighting, he came to help as a volunteer fighter. He stopped communicating with his family on Mar. 3. He had a wife and a brother at home.

“The other two people have not yet been identified, but they were wearing civilian clothes. We will investigate the circumstances under which the murder happened,” said Nebytov.

One week ago, Czech President Miloš Zeman officially approved the entry of 103 Czech citizens into the Ukrainian Armed Forces. In general, Czech citizens are prohibited from serving in a foreign army, an offense for which they face up to five years in prison. If they want to join one, they must ask the president for an exception. In March, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Zeman promised immunity to all volunteers who left to fight for Ukraine.

According to Defense Ministry Spokeswoman Jana Zechmeisterová, interest in joining the Ukrainian foreign legions fell sharply in recent weeks. Former professional soldier Lumír Němec told news outlet that the interest of the Czechs was enormous before, especially in the first three weeks after the outbreak of the war. However, according to him, people eventually realized that this was not fun and that death was commonplace in Ukraine.

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