Czech president allows 103 citizens to join Ukrainian army

Czech Republic's President Milos Zeman, left, shakes hands with his Poland's counterpart Andrzej Duda as they meet at the Prague Castle in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, April 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
By M B
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Czech President Miloš Zeman has approved the request of 103 Czech citizens to join Ukraine’s military forces, a decision that is expected to be co-signed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala, according to his spokesman, Václav Smolka.

The first reports about Czechs expressing a desire to fight for Ukraine sprung up in March when the Ministry of Defense registered about 500 such volunteers.

At the beginning of March, Fiala agreed with Zeman that the two could guarantee immunity to those who go fight for Ukraine. Fiala stated back then that it was not possible to give a collective permit to go to war abroad, and that because of the number of applications, it was not practical to provide individual approval to applicants.

The formal procedure is now complete

According to constitutional lawyer Jan Kysela, Zeman has completed the formal approval process with his signature.

“I think these are requests that have been made and on which the ministries of defense, interior, and foreign affairs have commented,” said Kysela. “The verification has ended with the president of the republic making this decision.”

According to Kysela, the question now is whether the applicants were waiting for this decision or if they had already headed to Ukraine without consent. If the latter applies, the applicants have committed a crime that immunity would not cover.

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