The Czech army deployed troops to Slovakia on Monday to assist with the construction and operation of a humanitarian base for up to 400 Ukrainian refugees.
News of the operation was published on the Czech army’s social media platforms, which informed that the camp would be in operation for at least a month, and logistics with tents, containers with sanitary facilities, and electric generators are on the way to the site.
Also on Monday, the Slovak government agreed that 50 additional Czech soldiers would help the country cope with the influx of refugees from Ukraine, in addition to the 50 Czech police officers who arrived in Slovakia last week to help with refugee registration.
At the same time, Czechia plans to join the advanced NATO presence in Slovakia in a move that could see approximately 400 Czech soldiers deployed to Slovakia to form part of a joint battle group. Hungary, Bulgaria, and Romania could also deploy troops to the area with reports that the Czech army could lead the task force. The deployment must first however be approved by Czech lawmakers.
As of Monday morning, a total of over 128,000 people had entered Slovakia from Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. According to available data, these are mainly refugees from Ukraine, especially women and children. In addition to them, thousands of citizens of EU member states and other countries fled to Slovakia at the beginning of the armed conflict.
So far, only a fraction of Ukrainian refugees have applied for asylum or temporary asylum status which allows access to the labor market and emergency healthcare in Slovakia. After fleeing the war, many Ukrainians continued onward, for example, to their families in other countries, including the Czech Republic.