Former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has spoken out against arms supplies to Ukraine, arguing that the Czech army is in poor shape and that Ukraine has already managed to defend against Russia occupying the country’s entire territory. The politician, who is considering running for president, said that other countries should contribute with weapons aid instead of Czechia.
“I do not think we should continue to supply weapons. We supplied weapons, and we stopped Putin. He wanted to occupy the whole of Ukraine, thankfully he failed. And now, I think that Europe is helping Ukraine. Many countries are helping there. We have already delivered €3.5 billion [in aid], and our army is not in great condition either,” said the former prime minister and head of the ANO party at a meeting with people in Terezín, according to Respekt weekly.
The war is not over
One-fifth of Ukrainian territory and a large part of the civilian population now live under Russian occupation. It is impossible to determine whether war crimes are taking place in the occupation zone either.
Ukrainians also point out that the weapons deliveries have been insufficient. The Russians have stopped pursuing large-scale air and tank attacks, which Ukrainians have effectively fought off using light weapons. The battle in the Donbas is now in a critical phase in which artillery plays a major role. In virtually every conversation, Ukrainian officials emphasize that weapons are still needed.
Due to the amount of aid provided, the Czech Republic is one of Ukraine’s largest supporters. Czechia supplied Ukraine with many weapons from its mobilization reserves, including tanks, rocket launchers, artillery ammunition, and likely helicopters, although that last item has not been officially announced.