The head of state and the head of government agreed in early March that Czech citizens heading to Ukraine to fight the Russian army could face impunity.
The law currently in force in the Czech Republic prohibits service in foreign armies, for which only the head of state, as the commander-in-chief of the army, has the right to issue a separate and personal permit.
“We agreed that we can guarantee impunity with the presidential pardon and my signature,” Peter Fiala told reporters at the time. He noted that this solution was chosen because it was not possible to grant citizens a collective license to participate in cross-border combat, and given the large number of parties involved, it was not possible to study the requests individually. At the beginning of March, the Czech authorities registered about 300 such requests, and according to the Ministry of Defense, this number has increased to about four hundred since then.
However, Milos Zeman, in consultation with the Prime Minister, changed his original position, deciding to issue individual permits to all Czech citizens who wished to fight in Ukraine. Applications are also pre-screened by the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior.
So far, 103 applications have been completed and issued by the Office of the President. According to Yeri Ovkachik, Zeman changed his previous position because he wants to support Ukraine in all its forms, fight against Russian aggression. Kyiv said heavy losses Already caused in Russia.