In a senate plenary session on 11 November 2023, the Czech Republic renewed a mandate to continue providing military aid to Ukraine as well as training Ukrainian forces in its territory.
A total of 71 senators voted in favour of the motion with one against it.
The current mandate expires on 31 December 2023, while the new motion extends the stay of the service members of the Ukraine Armed Forces, those of EU Member States and Nato partners by one year, until 31 December 2024.
“It is a high priority to prepare such conditions that the training of Ukrainian service members can continue both in the territory of the Czech Republic and in other countries,” said the Minister of Defence Jana Černochová in her exposé.
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The number of service members does not change; it still contains the maximum of 800 personnel at any one time.
However, the new mandate also includes instructors from Nato nations for training outside the framework of the EU Military Assistance Mission in support of Ukraine (EUMAM Ukraine).
The number of financial resources necessary for the proposed deployments abroad is Kč 24m ($1m) in 2023 and Kč 114m in 2024. Expenditures related to the stay of service members of other countries in the Czech Republic, specifically for the training of Ukrainian personnel, are estimated at Kč 252m in 2024.
Allowing the flow of Ukrainian personnel across Europe
“So far, we have trained approximately 2,700 Ukrainian service members in the Czech Republic and our instructors in Poland trained an additional 500,” said the Minister, who added that the Ukrainian experience from the frontline also benefits the training of Czech units.
A day earlier, on 10 November, the UK Ministry of Defence announced that the total number of Ukrainian service members trained under the British Armed Forces has reached 52,000 since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022.
In addition, more than 30,000 ordinary Ukrainian men and women have trained to become soldiers under the UK-led Operation Interflex, the largest military training programme of its kind on British soil since the Second World War.
The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy visited Ukrainian forces training in the UK in February. The leaders heard how the training the Ukrainian soldiers were receiving on British Challenger 2 tanks would give them the upper hand on the battlefield and allow them to push back Russian forces.