Over 550 such requests have reportedly been filed with the Czech Republic’s president though majority were rejected Czech President Petr Pavel addresses the European Parliament. © AFP / Frederick Florin

More than 150 Czechs have received an official approval from their country’s head of state to go fight for Ukraine amid its conflict with Russia, website iDNES.cz has reported, citing the president’s office.

Receiving an authorization from the republic’s president is the only way for citizens to avoid problems with the law at home after joining the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the outlet explained in its report.

More than 550 have applied for such an approval, the president’s office said, since February 2022, when ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine turned to military conflict. However, most of these requests were turned down, it added.

As of December 1, 151 men and one woman in the Czech Republic have been officially allowed to become members of the Ukrainian military.

West broke promise to Ukraine – EU state’s president West broke promise to Ukraine – EU state’s president

Then-Czech President Milos Zeman had approved 132 such requests, with 20 more being greenlighted by Petr Pavel, who replaced Zeman in office in March, iDNES.cz said.

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that foreign mercenaries fighting on the side of Kiev have also been suffering “significant losses” amid Ukraine’s flailing attempts to mount a counteroffensive.

Moscow will make sure that “the public in the countries whose governments send people to the war zone” is aware of what is actually happening on the battlefield in Ukraine so that it could properly “evaluate the actions of their governments,” Putin said.

Throughout the conflict, the Russian Ministry of Defense has reported several major strikes on deployment sites with foreign mercenaries in Ukraine, in which it said there were hundreds of casualties.

The ministry also warned that soldiers of fortune aren’t viewed as combatants under international law and “the best thing that awaits them if they are captured alive is a trial and maximum prison terms.”

Prague has been among the most vocal EU supporters of Kiev amid its conflict with Moscow. According to the Czech Defense Ministry, it has provided Ukraine with more than $245 million in military aid, including tanks, howitzers, helicopters and ammunition.

The Chief of the Czech Republic’s General Staff Karel Rehka on Monday again stressed the need to keep providing aid to Kiev, arguing that Ukraine “buys us time and keeps Russia away from our borders.” (RT)