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Czechia sends hundreds of heavy military systems worth tens of billions to Ukraine during the first year of Russian invasion

(This article expired 20.02.2024.)

In the first year of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Czechia has delivered dozens of tanks, combat and armoured vehicles and other heavy military systems to Ukraine. Roughly one third of the material came from the Czech Army, the rest was supplied by Czech defence companies. The market price of the training and equipment provided directly to Ukraine by Czechia amounts to roughly CZK 10 billion. Another CZK 30 billion worth of material was sent to Ukraine on the basis of licences issued to Czech manufacturers of military equipment and ammunition. Further CZK 1.5 billion was contributed directly by Czech citizens who organised collections. Thanks to the above, Czechia has received military equipment and financial donations from its allies that roughly correspond in value to the funds spent helping Ukraine.

In the first year of the invasion, the Czech Republic has helped Ukraine by deciding to supply military equipment from stocks of its armed forces, by releasing funds for the purchase of necessary material and equipment and by organising military training. The total market value of the aid amounts to approximately CZK 10 billion. In addition, citizens also contributed to the military aid to Ukraine, raising CZK 1.55 billion through crowdfunding. The money collected was used for the purchase of, among other things, RM-70 Vampire rocket launchers, the famous “Tomas the tank”, and Viktor anti-aircraft and anti-drone systems.

“We clearly knew from the very first moment – perhaps thanks to our own historical experience – that we had to stand up for Ukraine. And we did it – not only the government, but the whole country, and it makes me truly proud. We were the first country to provide Ukraine with ammunition, even before the Russian invasion, and we have been looking for ways to quickly and effectively help the brave defenders of Ukraine since hour one of Russia’s aggressive campaign,” explains Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

At the same time, Czech companies were issued licences to export military equipment worth another CZK 68 billion during the year. Thanks to Czech efforts, hundreds of heavy military systems and more than one million missiles, anti-tank grenades and large-calibre ammunition rounds worth a total of CZK 40 billion have been delivered to Ukraine so far. Further supplies worth tens of billions will continue to flow to Ukraine in the coming months thanks to negotiated contracts and donations.

“We immediately began asking Ukrainian representatives about their army’s needs and I am glad that we were able to quickly meet them in a number of areas. We were the first country to supply Ukraine with helicopters, tanks, howitzers, rocket launchers and infantry fighting vehicles. The first delivery of heavy equipment to Ukraine organised by us arrived merely fourteen days into the invasion. We have led by example, showing others that it was possible,” said Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

Czechia decided to donate artillery ammunition to Ukraine even before the Russian aggression. In the first year of the war, 89 tanks, 226 combat and armoured vehicles and 38 howitzers were delivered from the Czech Republic to Ukraine through cooperation of state and commercial entities. About a third of this equipment came from stocks of the Czech Army, including six STRELA anti-aircraft systems, four combat helicopters and 900 metres of bridge structures. The Czech defence industry also delivered 33 multiple rocket launchers to Ukraine in coordination with the Czech government. Furthermore, Czechia then organised the delivery of more than one and a half million rounds of ammunition requested by Ukraine, including more than 60 thousand rockets.

“Allies and foreign partners are aware of our clear position and willingness to help Ukraine, which allowed us to receive adequate compensation for the equipment donated to Ukraine. The USA gave us Viper and Venom helicopters, Germany gave us Leopard tanks. Thanks to this and the financial support of our allies, we will be able to modernise our army faster, which is all the more crucial given the current situation,” Fiala explained.

In addition to the eight helicopters, Czechia also received financial assistance from the USA for the purchase of military equipment to modernise its army in the amount of almost CZK 7 billion. It should also receive at least another CZK 2 billion from EU funds for its supplies. After a meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala announced that the Czech Republic would receive 15 Leopard tanks from Germany.

"Apart from that, Czechia also has post-war support for Ukraine in mind. Through the Ukraine Reconstruction Program the Czech government approved last year, we will engage Czech companies, NGOs, and the public and academic sectors in the stabilization and reconstruction processes in Ukraine. 500 million Czech Crowns will be allocated to this program annually through 2025, funded by EU programs and other large donors," Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Lipavský said.