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The Czech Republic’s leader on Wednesday has approved requests from more than 100 of its citizens to join Ukraine’s army in the war against Russia.
Czech citizens are banned from service in foreign armies – a crime punishable by a prison term of up to five years.
But Czech President Milos Zeman has approved requests from 103 Czech civilians wanting to help Ukraine in the fight, according to the Associated Press.
Ukrainian soldiers examine Russian multiple missiles abandoned by Russian troops, in the village of Berezivka, Ukraine, on April 21. (AP/Efrem Lukatsky)
Those 103 are from a total of some 400 Czechs who have applied for an exemption from the ban, according to the Defense Ministry.
Authorities still have to process most of the requests.
Maksym, 3, is photographed with his brother, Dmytro, 16, on top of a destroyed Russian tank, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 8.
It’s also not clear how many Czech nationals have already been fighting on the Ukrainian side against invading Russian troops.
A Ukrainian serviceman walks amid the rubble of a building heavily damaged by multiple Russian bombardments near a frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 25. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
The president’s approval has to be co-signed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala who said through his spokesman he would sign all requests that have been approved by the Czech authorities.
Russia’s war in Ukraine has now lasted 77 days.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.