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Aktuálně.cz: Czech man fighting among separatists in Ukraine

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Prague/Kiev, July 27 (CTK) – A Czech man, allegedly a former martial art expert, is fighting side by side with pro-Russian separatists in Donbas, eastern Ukraine, he has told server.

“I am here as a volunteer,” the man, who presented himself as Pavel Botka, told the server.

He has been fighting in the separatists’ units for almost four months and joined a special unit of foreign fighters, commanded by former French soldier Erwan Castel, recently, he said.

He also said he had clearly heard someone speaking Czech in the enemy’s transmitter, adding that it was an forward air controller for the artillery, situated some 20 km of the front.

“Chaos and fear. Missiles are flying, grenades falling,” he described the fighting against the Ukrainian military.

Botka said the Czech police were interested in him.

He thanked Nela Liskova, from the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement of Tomio Okamura, for her promised humanitarian aid. She confirmed to the server that she would like to help a unit in which Czech citizens served.

The Slovak server reported in June that a separate unit comprising four Czechs and four Slovaks was fighting in eastern Ukraine within the international brigade of the self-named Donetsk republic’s army.

“No information about Czech citizens in units fighting in Ukraine has been confirmed,” Foreign Ministry spokesman David Frous said previously in reaction to the report.

Czech Ivo Stejskal, from Brno, has died in the Ukrainian fighting, his sister Monika confirmed to public Czech Television (CT) last September.

The media also speculated about another dead Czech fighter, Vojtech Hlinka from Zatec, north Bohemia, who allegedly fought together with Stejskal in the ranks of the pro-Russian separatists.

The Czech law bans military service in foreign armies, with the exception of the armies of NATO and cases approved by the president. The violation of the law is punished with up to five years in prison.

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