The Ambassador of Ukraine to the Czech Republic Yevgeny Perebiynis, in an interview with Voice of Ukraine, said that the Czech Republic is investigating 20 of its citizens who were fighting on the side of the pro-Russian militants in the Donbas.
"There is an investigation conducted against almost 20 Czech citizens who possibly participated in military operations on the side of Russia in the Donbas," he stressed.
When the Ambassador was asked about how these people were detained and whether the Czech special services cooperate with the Ukrainian, he said that this is a sensitive topic. However, Perebiynis confirmed that there is cooperation between the Czech and Ukrainian law enforcement agencies. According to him, the Czech law enforcement authorities don't like to tell much about how the investigation is conducted.
At the moment, only one Czech citizen was sentenced for taking part in military operations in the East of Ukraine. He was sentenced to probation. "But despite this, there is a precedent. Others are under investigation. A very complex issue in the investigation is proof of guilt. Many accusations are based on social networks or testimonies of individuals," the Ambassador said.
Also, he noted that the Czech Republic has a vast number of agents of Russian special services on their territory. "The Russian Embassy in Prague has almost the largest number of employees in comparison with other diplomatic institutions. There is information that more than half of these employees are representatives of the Russian security services," said Perebiynis.
He also said that in 2016 the first representative foreign office of the so-called DPR (Donetsk People's Republic) was established in the Czech Republic. The Czech Foreign Ministry filed a lawsuit and last summer the representation was closed. The reason for the case was presenting itself as the center pretended to be an official diplomatic institution of a non-existent state.
"At the moment this is the only such a decision in Europe, although Russia is trying to open such centers in France, Finland, and Italy. This case could be a precedent for other European countries," said Perebiynis.