Mayor of Prague 6 MP Ondřej Kolář (TOP 09) | PHOTO: TOP 09 / Veronika Rejmanová / with permission
Of the war refugees from Russia-invaded Ukraine, more than half are children, but schools in the Czech Republic lack capacity in many places. The solution could be the building of the Russian school in Dejvice in Prague, completely empty since the expulsion of diplomats last year. The mayor of Prague 6, Ondřej Kolář (TOP 09), therefore requested that it be provided to Ukrainian pupils. The Russian Ambassador, Alexander Zmeevsky, strongly rejected it. “Russia will simply overthrow the school,” Kolář replied, adding, “My task is to provide a place for children who wanted to kill their compatriots.”
As the number of refugees from Ukraine expelled from their homes by Russian aggressors increases, the number of children who come to us with their mothers or grandparents also increases. Adequate education must be provided to them, which implies the possibility of normal school attendance. To do this, it is necessary to increase the capacity of the classes, to allow a greater number of pupils in a class. This law on special rules in education under the so-called lex Ukraine has currently been approved by the Senate. Education Minister Petr Gazdík (STAN) said that, for example, the buildings of recreation centers or basic art schools can be used for Ukrainian children. But a school is completely empty. Unused. A school belonging to the Russian Embassy in Prague, which would accommodate several hundred students.
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The mayor of Prague 6 and deputy Ondřej Kolář therefore appealed to the Russian ambassador Alexander Zmejevský to make the premises of the Russian school available to Ukrainian children. This educational institution in Dejvice in Prague has not functioned and has stood empty, as have several dozen Russian embassies since last spring, when Russian diplomats were expelled following the Vrbětice affair. This includes the teachers at the school, who as embassy staff also had diplomatic passports. “The school is empty and children fleeing the war in Ukraine must have a place to learn. You have launched a barbaric aggression, at least give Ukrainian children an empty school,” Kolář said.
On his Facebook page, Kolář announced: “I called on the Russian ambassador to find a conscience and do something useful for Ukrainian children. I want Russia to provide them with the empty school building of Bubeneč, which she owns, so that children fleeing terrorism can be educated in democracy, freedom and security.” Twitter He added: “I don’t expect him to answer me. But I’m waiting for a way to be found.”
In a letter to the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Zmeevsky, Mayor Kolář wrote: “As a result of your regime’s barbaric aggression in Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing the country to seek refuge in neighboring states, but surprisingly – not in the Russian Federation. Most of these refugees are women, children and the elderly. These people need to be taken care of, children need to go to kindergartens and schools. The Russian Federation owns the school building in Bubeneč. This building is empty, the Russian school run by the Russian Embassy is closed. I hereby urge you to make the construction of this school, founded by the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk for members of the so-called white emigration, who fled the Soviet Union in the 1920s from the Bolshevik regime, terror and unfreedom, open to Ukrainian children who were forced to leave their homeland due to the violence and war your country unleashed there in the 1920s, or the criminal regime you represent in the Czech Republic .
Russia cannot commit a brutal and inexcusable act against a free Ukraine at all. Nevertheless, we consider it our moral duty to ask him to take at least one good decision that will help Ukrainian children flee violence and war.
I hope, Ambassador Zmejevský, that you will hear this call without delay. The Czech Republic is very happy to contribute to the education of Ukrainian children in matters of democratic thought, the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and values. We are happy to explain to Ukrainian children the difference between totalitarianism and freedom.
Providing a school for Ukrainian children would be just a small but very important part of your repentance. As the Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN said, war criminals don’t expect purgatory, they go straight to hell. I totally agree with him. But I believe that the Russian nation will wake up and get rid of the criminals who dragged it into a war comparable to the rage that the last Nazi Germans unleashed in Europe. I don’t give you and your leaders any hope, but I believe that you could at least make a good decision and provide school for Ukrainian children. » You can read the full letter HERE.
However, the request was not heard. Mayor Kolář commented: “Then the Russian ambassador told me that as mayor, I wanted them to free up empty spaces in their school for Ukrainian children fleeing the war. It is said that “it is not in my competence” and that Russia will decide for itself. When I see Russia “governing” in Mariupol, where innocent civilians are dying under Russian rockets, it would be more dignified for the ambassador to take off his heels and cheat the school. It is useless for them and it will help these children a lot. »
At social networks then he said emphatically, “Russia will just overthrow the school and I don’t care what the Russian ambassador thinks of my skills. His country has caused a humanitarian catastrophe and my task is clear. To give a place to the children his compatriots wanted to kill.”
According to the mayor, the Prague 6 city district intends to resolve the situation in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.