NATO country allows nationals to join Ukrainian army and fight Russia

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The leader of the Czech Republic on Wednesday approved the applications of more than 100 of its citizens to join the Ukrainian army in the war against Russia.

Czech citizens are banned from serving in foreign armies – a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.

But Czech President Milos Zeman has approved requests from 103 Czech civilians to help Ukraine in the fight, according to the Associated Press.

Ukrainian soldiers examine several Russian missiles abandoned by Russian troops, in the village of Berezivka, Ukraine, on April 21.”/>

Ukrainian soldiers examine several Russian missiles abandoned by Russian troops, in the village of Berezivka, Ukraine, on April 21.
(AP/Efrem Lukatsky)

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These 103 people are part of a total of some 400 Czechs who have requested an exemption from the ban, according to the Ministry of Defence.

Authorities have yet to process most applications.

Maksym, 3, is pictured with his brother, Dmytro, 16, atop a destroyed Russian tank on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine on May 8.

Maksym, 3, is pictured with his brother, Dmytro, 16, atop a destroyed Russian tank on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine on May 8.

It is also not known how many Czech nationals have already fought on the Ukrainian side against invading Russian troops.

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A Ukrainian serviceman walks among the rubble of a building badly damaged by multiple Russian shelling near a frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 25.

A Ukrainian serviceman walks among the rubble of a building badly damaged by multiple Russian shelling near a frontline in Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 25.
(AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The president’s approval must be co-signed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala who has said through his spokesman that he will sign all requests approved by the Czech authorities.

Russia’s war in Ukraine now lasts 77 days.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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