Czech President Miloš Zeman was among around 30 Russian and foreign politicians to take part in a memorial event to the victims of WWII in Moscow on Saturday. Mr. Zeman laid a wreath of red carnations at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Alexander Park by the walls of the Kremlin. After the memorial the Czech head of state attended a reception hosted by President Vladimir Putin, speaking informally with the presidents of China, India, Egypt and Vietnam, according to his spokesman. He did not attend a Victory Day parade in the Russian capital. Later on Saturday Mr. Zeman had a half-hour meeting with Mr. Putin.
Several hundred people honoured those who died during WWII at an event at Prague’s Olšany cemetery on Saturday organised by the Communist Party. Chairman Vojtěch Filip paid tribute to the Red Army soldiers who had died during the liberation of Czechoslovakia, adding that whichever armies had freed particular parts of the country had no impact on the results of elections in 1946. Czechs used to mark May 9 as the end of WWII but in the early 1990s switched to May 8, in line with Western Europe.
A group of Czech veterans who fought on the Eastern Front during WWII have had a meeting in Moscow with more than 50 Russian soldiers who fought alongside them and took part in the liberation of Czechoslovakia. The eight Czech veterans have accompanied Czech President Miloš Zeman to the Russian capital for events celebrating the end of the conflict. Speaking in Russian, Mr. Zeman said shortly after arriving in the city on Friday evening that he had come to pay respect not only to those who had fallen in the liberation of Czechoslovakia but to all Soviet citizens, soldiers and civilians, who had lost their lives during the war.
A document has been uncovered suggesting President Miloš Zeman may have been mistaken in accusing the inter-war journalist Ferdinand Peroutka of writing an article headlined “Hitler is a gentleman”. The Institute for Czech Literature has made public a piece penned by writer Jan Drda in 1958 saying that Peroutka had used the term gentleman to describe Ernst Eisenlohr, who was a pre-war German ambassador to Prague. Supporters of Ferdinand Peroutka have strongly denied Mr. Zeman’s assertion, which the head of state has to date been unable to substantiate.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is set to unveil a new screening hall at this July’s edition, its fiftieth. The 300-plus capacity hall is located at the Hotel Ambassador in the spa town’s freshly renovated Národní dům (National House). KVIFF’s executive director Kryštof Mucha said the opening of the new venue meant the festival would no longer use a blow-up cinema beside Hotel Thermal, which he described as rather outmoded.
Czech tennis player Petra Kvitová has won the Madrid Open after outclassing Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetzova 6-1 6-2 in Saturday’s final. It was the 16th WTA title for Kvitová, who notched up a first ever victory over world number one Serena Williams in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, the leading Czech men’s player Tomáš Berdych lost 6-7 1-6 to Rafal Nadal in the men’s semi-finals in Madrid on Saturday.
Beating France and Austria does not necessarily mean the Czech Republic’s form has improved at the Ice Hockey World Championship, according to star player Jaromír Jágr. After defeats to Sweden and Canada and a win over Latvia, the Czechs have dispatched the two relative minnows in recent days. However, Jágr told journalists that he and his teammates had to play as much as possible outside their own defensive zone and rediscover the form in power plays that they displayed in their opening two games. The Czechs next game is against another unfancied team, Germany, on Sunday.
The manager of Chelsea football club, Jose Mourinho, says he would prefer for Petr Čech to either remain at the club or move abroad this summer. Premier league clubs such as Arsenal have been linked to the Czech goalkeeper, who has become Chelsea’s second choice between the posts. Mourinho has suggested, however, that club’s owner Roman Abramovich may sanction Čech - who has one year left on his contract - moving to a rival after 11 successful years at the London club.
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