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Most often they go to Prague, they probably want a better life, come from the border with Ukraine.

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From our special newsletter in Slovakia.

At the Vyšná Nemecká border crossing, I am standing exactly on the red line. On the left is a Ukrainian border guard with a submachine gun, while on the other, the Slovak police are busy. They examine documents, but they also examine in detail what refugees are carrying with them.

Some arrive on foot, as often happens at the beginning of the war, but most now come by car. A woman usually sits behind the wheel and carries the children behind. Some go to Slovakia just for a spin – to buy and collect euros – but some families run away with a carload of things to their acquaintances across Europe.

An old blond lady crosses the border and immediately goes to the red tent where Ukrainian drinks or information leaflets are available. He has a bag on his shoulder and a blue Ukrainian passport in his hand. When I ask where she is going, she immediately answers the Czech Republic.

“I’m going to Prague, now I’m going to take a bus from here to the town of Michalovce and from there to Prague. I have a family there. It’s okay in the Czech Republic, I’m from Uzhhorod, I have a Ukrainian passport,” says my wife. After having a snack in the tent, she goes for a quick check-up.

Photograph by David Neff, News List

A woman with a Ukrainian passport crosses the border with Slovakia.

Having a woman’s passport, of course, is not an issue. In this case, it is the easiest. He gets a stamp at the border crossing so he has a confirmation that he has crossed the border. However, refugees from Ukraine arrive without passports.

“So it’s a long procedure,” explains Milan Hromádka, director of the border control department of Vyšná Nemecká, in an interview with Seznam Zprávy.

“We keep biometric data, i.e. fingerprints, in our information systems. Also, when traveling with children, photos of children, a photo of an adult, and a photocopy of the documents they provide, i.e. birth certificate or identity card. It depends on what they come with at the border crossing,” explains Hromádka.

That is, they register the refugees in the system, but do not give them any confirmation that they have crossed the border. However, this is one of the conditions for the support payment in the Czech Republic.

“This creates a problem, for example, in the Czech Republic they have no way to prove themselves. Our legislation was never ready for this, we did not go without passports. Czech authorities can ask and we will confirm to them, “says the director of the border control office, Czech police officers, for example How to check if a refugee has actually crossed into the Schengen area from Ukraine? He doesn’t have a passport.

Now see how it looks on the Slovak-Ukrainian border:

At the border crossing between Slovakia and Ukraine, there are several tent humanitarian organizations at the disposal of refugees. First aid is offered by the Slovak Red Cross or the Order of the Knights of Malta. Here they give teddy bears to children, and there are also specialists who offer psychological help.

Popular Prague

Lubomír Červeňák, wearing a green reflective vest near the bus platform, with a card around his neck that bears the information that the Slovak government is the representative of the Roma community.

I tell him that in Prague, hundreds of Roma refugees from Ukraine are either at the main train station or in a tent town in Prague’s Troja. In an interview, he confirmed that Prague is now popular with Roma refugees.

Photograph by David Neff, News List

Lubomír Červeňák helps Roma refugees on the Slovak-Ukrainian border.

“Most of the time they go to Prague, I don’t know why, but they probably want a better life, a better job,” he thinks.

“Mostly mothers with children and they still flow here. Sometimes it is difficult to communicate with them, they do not speak Slovak or Ukrainian, in which case I will help translate from Romanian,” says the man who mainly helps Roma refugees cross the border.

This week, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (STAN) discussed with his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Monastyrský the situation of Roma refugees or the investigation of war crimes in Ukraine. The Ministry of the Interior said in a press release that it asked Monastyr to investigate possible organized deportations of people from the Transcarpathian region to seek benefits they may qualify for in the EU.

They loaded the car and hit the road

As has been said before, most Ukrainians now avoid cars before the war. This is also the case in the Mariupol family, where the parents and their daughters have a carload of clothes and food. They have to take everything to the table during border control, items come out of the back seat, trunk and roof rack. He also needs to open the hood of the car. There are plastic bags filled with all kinds of things everywhere.

“We’re going to Vilnius, Lithuania, I have a brother there. We’re from Mariupol, we don’t know when we’ll be back, we don’t have a house anymore,” the Ukrainian says sadly, helping his partner get his things out of the car.

Photograph by David Neff, News List

Ukrainian family goes to Lithuania, they have to evacuate everything at the border.

A Ukrainian woman is sitting in a car with her pregnant daughter near this family. In this case, they go to Slovakia for a day and come back. “We are going to visit, we buy clothes for our daughter and clothes for the baby. We are from Mukachevo, we come back in the evening, “The Ukrainian woman tells me from the car.

Czech police officers helping

Czech police officers also help at the borders, their cars are there, and their Slovak colleagues praise their cooperation. “We are currently 35 people here, serving at two border crossings. Vyšné Nemecké and Ubla,” he said.

After the start of the war in Ukraine, the Vyšná Nemecká border crossing faced a massive attack and ten thousand refugees passed through it every day. Now the situation is calmer, since May the border crossing has crossed about two thousand people, most of them are returning to Ukraine.

Source: Seznam Zpravy

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