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Ethnic Czechs move from Ukraine to former homeland

March 15, 2015

PRAGUE (AP) — The Czech president has greeted a group of Ukrainians of Czech decent who have accepted his country’s offer to move back to their former homeland because of the turmoil in Ukraine.

Czech authorities have granted permanent residency for 140 people of Czech origin, with 35 landing Sunday at Prague’s Vaclav Havel Airport aboard a government passenger jet.

“Welcome home,” President Milos Zeman told them. “May you like it here.”

The government is providing financial support and fully covering a half-year stay in a hotel in the southern Czech Republic. In cooperation with a Catholic charity, authorities will help them find a place to live and work.

Before World War II, some parts of what is now western Ukraine belonged to the former Czechoslovakia.

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