President calls Ukraine conflict civil war

Czech President Miloš Zeman told commercial radio station Frekvence 1 that he considered the conflict in Ukraine a civil war, not a Russian invasion. In an interview which was taped ahead of the NATO summit in Wales this week, the president also said he believed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov when he stated there were no Russian soldiers on the ground in Ukraine. The president took a similar tack at the summit itself, drawing criticism on Thursday from the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt. The president’s statement, according to the Czech News Agency is at sharp variance with statements made by NATO leaders as well as Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka and the country’s defence minister, who have said that some 5,000 Russian soldiers, according to their information, were fighting in eastern Ukraine.