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Shooting Seriously Wounds Slovakia’s Populist, Pro-Russian Prime Minister

Avatar of Salman Ahmad



Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, center, speaks with people before a cabinet meeting in the town of Handlova, Slovakia, on Wednesday.

(CTN News) – According to his Facebook profile, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot at a political gathering on Wednesday afternoon and is in critical condition.

TA3, a television station, reported four bullets fired from outside the House of Culture in Handlova, 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of the city where the leader was meeting with supporters. A stomach injury apparently wounded the 59-year-old pro-Russian populist leader.

Reports indicated suspects’ apprehension.

A Facebook post says Fico “has been shot multiple times and is currently in a life-threatening condition.”

He was taken to Banská Bystrica, 63 miles (29 kilometers) from Handlova, because Bratislava could not provide immediate medical care. “The outcome will be determined within the next few hours,” the document says.

European and Slovakian shockwave reactions

Peter Pellegrini, Fico’s supporter and future Slovakia president, called the assassination “an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy.” Our freedom to free expression in public areas instead of polling places risks all that 31 years of Slovak independence have labored over.

Despite the paucity of knowledge about the firing’s motivations, some in Europe called it a suicide attempt on the NATO chief.

On X, NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg voiced shock and dismay about the gunfire incident.

A shooting occurred in Slovakia three weeks before the key European Parliament elections, in which far-right and populist parties across the 27-nation EU appear poised to progress.

The Slovak TASR news agency said that Deputy Speaker of Parliament Lubos Blaha confirmed the occurrence during a session that was adjourned till further notice.

Freedom and Solidarity and Progressive Slovakia, Slovakia’s two major opposition parties, canceled a coordinated protest in reaction to a contentious government proposal to restructure public media. The parties say the idea would give the government full control over public radio and TV.

Progressive Slovakia leader Michal Simecka said, “We strongly denounce acts of violence and the shooting that occurred today, which involved Premier Robert Fico.” “At the same time we call on all politicians to refrain from any expressions and steps which could contribute to further increasing the tension.”

Presidential Zuzana Caputova condemned the “brutal and ruthless” attack on the premier. “I was astounded,” Caputova said. “I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment and a quick recovery from this attack.” Fico ran on anti-American and pro-Russian themes.

Smer, or Direction, led by third-time premier Fico and his left-leaning coalition won the September 30 legislative elections in Slovakia. Pro-Russian and anti-American policies helped Fico and his party regain power.

Many worry that a Fico-led Slovakia will adopt Viktor Orbán’s populist policies instead of Western ones.

Thousands protested Fico’s policies in Slovakia’s capital.

Even if the attack’s motives were unclear, European leaders denounced political violence. European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen denounced the heinous attack.

“Voices of this nature have no place in our society; they undermine democracy, our most valuable common good,” von der Leyen wrote in X.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala called the situation “terrifying” and wished the premier a swift recovery. “Violent behavior is unacceptable and has no place in our culture.” The Czech Republic and Slovakia became Czechoslovakia before 1992.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk posted “Shocking news from Slovakia” on X. “My prayers and thoughts are with you, Robert, as you persevere through this extraordinarily trying time.”


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Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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