PM Of Slovakia Expected To Survive After Being Shot Multiple Times In Assassination Attempt

PM Of Slovakia Expected To Survive After Being Shot Multiple Times In Assassination Attempt

Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia is expected to survive after he was shot five times in a suspected assassination attempt and underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday.

Fico, a 59-year-old Left-wing populist who was elected prime minister last year, was targeted in what Slovak officials described as a “politically motivated” attack after a government meeting in Handlova, CNN reported. The suspected gunman was among a small crowd of people waiting to greet the prime minister and fired at Fico from close range. Deputy Prime Minister Tomáš Taraba told BBC that Fico “was heavily injured” by a bullet that “went through the stomach” and then another bullet that “hit the joints.”

“Fortunately, as far as I know, the operation went well and I guess in the end he will survive,” Taraba added.

Video of the attack showed the moment the suspect opened fire on Fico from behind a barrier as the prime minister was walking toward a group of supporters. The alleged gunman was arrested and identified by multiple media outlets as 71-year-old Juraj Cintula, a leftist writer and activist who founded an “anti-violence” movement in 2015. Authorities have not yet confirmed the identity of the suspect.

Fico has been criticized by his opponents as being a Kremlin sympathizer. The prime minister, who is the most powerful lawmaker in Slovakia, won his election last October on a campaign that criticized the country’s aid to Ukraine throughout the Russia-Ukraine war. Fico kept his campaign promise and announced shortly after becoming prime minister that Slovakia would end its military aid for Ukraine while maintaining humanitarian assistance for its European neighbor.

Fico previously served as prime minister from 2006 to 2010 and then again from 2012 to 2018 before he resigned amid a corruption scandal after the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. Kuciak focused much of his reporting on Slovakia’s political elite, CNN reported.

The assassination attempt on Fico shocked leaders in Slovakia and around the world. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said she was “utterly shocked” by the attack and condemned it “in strongest possible terms.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban added, “I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico. We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country!”


President Joe Biden also commented on the attack, saying, “I am alarmed to hear reports of an attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Jill and I are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia. We condemn this horrific act of violence. Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist.”

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[By: Zach Jewell

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