Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico critically injured after being shot

5 days ago
Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico critically injured after being shot

It was a shocking and disturbing incident when Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times on Wednesday after a cabinet meeting. He was quickly taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to officials. The attack has been strongly condemned by EU leaders.

Fico, a leader known for his populist views and facing accusations of being Kremlin-friendly, has held the position of prime minister since last year.

According to a social media post by the government, an assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico of the Slovak Republic took place today following a government meeting in Handlova.

“He is currently being transported by helicopter to Banska Bystrica in a life-threatening condition, because it would take too long to get to Bratislava due to the necessity of an acute intervention”, it said.

Fico was shot multiple times, said a post on his official Facebook page.

“We confirm the attack on the prime minister,” police spokesman Matej Neumann told AFP.

Handlova local hospital director Marta Eckhardtova said “Fico was brought into our hospital and he was treated at our vascular surgery clinic”.

She was unable to describe his injuries.

The Dennik N daily said its reporter heard several shots fired and then saw security guards lift the premier off the ground and into a car.

The newspaper also reported that police had detained the suspected gunman.

Attack condemned

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said she was “utterly shocked by today’s brutal and reckless attack on Slovakia’s prime minister… which I condemn in [the] strongest possible terms”.

“I wish him a lot of strength in this critical moment and early recovery,” she said on social media platform X.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala also called the news of the attack “shocking”.

“I hope the prime minister will get well as soon as possible. We must not tolerate violence, it must have no place in society,” he said on X.

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said: “Robert, my thoughts are with you in this very difficult moment.”

As well as his current stint as premier, Fico also headed the government in 2006–10 and 2012–18.

Since he was elected last October, Fico has made a string of remarks that have soured ties between Slovakia and neighbouring Ukraine.

He has notably questioned Ukraine’s sovereignty and called for a compromise with Russia.

He also sparked mass protests with controversial changes, including a media law that critics say will undermine the impartiality of public television and radio.

At a press conference following the shooting, MP Lubos Blaha from Fico’s Smer party lashed out against his critics.

“You, the liberal media, and progressive politicians are to blame. Robert Fico is fighting for his life because of your hatred,” Blaha said.