Slovakia PM Shot in Attempted Assassination, Critically Injured

Tragic Event Shakes Slovak Political Landscape

by Zain ul Abedin
Slovakia PM Shot in Attempted Assassination, Critically Injured
© Sean Gallup/Getty Images

In a shocking and violent incident, Slovakia's populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was left in a life-threatening condition on Wednesday after being shot in an "attempted assassination," according to his office. An update on Fico's official Facebook page confirmed the severity of the situation: “He was shot multiple times and is in a life-threatening state”.

Due to the urgency, Fico was transported to a hospital in Banská Bystrica, bypassing the capital, Bratislava, for quicker medical attention. The country's president, Zuzana ?aputová, expressed her shock and condemnation of the attack.

In a message on X, formerly known as Twitter, she stated, “Utterly shocked by today’s brutal and reckless attack on Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, which I condemn in the strongest possible terms.

I wish him a lot of strength in this critical moment and an early recovery. My thoughts are also with his family and close ones”. Lubos Blaha, vice-chairman of Slovakia's parliament, confirmed that Fico had been shot and injured, as reported by the Slovak news agency TASR.

According to a TASR reporter, several shots were fired in the town of Handlova, approximately 110 miles northeast of Bratislava, where Fico was greeting members of the public following a government meeting. Photos and videos from the scene show a man being detained in Handlova and another man being carried into a car by security personnel in dark suits.

These images quickly circulated on social media, highlighting the chaotic aftermath of the attack.

Fico’s Political Alliances

Fico, a veteran politician, was elected leader of the leftist Smer party in October last year.

Known for his pro-Russian and anti-American populist stance, Fico has previously served as prime minister twice. His recent return to power was part of a coalition deal with two other parties. Throughout his political career, Fico has aligned himself with Viktor Orban, Hungary's right-wing authoritarian leader.

Both leaders have voiced opposition to Western support for Ukraine in its conflict with Russia and have advocated for ending such support. The attack on Fico drew strong condemnation from international leaders. Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, denounced the violence in a post on X, stating, “Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good”.

As Slovakia grapples with this shocking event, the nation and the international community await further updates on Fico's condition and the investigation into the attempted assassination.