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Pro-Russian Slovak PM Fico shot, hospitalized after government meeting attack

Slovakia’s pro-Russian PM Robert Fico was shot and hospitalized with an injury after an attack after a government meeting in central Slovakia, when approaching his supporters, local media reports.
prorussian slovak pm fico shot hospitalized after government meeting attack robert press conference handlov 15 may 2024 afternoon photo tasr via denik n
Slovak PM Robert Fico at a press conference in Handlová on 15 May 2024 afternoon. Photo: TASR via Denik N
Pro-Russian Slovak PM Fico shot, hospitalized after government meeting attack

Pro-Russian Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and injured during an attack after a government meeting in Handlová town in central Slovakia about 150 kilometers northeast of the capital on 15 May. Eyewitnesses report that shots rang out as Fico approached people gathered to greet him after the meeting at the local cultural center.

The Slovak government, led by Prime Minister Robert Fico, has taken a Russia-friendly stance on the war in Ukraine. Slovak PM Robert Fico, who took power in October 2023, regularly faces opposition protests against his policies, mainly over revisions to the criminal code that critics say weaken the fight against corruption.

According to the Denník N newspaper, Fico fell to the ground after being struck by the gunfire. His security detail quickly moved to secure the area and apprehend the suspected shooter, who was detained by police.

Denník N reporter Daniel Vražda did not see the incident, but was close by and heard several shots. He then saw the prime minister being lifted off the ground by security guards, loaded into a car and driven away, according to the newspaper. Police have cordoned off the area surrounding the scene of the attack.

Reports from TA3, a Slovakian TV station, indicated that Fico was shot in the stomach when four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in Handlová during a meeting with supporters, according to France 24.

Since taking office last year, Fico has halted military aid to Ukraine, advocated for “peace talks” with Russia, promised to veto Ukraine’s NATO membership, and did not support the Czech initiative to buy shells for the Ukrainian military, in response to which Slovak citizens crowdfunded more than 4 million euro to contribute to the shell purchase.

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