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Slovak PM Fights for Life After Assassination Attempt

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, 59, remains in “life-threatening” condition following an assassination attempt that took place outside Bratislava on Wednesday, where local media reports claim he was shot in the stomach and hand by a lone gunman. 

Official sources have offered scant details about the assassination attempt and have not confirmed the exact nature of the shooting or any further details surrounding the prime minister’s current condition, RFE/RL reports. 

Reuters cited Slovak media as saying that the shooter was a 71-year-old man, though there has been no official or independent confirmation of that information. 

Fico was rushed to the hospital and then flown by helicopter to another facility for urgent intervention, with Reuters citing local media reports as saying that his condition was too fragile to be transported as far away as the capital, Bratislava. 

Fico, who is currently serving as prime minister for the fourth time, heads the Smer-SD party and is viewed as an extreme populist who opposes his government’s military support for Ukraine, contradicting the neighboring Czech Republic’s current bid to become a key supplier for Ukraine as it defends its territory against Russia. 

Fico also opposes sanctions against Russia, has halted all weapons shipments to Ukraine, and pledged to veto Kyiv’s NATO membership bid, according to RFE/RL. 

Also on Wednesday, the biggest opposition party in Slovakia was planning a protest against the government, which was canceled in light of the shooting. 

In March, the Czech government canceled joint meetings with their Slovak counterparts due to their opposing views on weapons for Ukraine. The Slovak prime minister has also been highly vocal in recent weeks about the war in Ukraine, undermining Kyiv’s sovereignty and pushing for a peace deal with Russia.

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By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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