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Assassination Attempt on Fico Motivated by Ukraine Conflict

State of the Union: The assailant of the Slovak PM was motivated by Fico’s opposition to Ukraine aid.

Last week, the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, was shot by an “amateur poet and former security guard,” Juraj Cintula, in an assassination attempt with potentially wide-reaching consequences. According to pre-trial documents released on Thursday, the shooter was motivated by opposition to Fico’s opposition to giving Ukraine military aid. 

According to the court documents, Cintula viewed Fico’s government as “a Judas toward the European Union,” due to its opposition to military aid given to Ukraine and promotion of peace talks to end the conflict. Fico had halted military aid to Ukraine following his election in 2023.


Fico is the leader of Slovakia’s social democratic Smer-SD party, which was suspended by the EU’s socialist group in 2023 for its alliance with the right-wing Slovak National Party. Fico also served as Prime Minister of Slovakia from 2006 to 2010 and 2012 to 2018. Over the course of his career, Fico has had a long political development, beginning as a communist, becoming a social democrat after the Cold War, and more recently shifting towards a national conservative position. 

Though an early opponent of Orban and Fidesz over the issue of Slovakia’s Hungarian minority, the relationship between the two leaders and their governments has improved in recent years, with the Hungarian government congratulating Fico on his most recent electoral victory due to shared views on “war, migration, and gender issues.” According to Reuters, the assailant, Cintula, has expressed a desire to apologize to Fico for the shooting and has stated that he did not intend to kill the Prime Minister. Fico suffered an abdominal hemorrhage from the wounds and was put into an induced coma, but is now in a stable condition.