In Slovakia, violence breeds violence. The Prime Minister, a supporter of Russia, shot five years after another attack that sparked a political crisis

Robert Fico is the most influential politician in Bratislava. He leads a social-democratic party with nationalist and populist accents. He has declared himself against Ukraine's accession to NATO and has refused to help the country invaded by Kremlin soldiers.
In Slovakia, violence breeds violence. The Prime Minister, a supporter of Russia, shot five years after another attack that sparked a political crisis

On the last day of 1992, Czechoslovakia dissolves, forming two states, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The initiator of the separatist movement was Vladimir Meciar, a nationalist from Bratislava, the prime minister of the Slovak federal state, who later became the first president after the separation.

It was a political decision born out of frustration and thirst for power that would shape Slovakia’s evolution differently from that of the Czech Republic, leading to a point where a controversial prime minister was shot in broad daylight.

Robert Fico, 59 years old, reclaimed the position of Slovakia’s prime minister in October 2023 when his party, SMER, won the elections and managed to form a parliamentary majority.

An assassination attempt on the prime minister is a threat to everything that has defined Slovak democracy so far. I have received with horror the news that Prime Minister Robert Fico became the target of an assassination attempt after a government meeting in Handlova, and during a meeting with the people, he suffered gunshot wounds following the attack.

Peter Pellegrini, the elected president of Slovakia

Seven months later, he became a victim of an attack that plunged the country into a major crisis.

On February 21, 2018, investigative journalist Jan Kuciak was shot dead in his own home, alongside his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova.

SLOVAKIA. Journalist Jan Kuciak, along with his fiancée, Martina Kusnirova, cold-bloodedly killed in 2018 following a press investigation - Photo: Facebook/ Jan Kuciak

The deaths of the two caused a shock nationwide, and Robert Fico, who had been in power for two years at the time, after a six-year break, was forced to resign.

But Fico does not leave the scene. He shows remarkable adaptability, waiting for the right moment. He led Slovakia for 11 years, being at the forefront of politics in this country for a quarter of a century. 

The man who claimed to bring peace

No one has greater influence than him and an extraordinary ability to convince the electorate that he is the saving solution for the country.


In 2023, he won the elections, exploiting the Slovaks' fear of war. 

In his campaign, he no longer prominently showed his support for Vladimir Putin, conveying the message that he has the ability to ensure peace in the country. This was nothing but a well-targeted speech to frightened people willing to believe him.

Russia Uzbekistan
STRATEGY. Vladimir Putin managed to make allies in the European Union, targeting corrupt political regimes - Photo:

To understand Robert Fico's politics and why Slovaks support him, we must interpret his success through the relationship between the two countries, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

I strongly condemn the despicable attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

The former is much wealthier, with a higher standard of living and a developed economy, while the latter is poorer, with a population that considers itself unfairly treated, starting from the communist period when resources were directed northwards, towards Prague.

Popular frustration was exploited by Meciar, then by Fico, to create a nationalist movement, which became the main factor of stagnation in Slovak society.

Alongside Viktor Orban

Of course, alongside a political monopoly, corruption flourished, leading to increased social polarization and deepening frustration.

The shooting of a young journalist and his fiancée, followed by the shooting of a sitting prime minister, are not isolated, autonomous events but are connected over time, revealing the underlying tensions in a society severely affected by corruption.

Slovakian Prime Minister Fico in Budapest
FRIENDS. Robert Fico and Viktor Orban, two prime ministers who support Russia's actions and refuse to help Ukraine - Photo:

Robert Fico is a supporter of Vladimir Putin, being the second bridgehead built by the Kremlin within the European Union after Viktor Orban.

The new Slovak government, led by Fico, halted aid to Ukraine shortly after starting its term, joining Budapest in its stance. However, Fico was less vocal than Orban, facing an even more difficult political situation and stronger opposition.

I am dismayed to learn about the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. I wish him a speedy and full recovery. I strongly condemn such extremist acts, which threaten our fundamental European values.

Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania

On June 15, Peter Pellegrini, an ally of Fico, will become president, thus putting an end to a liberal and deeply pro-European political regime that has been in power for the last five years.

Today, the position of president is held by Zuzana Čaputová, an anti-corruption activist who managed in 2019 to capitalize on popular dissatisfaction related to the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak and rise to power.

However, Čaputová decided not to run for a new term in 2023.

A Fine Line Between Stability and Chaos

The shooting of Robert Fico triggers a crisis in Europe, especially in the context of the upcoming European Parliament elections scheduled for early June.

Protest over journalist's murder in Slovakia
BRATISLAVA. Street protest shortly after the murder of journalist Jan Kuciak, September 2018, demanding the resignation of the government led by Robert Fico and the punishment of the criminals - Photo:

The Kremlin is already making a big deal out of the shooting of its ally. Russian news agencies announce that the Slovak prime minister opposed Ukraine's accession to NATO and halted military aid to Kyiv.

Slovakia is a country with a population of 5.5 million, half that of the Czech Republic, and is a member of the European Union and NATO.

The two politically charged armed attacks will have a major impact on the destiny of the country in central Europe, deeply affected by corruption.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia represents a major security crisis with an impact on European stability. The assassination attempt on the Slovak prime minister shows how thin the line between social order and chaos is, especially when a war is unfolding nearby. 

Every day we write for you. If you feel well-informed and satisfied, please give us a like. 👇