Slovakia’s Prime Minister Wounded In Shooting
Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico walks during the European Council summit at the EU headquarters in Brussels, on April 18, 2024.
(Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)

A shooting in Slovakia left the central European country’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, wounded on Wednesday, according to multiple reports.

The BBC said that Fico, 59, was in life-threatening condition and taken to a hospital after being attacked outside a community center in the town of Handlova while meeting with supporters.

“Utterly shocked by today’s brutal attack on #Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, which I condemn in strongest possible terms,” Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said in a post to X.

“I wish him lot of strength in this critical moment and early recovery,” she added. “My thoughts are also with his family and close ones.”

According to the Associated Press, a TV station in Slovakia said a suspect had been detained. The suspect’s identity was not immediately known.

Video posted to social media appeared to show the moment security guards frantically moved Fico into a car after the shooting.

After resigning as prime minister in 2018 amid a murder and corruption scandal, Fico returned to power last fall when his Smer party bested the liberal Progressive Slovakia party in a parliamentary election and formed a coalition government.

Making good on promises made during his campaign, Fico announced in October that Slovakia would stop sending military aid to its neighbor, Ukraine, but continue humanitarian assistance.

Leaders across Europe responded to the shooting on Wednesday, including European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.


“I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico,” she said in a post to X. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico and his family.”

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who has also been resistant to providing more aid to Ukraine as its war against Russian invaders entered its third year, similarly reacted to the attack on Fico.

“I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico,” Orban said in a post to X. “We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country!”

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