Major update on Robert Fico’s condition after Slovakian PM shot in ‘politically motivated’ assassination attempt

Major update on Robert Fico’s condition after Slovakian PM shot in ‘politically motivated’ assassination attempt

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A MAJOR update has been given on the condition of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico just hours after he was shot five times in a “politically motivated” assassination attempt.

The pro-Putin prime minister, 59, was gunned down in a bloody attack by an alleged 71-year-old man before being quickly airlifted to hospital for emergency surgery with grave concerns over his health.

Getty

Slovakian PM Robert Fico is expected to survive after after being shot multiple times earlier today[/caption]

RTV Prievidza

The moment the PM was shot at five times by an OAP[/caption]

AP

Fico was seen being carried into hospital on a stretcher for emergency three-hour surgery[/caption]

Security officers helping Fico stand up after the bullets were fired
AFP

Despite the horror attack, Fico is expected to survive his injuries, announced Slovakia’s deputy prime minister Tomas Taraba.

It comes after the PM went through a reported three hours worth of urgent surgery after his injuries were labelled as “extraordinarily serious” when he entered hospital.

Taraba said: “Fortunately as far as I know the operation went well – and I guess in the end he will survive.

“He’s not in a life threatening situation at this moment.”

Fico is still said to be battling for his life in hospital with no further update expected until the morning.

It is also unclear what surgery the PM went through and the extent of his injuries.

Horrifying footage captured the moment the politician was shot five times as his security team ran over to grab the OAP killer.

One bullet hit Fico in his abdomen, according to the country’s defence minister Robert Kalinak.

Kalinak said at a press conference that the PM has “serious trauma” and that the “situation is bad”.

Chilling footage caught the haunting moment gunshots rang out around the town of Handlova as people screamed at the sight of the stricken PM.

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The shooter was stood just feet away from Fico when he launched the brutal assault.

Fico’s bodyguards leapt over the barrier the gunman was hiding behind as they quickly pinned him down to the floor.

Local media identified the suspect as Juraj C – a Slovakian man from the town of Lavice.  

Pictures showed Juraj with blood pouring from his face as he was detained and dragged into a cop car.

The pro-Russian PM had come outside to meet with supporters as she shook hands with those being the barriers as he was attacked.

AP

The country’s defence minister Robert Kalinak said Fico’s injuries were ‘extraordinarily serious’[/caption]

Reuters

The suspected shooter was seen bloodied as he was dragged away by cops[/caption]

AP

Fico was airlifted to a hospital after the horror shooting[/caption]

YouTube

Seconds before gunshots ran out across the town of Handlova[/caption]

President Zuzana Caputova condemned the “brutal and ruthless” attack, calling the shooting on her political partner an “attack on democracy”.

Slovakian interior minister Matus Sutaj Estok labelled the shocking event as the “saddest moment” in Slovakia‘s 31-year history.

He echoed the president’s thoughts saying: “An attack on Slovakia is an attack on democracy, on the state itself.”

Interior minister Matus Sutaj Estok also said the preliminary information “clearly” points to a political motivation behind the shooting.

More footage showed Fico being carried and bundled into a car, flanked by his bodyguards, and driven away at speed for urgent medical help.

Initial treatment in Handlova saw the PM get life saving support before he was airlifted to Banska Bystrica.

His office claimed it would’ve taken “too long” to get to the capital of Bratislava safely.

The motive behind the shooting is not yet known despite many calling it politically motivated.

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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was “shocked” by the “awful news” that his Slovakian counterpart had been shot.

“All our thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family,” he added.

Who is Slovakian PM Robert Fico?

By Ellie Doughty

Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico won his country’s elections in September 2023 on a platform of pro-Russian and anti-Western sentiment.

It was his fourth term as prime minister leading the divisive Smer – meaning “Direction” – party.

The controversial leader, whose policies have been met with country-wide protests, is a supporter of Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin.

In January 2024 he said the only way to end the Ukraine war would be for Zelensky’s brave forces to give some of their land to Russian invaders.

He has also opposed Nato membership for Ukraine and said the nation is “not an independent and sovereign country”.

Fico said at the time: “What do they expect, that the Russians will leave Crimea, Donbas and Luhansk? That’s unrealistic.”

Before taking power in December, he promised to stop sending weapons to Ukraine.

He also assured voters he would block any attempts by Kyiv to join Nato and would oppose sanctions against Russia.

In a shocking claim, Fico said Ukraine joining the European military alliance would be “a basis for World War III, nothing else”.

Sickeningly, Fico has claimed that Ukraine – which has been fighting off Russia’s illegal invasion for more than two years – is “one of the most corrupt nations in the world”.

In stark contrast to the war-ravaged experiences of countless Ukrainians, Fico once claimed: “there’s no war in Kyiv,” describing life in the capital as “absolutely normal.”

He has also vowed to enforce a strict stance against migration, NGOs and has campaigned against the rights of the LGBTQ+ community.

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Notorious for tirades against journalists, Fico has previously dubbed a major television network, two national newspapers and an online news outlet as his “enemies”.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the assassination attempt on his neighbouring state’s leader “appalling”.

He said: “Every effort should be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form, or sphere.”

Elsewhere there were reactions of shock from across Europe and stern condemnations of political violence.

Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas branded the shooting an “attack against the very idea of democracy”, while Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg said he was both “shocked and appalled”.

Fico returned to power in Slovakia last September for the third time as the head of a populist-nationalist coalition.

But his first few months as prime minister has proved controversial.

In January, he halted military aid to Ukraine, insisting life in Kyiv was “absolutely normal” and there was no war.

He asked: “You seriously think there is war in Kyiv? You are joking, please, I hope you are not being serious.

“Go there and you will find out there is normal life in the city, absolutely normal life.”

AFP

Fico was seen being bundled into a car after he was attacked[/caption]

Reuters

The 71-year-old suspect was quickly taken down and detained[/caption]

AP

Fico has been regarded as a pro-Putin prime minister for the way he has run Slovakia[/caption]

AP

Fico was shot as he spoke to supporters after a government meeting[/caption]

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