Live updates: Shooting of Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico


Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, speaks to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico during a meeting in Moscow, in August 2016.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, speaks to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico during a meeting in Moscow, in August 2016. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/AP

In what was a stunning comeback for the controversial politician, Robert Fico won a third term as Slovakian prime minister last October after running a campaign that criticized Western support for Ukraine.

Fico had pledged an immediate end to Slovak military support for Ukraine and promised to block Ukraine’s NATO ambitions in what would upend Slovakia’s staunch backing for Ukraine.

Ahead of the election, Fico made no secret of his sympathies toward the Kremlin and blamed “Ukrainian Nazis and fascists” for provoking Vladimir Putin into launching the invasion, repeating the false narrative Russia’s president has used to justify his invasion.

While in opposition, Fico became a close ally of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, especially when it came to criticism of the European Union.

Fico previously served as Slovakia’s prime minister for more than a decade, first between 2006 and 2010 and then again from 2012 to 2018.

He was forced to resign in March 2018 after weeks of mass protests over the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová. Kuciak reported on corruption among the country’s elite, including people directly connected to Fico and his party SMER.



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