Robert Fico’s failed assassination raises specter of Western plotting

The Gray Zone

Fico, a veteran Slovak political figure, was re-elected in September 2023 amid a wave of public resentment over the proxy war in Ukraine, pledging to end arms supplies to Kiev and anti-Russian sanctions. On the campaign trail, Western leaders, journalists and pundits aggressively stoked fears of the “pro-Putin,” “populist” candidate returning to office. Ukraine’s Western-backed “Center for Countering Disinformation” publicly accused him of spreading “infoterror” back in April 2022.

But many Slovakians see it differently. They say Fico is merely committed to defending Slovakia’s sovereignty, and governing in his nation’s interests, not those of Brussels, Kiev, London, and Washington. For Western politicians, his victory came at a highly inopportune time, with public and political consensus on the proxy war in Ukraine rapidly fraying across Europe.

Since Fico’s election, media outlets like Germany’s state broadcaster, Deutsche Welle, have branded him a “threat” to the EU and NATO. His declaration that Kiev must cede territory to Russia to end the war was not well-received in Western capitals. In April, the premier seemingly predicted his own shooting, warning that the virulent political climate in Bratislava could result in politicians getting killed.

Robert Fico


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