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Russia wishes ‘speedy recovery’ to Slovak PM

Robert Fico has been in critical condition after an assassination attempt

Russia wishes a speedy recovery to Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on journalist Vladimir Soloviev’s talk show on Wednesday evening. Fico is in critical condition after suffering several gunshot wounds in an assassination attempt the same day.

“We vehemently condemn [this] attack,” Zakharova stated, adding that “we also wish a speedy recovery to the prime minister.” Moscow knows Fico as a “friend of Russia,” the spokeswoman said, praising his determination and courage in the face of pressure.

Fico “is not afraid to speak his mind, even if it often goes against the mainstream [narrative] of the collective West,” the ministry’s spokeswoman said, adding that such a commitment to one’s principles is particularly important “in these dramatic historic times” and a “transformative moment in the history of humankind.”

The Russian official also drew attention to what she called the “heinous rhetoric of hate” that surrounded the assassination attempt. According to Zakharova, this rhetoric “flooded” a media space that is already dominated by pro-Ukrainian narratives. She added that the West had “cultivated” a similar “rhetoric of hate” for years, apparently referring to what Moscow had long denounced as Russophobic narratives spread by the West.

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FILE PHOTO: Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico.
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Her words came as one of Fico’s close allies, Deputy Parliament Speaker Lubos Blaha, also blamed what he called the “liberal media” for creating the atmosphere that made the assassination attempt possible.

“You, liberal media and political opposition. What hatred you spread against Robert Fico,” the official, who is also a deputy chairman of the prime minister’s SMER-SSD Party, said in the wake of the attack.

“For SMER-SSD, I want to sharply condemn what happened today in Handlova and at the same time express heavy disgust over what you have committed here in the past years,” he added. The nation’s biggest opposition party, Progressive Slovakia, called off a planned protest against a government public broadcaster reform in the wake of the incident.

Earlier on Wednesday, Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak told reporters that there was “no doubt” that the attack on Fico was politically motivated. Slovakia’s TA3 News published a video in which the suspected assailant, who was detained at the scene, told police that he shot Fico because he “disagreed” with his government’s policies.

Multiple media outlets identified the suspect as Juraj Cintula, who was allegedly a poet and founder of the Slovak Association of Writers and a supporter of the Progressive Slovakia party.

May 16, 2024 at 03:30AM
RT

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