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Slovakia, what do we know about the attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico

71 years old, no criminal record, retired, peace activist, with a passion for poetry and politics. Juraj Cintula is the attacker who shot Robert Fico yesterday, the Slovak prime minister, five gunshots. He had worked in a private security company, and for this reason legally owned the weapon with which he attempted to assassinate the prime minister.

During a political rally, Juraj Cintula opened fire on the prime minister, who was shaking hands with a small group of supporters in the city of Handlová, about 150 kilometers north-east of the capital. The prime minister survived, although he was seriously injured. After a surgery that lasted several hours, now His conditions are stabilized, but remain serious. It was the first assassination attempt on a high-level politician in the modern history of Slovakia.

Robert Fico, a populist, returned to power in Slovakia after last year's elections. In recent years he had begun to embrace more extreme positions: his success was fueled by promises to suspend military aid to Ukrainegive her criticism of sanctions against Russia and give them campaigns against LGBTQ+ rights. The first months after his return were tense: thousands of people repeatedly took to the streets across the country to protest against the government's plans.

In the barracks, during the interrogation, Juraj Cintula said that he “disagreed with the government's policies”. According to Slovak TV, the 71-year-old was against government measures “aimed at limiting freedom of the press” and he had already been planning the attack on Rober Fico for a month. “Maybe he must have had a mental short circuit,” his son tries to hypothesize, speaking to the news site Aktuality.sk.

In 2016, Cintula had founded Hnutieproti nasiliu, a movement against violence, which he described as “an emerging party that wants to stop the spread of violence in society. Preventing war in Europe. Stop the spread of hatred.”

Investigations are ongoing to fully understand Cintula's motivations and to establish whether he acted alone or if he had accomplices.

Source: Vanity Fair

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