On May 15, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot four times by Juraj Cintula, a Slovak man who accused Fico’s government of being “a Judas toward the European Union” on account of its refusal to provide military support to Ukraine. 

Fico, who survived the shooting, has been a divisive figure in Slovak politics, but even his opponents were appalled by the attack. Central European politics are usually calm. Public anger rarely translates into public violence. In the past 30 years, Central Europe hasn’t witnessed anything similar to the yellow-vest uprising in France or the 2020 riots in the United States. Even rarer have been physical attacks against political leaders. That makes the attempt on Fico’s life all the more stunning. 

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