NATO war on Russia in Ukraine drove attempted murder of Slovakia’s Fico

The May 15 shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was a politically-driven assassination, bound up with NATO’s war on Russia in neighboring Ukraine. Slovak authorities’ investigations show that Jaraj Cintula, whom Fico’s guards apprehended during the shooting, was hostile to Fico’s criticisms of NATO escalation against Russia, and that Cintula potentially had help from foreign intelligence agencies.

Fico’s SMED-Social Democracy party and of the pro-NATO opposition Progressive Slovakia party are both appealing for calm, warning of “civil war.” But the entire course of Eastern European politics since the Stalinist regimes’ restoration of capitalism in 1989 has clearly led to disaster. Powerful forces in the NATO alliance that Slovakia joined in 2004 welcome Fico’s shooting as they aim to crush popular opposition to total war with Russia in Slovakia and across Europe.

Indeed, the question is posed: Did the forces that assisted Fico’s shooting include the CIA and intelligence services of other major NATO imperialist countries driving the war with Russia?

This flows from remarks this week by Slovak Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok and Slovak Information Service (SIS) officials. Estok said Cintula’s entire Facebook history had been deleted while Cintula was being held incommunicado by Slovak police. “However, it was not deleted by him and apparently not by his wife either,” Estok said. “Based on this operational information, we are therefore also working with the possibility that a group of people is behind the assault.”

Estok added, according to Al Jazeera, that Cintula “was angered by the [Slovak] government’s Ukraine policy.”

Initial reports in international media that Cintula was a leftist have also been discredited. A writer who launched violent nationalist diatribes against the Roma ethnicity, he reportedly sympathized with Progressive Slovakia (PS), although PS has stressed he was not a PS member. That is, he was associated with fascistic support for NATO in the Ukraine war against Russia.

These events are closely followed by Eastern European officials who also made limited calls for peace in Ukraine and now must wonder if they are next after Fico.

On Monday, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said, “Every day that this war continues is disastrous for Ukraine, Russia and all of us.” On the shooting of Fico, Radev added, “The attempted assassination of a European prime minister by a radicalised fanatic, because of his support for peace, is indicative of this ingrained intolerance of dissent and hatred. Many politicians, parties and media have contributed to this with their portrayal of every different voice as pro-Russian, which is extremely unfair and leads to all these negative consequences.”

Pavol Gaspar, deputy director of Slovakia’s SIS domestic intelligence agency, raised the possibility of state involvement in the shooting of Fico: “It cannot be ruled out that we are a breeding ground for the activities of intelligence services from abroad.”

Gaspar did not say which foreign spy agencies might have supported murdering Fico. However, the Kremlin, which loudly denounced Fico’s shooting, had no interest in murdering one of its few allies in the European ruling elite. Suspicion therefore falls on NATO imperialist countries where the layers of the bourgeoisie are making clear their support for Fico’s assassination.

In “Mini-me assassination attempt will leave greatly worried Putin thinking twice,” Britain’s Daily Star cited think-tank official Anthony Glees, who gloated, “The attempted assassination of Fico will have greatly worried Putin … Fico was a Putin mini-me, which is why the would-be assassin wanted to have a go at him. Putin, as we saw from his recent re-coronation, loves to be surrounded by adoring acolytes and chums. He may now have to think twice about that.”

Glees also lamented that it would be hard to murder Putin as he visited China: “Alas the chances of anyone getting him in China’s highly-developed secret police state are exceedingly slim.”

After Fico’s shooting, Sky News denounced Fico as “controversial,” “foul-mouthed” and “sympathetic to Russia’s Vladimir Putin.” It then attacked Fico’s coalition government of ex-Stalinist social-democratic and neo-fascist parties:

All three [of Fico’s] coalition parties are either leftist or nationalist and, having previously expressed anti-American views, he has spoken about what he called Western influence in Ukraine’s war which only led to Slavic nations killing each other. His popularity … has been based on promises to protect the living standards of those left behind in a country where conditions for many are only slowly catching up with western Europe and where many hold relatively fond memories of a communist-era past.

Opposition to social austerity and war in Slovakia is only part of the explosive social anger and opposition to military escalation against Russia among workers across Europe. Polls have found that 68 percent of Frenchmen, 80 percent of Germans and 90 percent of Poles oppose sending troops to Ukraine to fight Russia. This opposition is mounting amid student protests around the world against the NATO powers’ complicity in the Israeli genocide against Gaza.

There is no way out under capitalism of the mortal crisis in Slovakia over the attempted murder of Fico and ruling elites’ fear of “civil war.” The only progressive way forward is the unification of the European and international working class in a movement against imperialist war and for socialism. The political basis of such a movement is a Trotskyist perspective of an international proletarian revolution against both imperialism and Stalinism’s restoration of capitalism.

Opposition to the attempted assassination of Fico and to NATO war with Russia in Ukraine does not imply any support either to the capitalist Putin regime’s reactionary invasion of Ukraine, or to Fico’s regime. Indeed, despite his token criticisms of war on Russia and appeals for peace, Fico has not sought to veto plans for NATO expansion or war with Russia during the Ukraine war. He served in the final analysis as a custodian of the interests of the imperialist financial and industrial conglomerates that dominate Slovak capitalism.

Workers and youth must reject the appeals of Fico’s party and its rivals in the Slovak ruling elite for social peace and calm. The working class must be alerted to and unified in struggle against the danger of catastrophic escalation of the NATO-Russia war and oppose the reactionary ruling elites in the NATO countries that are waging it. Slovak media references to an explosive political crisis make clear the potential to build such a movement.

Indeed, a few weeks before the shooting of Fico, the Ukrainian regime arrested comrade Bogdan Syrotiuk, a leader of the Young Guard of Bolshevik-Leninists (YBGL), which is active across the former Soviet Union in sympathy with the International Committee of the Fourth International. It presented against comrade Bogdan charges, made on the basis of absurd political fabrications, that he was a tool of the Russian state. In reality, the YGBL advance a Trotskyist perspective for the unification of workers in Russia, Ukraine and internationally against capitalism and war.

The explosive political crisis emerging from the attempted assassination of Fico reveals an objectively revolutionary crisis emerging across Europe. The Slovak regime fears an explosion of opposition above all on its left, against imperialist war, just as the Ukrainian regime fears an explosion of mass, left-wing opposition among workers to being dragooned to death on the front lines of war with Russia.

It is urgent that comrade Bogdan be freed and an international socialist movement built against imperialism and capitalism among workers the in former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe and around the world.