Home » today » News » Slovakia: Conspiracy theories and recriminations engulf the nation after the assault on Prime Minister Fico – 2024-05-18 06:01:56

Slovakia: Conspiracy theories and recriminations engulf the nation after the assault on Prime Minister Fico – 2024-05-18 06:01:56

Following the assassination try on Prime Minister Robert Fičo, Slovakia’s social media has been awash with baseless accusations, deepening divisions in native society that had worsened since his return to energy.

The prime minister stays in hospital “in a severe situation” after being shot by a 71-year-old man who, in keeping with native media, is a politically motivated author. The suspect is charged with “premeditated tried homicide,” Inside Minister Matus Sutai Estok introduced.

An avalanche of messages on Slovak and international web sites shortly tried to hyperlink the perpetrator to the liberal opposition or Fico’s pro-Russian politics. After the assault, 1000’s of Slovaks shared messages on Fb and Telegram falsely claiming the 71-year-old was affiliated with the Progressive Get together (PS, opposition) and its chief, Michal Simecka. Amongst these messages was a photograph purportedly displaying the attacker along with his father Simetska – a widely known liberal author and chronicler – proving his ties to the PS.

Based mostly on AFP’s investigation, the person within the photograph is just not Simetska’s father however an unusual member of a neighborhood bibliophile membership.

Different unsubstantiated claims prompt that the attacker was a “sympathizer” or a member of the PS, though no public paperwork show this.

“Such claims had been unfold by well-known disinformation suppliers, notably on Telegram,” mentioned Daniel Milo, an skilled on disinformation and hybrid threats.

Reference to Ukraine

“Though the perpetrator was recognized in a short time, I noticed on-line some individuals attempting in charge Ukrainians for the assault,” commented Pavol Hardos, a researcher at Comenius College in Bratislava specializing in politics and social media.

Amongst these claims, which unfold to different nations, was a message posted on Telegram by the editor-in-chief of the pro-Russian TV channel RT. The message claimed the assault got here after Fitzsø repeated Moscow’s place on the invasion of Ukraine, justifying it as a “response” to “weak Ukrainian neo-Nazis”.

Slovakia’s stance on the Ukraine warfare was one of many key problems with the election marketing campaign that made Fico the winner.

Analysts informed AFP that many of the false data on-line got here from sources near the Kremlin.

Fitso himself had put ahead pro-Russian positions, stating amongst different issues that the warfare began in 2014 after Ukrainian “fascists” killed Russian residents.

Different debunked posts focused Ukrainian refugees who had been falsely accused of abusing welfare advantages or setting fireplace to buildings to trigger social unrest.

Throughout this 12 months’s presidential election marketing campaign, AFP refuted different claims that the pro-Western opposition candidate, Ivan Korčok, supposed to ship Slovaks to the battlefield if elected – one thing the president has not, nonetheless, proper to do, based mostly on the Structure.

As prime minister, Fitzo ended army assist to Ukraine and favored peace talks with Russia.

The opposition and the media are blamed

In a press convention instantly after the assassination try, senior officers of the ruling coalition denounced Fitso’s political opponents, notably within the PS and the mainstream media.

The federal government’s resolution to restructure public broadcaster RTVS, accusing it of an absence of objectivity, is elevating tensions in conventional media. Critics of the federal government stress that RTVS will flip right into a pro-government propaganda automobile.

“Politicians accused journalists and the liberal a part of Slovak society of being chargeable for the assault, with none proof and with none logic,” mentioned Tomas Krysak, an skilled on data safety. “Political leaders are abusing the scenario to their benefit and accusing utterly harmless individuals,” he commented.

To calm spirits, outgoing president Zuzana Tsaputova and president-elect Pellegrini despatched a message of unity.

“The local weather on social networking websites was already very tense earlier than the assault. After that, a way of terrifying, chilly despair prevailed in Slovak society,” Krysak mentioned.

Learn additionally:

South Africa again at Worldwide Court docket on Palestine: ‘Israel’s specific purpose to wipe Gaza off the map’

Poland: Prime Minister Donald Tusk acquired threats on his life after the try on Ficho

Gaza: Israel doesn’t need a cease-fire in Gaza, says Egypt’s Sisi publicly

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