Russian propagandists sharing fakes about Ukraine’s alleged role in attempted assassination of Slovak PM Fico

Russian propagandists sharing fakes about Ukraine’s alleged role in attempted assassination of Slovak PM Fico

It was the suspect’s wife, purportedly a "EuroMaidan activist", who, allegedly, influenced her spouse to execute the assassination

Leading Russian mass media outlets, targeted at both domestic and international audiences, are sharing claims that the wife of Juraj Centula,  the man accused of attempting to assassinate Slovak Prime Minister, Robert Fico, is a Ukrainian "refugee" and an active participant in the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine in 2013-14, that she, allegedly, “incited” her husband to assassinate the politician, and, after the incident, tried fleeing to Poland when detained by the police.

This is a fake. To prove their fake reports, Russian propaganda authors refer to Slovak media outlets without giving their names or providing links.

In actual fact, Juraj Centula’s wife is not a Ukrainian, nor is she a "refugee" or "Euromaidan activist". According to TV Noviny, a Slovak broadcaster, Centula’s wife is a retiree who worked as a high school teacher. The suspect’s neighbors told reporters that the couple have been living together for more than a dozen years. That is, they had been together long before Russia’s all-out invasion and the Revolution of Dignity.

The chief of the Slovak Police, Lubomir Solak, speaking at a news briefing on May 16, branded as “fiction” the claims about the Ukrainian origin of Juraj Centula's wife".

A Russian media outlet targeted at the international audience is citing a statement made, allegedly, by the Slovak Minister of Internal Affairs, Matus Šutaj-Eštok to the effect that there was a political motivation behind the assassination attempt, but the suspected perpetrator has never said that he had been motivated by Robert Fico's decision to give up military support for Ukraine.

Speaking to a news conference, he also said that Juraj Centula could have had accomplices, but ruled out that it could be his spouse.

Juraj Centula, 71, is a retiree and an amateur author and poet. He claims the attack was motivated by his disagreement with the current government and its policies.

According to Euronews, Hungarian investigative journalist Szábolcs Panyi discovered Facebook posts in which Centula sympathized with and supported the pro-Russian paramilitary group Slovenskí Branci, known for its links to the Kremlin.

Andrii Olenin

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