No, the wife of the man who shot Slovak PM Robert Fico has not been arrested

By: Naledi Mashishi
May 22 2024

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
No, the wife of the man who shot Slovak PM Robert Fico has not been arrested

Source: X/Modified by Logically Facts


The Verdict False

Claim ID 9d679403


Since Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot in an attempted assassination attack on May 15, 2024, a number of conspiracy theories around the attack have appeared online. One of them, which has appeared numerous times on Facebook, claims that the wife of the alleged gunman Juraj Cintula was arrested in connection to the assassination attempt. 

According to one post dated May 16, Cintula’s wife, “was a refugee from Ukraine and pushed Chintula [sic] to commit an assassination attempt on Robert Fico because of his opinion on the issue of financing Ukraine.” 

 Another post alleges she is a “pro-Maidan activist,” referring to the November 2013 Euromaidan protests in Ukraine against then-president Viktor Yanukovych’s decision not to sign an agreement that would have more closely integrated Ukraine with the European Union. 

Little is publicly known about Cintula. Media reports indicate that the 71-year-old poet and former security guard was reportedly dissatisfied with Fico’s decision to halt state military aid to Ukraine. However, no one else has been arrested in connection to the shooting, and there is no evidence his wife is a Ukrainian refugee who pushed him to commit the assassination attempt. 

What we found

We were able to trace claims of Cintula’s wife being involved with Russian-language Telegram channels. One post dated May 18 claims that she is a Ukrainian citizen and was detained for 72 hours while trying to fly to Warsaw. Another claims she is a Ukrainian refugee who was arrested after inciting her husband to “take revenge” on the “pro-Russian” Fico. We have found no evidence to support these claims.

U.K. company Logically has published reports tracking over 100 pro-Kremlin, Russian Telegram channels. Kyle Walter, head of Research & Insights, told Logically Facts that the disinformation channels have latched onto the assassination attempt. 

“Russian Telegram channels quickly picked up on the potential to use the attempted assassination of Slovakian PM Robert Fico to foment anti-Ukraine sentiments, and that manifested in English-language on mainstream platforms as well,” he said. 

Media reports indicate that Cintula acted alone. He appeared to be dissatisfied with the Slovak government’s handling of a number of key issues, including immigration. Some of his poetry reportedly expressed anti-immigrant and anti-Roma views. 

His political affiliation is unclear, and he has been accused of being both pro-Russian and of being a leftwing terrorist. He previously attended a number of anti-Fico protests, but has also been linked to the pro-Russian ultranationalist paramilitary group Slovenskí Branci and reportedly recited a poem at one of their events in 2016. He founded an anti-violence movement in the same year. 

There is little information available about his wife. She is reportedly a former university teacher and the couple’s neighbors indicate they were well regarded in the community. But there is no evidence that she is a Ukrainian refugee.

The interior minister Matus Sutaj Estok issued an update on Sunday, May 19, indicating that Cintula may not have been a lone wolf. However, the investigation is still ongoing, and no one else has been arrested in connection with the shooting. We could not find any evidence that Cintula’s wife is suspected of being involved. 

The verdict 

A number of posts on social media claim that the wife of Juraj Cintula, the alleged gunman who attempted to assassinate Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, is a Ukrainian refugee who was arrested in connection to the crime. However, there is no evidence to support these claims. At the time of writing, Cintula is the only person who has been arrested in connection with the assassination attempt. We have therefore rated this claim as false. 

Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before