Fact Check: Fico Shooting Suspect's Wife Is NOT Ukrainian Refugee -- Police Said Such Speculation Is 'Hoax'

Fact Check

  • by: Uliana Malashenko
Fact Check: Fico Shooting Suspect's Wife Is NOT Ukrainian Refugee -- Police Said Such Speculation Is 'Hoax' Police Deny

Is the wife of the suspect in the attempted assassination of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico a Ukrainian refugee? No, that's not true: The head of the country's national police said that such speculations on social media are "definitely a hoax." Lead Stories found no credible news reporting corroborating the claim.

The claim appeared in a post (archived here) on X, formerly known as Twitter, by @runews on May 16, 2024. It began:


In Slovakia, the wife of #Cintula, who attempted on Fico's life, has been arrested.

She's a REFUGEE from UKRAINE and incited her husband to seek revenge against the pro-Russian politician.


This is what the post looked like on X at the time of writing:

Screenshot 2024-05-16 at 4.07.32 PM.png

Twitter screenshot(Source: X screenshot taken on Thu May 16 20:07:32 2024 UTC)

The account (archived here) that posted the claim lacked any self-identifying description and showed Putin surrounded by a glowing halo in its profile picture.

The claim was also promoted by pro-Kremlin Russian media organizations such as Tsargrad TV (archived here). As a source, it cited an anonymous pro-Kremlin channel on Telegram (archived here) specializing in spreading the Kremlin's messaging about the war in Ukraine. That channel, in turn, did not attribute the "news" to any Slovak officials or credible news organizations.

On May 16, 2024, during a press conference available to watch on YouTube (archived here), Slovakia's police chief Ľubomír Solák (archived here) described the claim as a "hoax."

Here is a recorded exchange translated to English by Slovak-speaking Lead Stories staff:

Journalist: At the same time, information is circulating on the Internet that the wife of the terrorist Jan Cintula has been arrested in the meantime and is a refugee from Ukraine. Do you have confirmation of this or is it a hoax?

Solák: We do not have it confirmed. It is definitely a hoax.

Lead Stories searched news reporting using both English (archived here) and Slovak keywords (archived here) and found no credible articles corroborating the claim that is the focus of this fact check.

Even the Daily Mail (archived here), a tabloid that published a video of an unnamed woman described as the supposed wife of the suspect who was seen being escorted to a car while covering her face with a magazine, wrote that the woman "has since been placed under protection for fear that Fico's enraged supporters would seek retribution," not that she was Ukrainian or that it was purportedly somehow relevant to the criminal case.

Other Lead Stories articles about Robert Fico's attempted assassination can be found here.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Uliana Malashenko

Uliana Malashenko is a New York-based freelance writer and fact checker.

Read more about or contact Uliana Malashenko

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion