SLOVAK WORD OF THE WEEK

Separatista

NORMALLY, you don’t see Slovaks travelling the world and blowing themselves up or beheading people. But allegations by Ukraine that a Slovak citizen was caught fighting for the pro-Russian separatists indicate that there are ideologies which inspire violence even in members of our “dove nation”. Sure, it’s hard to draw any serious conclusions from one case, and acts of war and terror are often the result of personal frustration rather than political conviction.

NORMALLY, you don’t see Slovaks travelling the world and blowing themselves up or beheading people. But allegations by Ukraine that a Slovak citizen was caught fighting for the pro-Russian separatists indicate that there are ideologies which inspire violence even in members of our “dove nation”. Sure, it’s hard to draw any serious conclusions from one case, and acts of war and terror are often the result of personal frustration rather than political conviction.

But still, there needs to be some sort of logic and appeal behind the causes that attract even troubled minds. You can’t really imagine Slovak jihadists.

If one had to guess, the most explosive issue for Slovaks would be anti-Roma sentiment, followed by a deep-rooted dislike of Hungarians, and perhaps by homophobia, which seems to be on the rise, at least politically. But pro-Russian Ukrainian separatism?

A man identified by his passport as Miroslav Roháč was caught in Ukraine on the eve of the 46th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, which turned into a two-decade-long occupation. The communist regime couldn’t have survived without local collaborators, some of whom genuinely believed (and continue to believe) that Moscow is our friend and Washington is our enemy. But is there really enough enthusiasm for Russian imperialism for people to go over and join the fighting?

And there is a further paradox: since the fall of communism, Slovak nationalists keep repeating that one day Hungary will attempt to annex the southern regions, where ethnic Hungarians represent a majority. The paranoia is occasionally fed by Budapest itself with moves such as handing out passports to ethnic Hungarians living in neighbouring countries and giving them the right to vote.

So if there is one continuous geopolitical concern, and not only in extremist circles, it’s that the post-war order will collapse and efforts to redraw borders based on ethnic divisions will appear. Hence Slovakia’s stubborn refusal to recognise Kosovo. Common sense would suggest that Moscow’s takeover of Crimea and the current conflict in eastern Ukraine should be viewed just as critically. But no, many extremist nationalists (including Marian Kotleba, who runs Banská Bystrica Region, where the alleged Slovak militant also comes from) are on the side of Vladimir Putin.

A taste for autocracy, a dislike of the West, and even visions of a pan-Slavic bloc run by Russia form a coherent bloc of beliefs. Let’s hope there are not many people here who wish to spread them with an RPG on their shoulder.

Top stories

Richnava

Police attacked during skirmish at Roma settlement

POLICE officers came under attack by locals at a Roma settlement near Richňava in Košice Region on September 1. Police were summoned to the settlement by paramedics because of a brawl that erupted between…

PM Robert Fico and his wife Svetlana

Fico has neither account, nor company stake in Belize

SLOVAK Prime Minister Robert Fico and his wife do not have and have never had any banking accounts in Belize, and do not hold any stake and do not have managerial control in any company registered in Belize.

Harvest in Slovakia

Slovak agriculture recorded loss of €4.7 million in 2014

SLOVAK agriculture recorded a loss of €4.7 million in 2014, which was an increase of €2.2 million when compared to the loss reported in 2013, according to the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s report on…

Banská Bystrica region governor Marian Kotleba stopped by police on his way to the village of Gabčíkovo

Police stopped extremists’ ride to Gabčíkovo

FIREfighters had a training at the exact place where dozens of extremists were heading to protest against placing 500 asylum seekers from Austria at the Gabčíkovo village refugee camp.

MOST READ ARTICLES


  1. Police stopped extremists’ ride to Gabčíkovo
  2. Fico has neither account, nor company stake in Belize
  3. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  4. SEWS leaves Slovakia for Romania, buying the land under the plant
  5. Land speculators tarnish car plant plan
  6. Language enthusiasts prepare the biggest English lesson
  7. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  8. New school year begins
  9. Police attacked during skirmish at Roma settlement
  10. Judge Karabín dies on holiday
  1. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  2. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  3. Police stopped extremists’ ride to Gabčíkovo
  4. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe
  5. Fico: Countries on outer Schengen border should protect it properly
  6. Thousands join Plea for Humanity
  7. Slovak police discovered dozens of illegal migrants, politicians react
  8. SEWS leaves Slovakia for Romania, buying the land under the plant
  9. Fico has neither account, nor company stake in Belize
  10. SNP anniversary in Banská Bystrica featured black flags
  1. Slovakia and its shameful policy on refugees
  2. Refugees die in a truck near Slovak border in Austria
  3. Crooks may land €2 million in land deals for Jaguar Land Rover
  4. Slovak grandfather receives birthday wishes from all over the world
  5. SIAF air fest was attended by 140,000 spectators, many pilots
  6. Slovak man's story part of Titanic exhibition in Bratislava
  7. Interior Minister surprised by news of refugee camp close to Austrian border
  8. Police stopped extremists’ ride to Gabčíkovo
  9. A Slovak placed online ad offers money for shooting migrants
  10. Increase in number of Slovak millionaires outpaces the rest of Europe