News digest: Putin's popularity among Slovaks on decline

Defence minister negotiates the purchase of drones. Community centre for Ukrainians opens in Bratislava.

(Source: / Hej,ty)

Good evening. The Wednesday, April 13 edition of Today in Slovakia is ready with the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Putin loses popularity in Slovakia

Support for Russian President Vladimir Putin decreased from 55 percent in March 2021 to the current 28 percent.

This stems from the poll of the Focus agency for the Globsec organisation. Globsec regularly measures the geopolitical opinions of people, including the popularity of some politicians.

At the same time, almost 65 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that President Putin wants to being back the Russian empire and that is why he is a threat not only to Ukraine but also other countries.

Also, the poll showed that the perception of Russia as an aggressor has increased in Slovak society. 66 percent of respondents think that the conflict in Ukraine is unprovoked and that the resistance of Ukrainians against the inexcusable military aggression of Russia is justified.

Russia also placed Slovakia on the list of hostile countries. It is difficult to learn how Russian aggression has affected Slovak diplomats in Moscow. The ambassador and his team are in Russia at a time when the Kremlin has labelled Slovakia its enemy.

The Slovak embassy has not announced that its services were constrained, nor has the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released any news about possible hindrances to the work of Slovak diplomats.

Refugees from Ukraine

  • Bratislava Nové Mesto opened a Ukrainian-Slovak community house in its Community Centre on Ovručská Street. The centre serves as a contact spot for Ukrainian citizens who have found temporary home in Bratislava.
  • More than 2,800 people crossed the Slovak-Ukrainian border on April 12. Overall, 326,997 people have crossed the border since the war started and 66,616 have asked for temporary protection in Slovakia.
  • There will be more locations to exchange hryvnias after Easter holiday. In addition to the Tatra Bank branches of Bratislava, Michalovce, Humenné, Košice, Prešov and Žilina, others in Trnava, Nitra and Banská Bystrica should be added.

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Photo of the day

Kremnica will become the first Slovak town with a European House of Literature, hosting writers and translators from around the globe. It will be set up in an old building, known as Zechenter’s House, in the centre of the central Slovak town.

Feature story for today

Just as the global economy began to recover from the chaos of the Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine has created a new uncertainty. As petrol prices rise and supply chains slow down again, many worry about our collective economic health.

Though I am hesitant to conduct the research myself, the men’s locker room at your local gym might be a good place to figure out what comes next.

Check the locker room at your local gym for economic impacts of the war Read more 

In other news

  • 2,538 people were newly diagnosed as Covid positive out of 7,983 PCR tests performed on Tuesday. The number of people in hospitals is 1,528. 25 more deaths were reported on Tuesday. The vaccination rate is at 51.28 percent, 2,820,670 people having received the first dose of the vaccine. More stats on Covid-19 in Slovakia here.
  • President Zuzana Čaputová signed an amendment of the Higher Education Act. Universities have repeatedly voiced their objections against the amendment.
  • The Defence Ministry is negotiating the purchase of drones for the Armed Forces with several manufacturers. As Defence Minister Jaroslav Naď (OĽaNO) stated on Facebook, the question is not whether the drones will be purchased, but what drones and when. “On Wednesday I was negotiating with Mr Byaraktar, the head of the Turkish company that produces Byaraktar drones,” Naď wrote, adding that they are negotiating with several manufacturers and will soon announce the results.
  • The Supreme Court did not uphold the objection of bias against the judges of the Specialised Criminal Court, Ružena Sabová and Rastislav Stieranka, judges in the murder case concerning journalist Ján Kuciak. The next hearing will be on April 14.
  • A prosecutor with the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Prešov has filed criminal charges against former president Andrej Kiska over the continued crime of tax fraud.
  • Bratislava Airport handled 137,527 travellers at arrivals and departures in the first three months of 2022. Flights were restricted last year around the same time, the airport handling 15,157 travellers in the first three months of 2021. Most people were travelling from Bratislava to London, Dublin and Milan.
  • HELLA Slovakia Lighting, a manufacturer of lighting technology and electronic products for the automobile industry, added a new production program on an area of 6,000 square meters for its factory in Trenčín. The capacity increase in Trenčín is related to the relocation of overhead console production from the plant in Bratislava.

Do not miss on today

Shops will be closed during the Easter Read more  Expert recommendations to enjoy a Covid-free Easter Read more  Romanesque church in jeopardy. Communists turned nearby terrain into a quarry Read more 

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