News digest: Slovak citizen is accused of involvement in attempted Russian arms deals

Heger goes to Ukraine, virtual reality resurrects a Roman camp. and AI is taking over – or is it?

Good evening. Here is the Friday, March 31 edition of Today in Slovakia - the main news of the day in less than five minutes.

Assets frozen over attempted arms deals

A Slovak citizen of Azerbaijani origin, Ashot Mkrtychev, reportedly attempted to broker an arms deal between Russia and North Korea. With Russia scouring the world for arms supplies following massive losses during its invasion of Ukraine, he is said to have located around twenty types of munition and weapons in North Korea and planned to transfer them in late 2022 and early 2023. The US Treasury Department says it discovered his actions, and Mkrtychev is now subject to sanctions and his assets in the US have been frozen. He is effectively cut off from most of the global financial system, and anybody attempting to help him may be sanctioned too. The Slovak Foreign Affairs Ministry is planning to look into the case.

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  • PM IN UKRAINE: Eduard Heger, along with other regional leaders, has travelled to Ukraine to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky and mark the first anniversary of the atrocities carried out by occupying Russian forces in the town of Bucha.
  • BRATISLAVA: The City of Bratislava is raising taxes tied to tourist accomodation, plus fees for schools and cultural institutions. Learn more on how Bratislava's budget took shape.
  • HISTORY: Virtual reality is breathing life into an ancient Roman camp near Bratislava.
  • ACTIVITIES: Strech your legs in a marathon. What to do in Bratislava.

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Rhetoric versus plagiarism

Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be advancing at a gathering pace. From generating images, it has moved on to pseudo-philosophical conversation and writing well-structured essays. Focusing on student's in-class performance could be one way to temper the growing influence of AI in education.


  • The percentage of employees from Roma communities is increasing slowly, said the Slovak government's plenipotentiary for Roma communities Ján Hero. According to him, segregation and non-inclusive measures make Roma people's lives more difficult. (TASR)
  • Prosecutors have charged Dušan Dědeček, who killed five people in an apparent drunk-driving incident in October 2022, news portal reported. Dědeček could receive a life sentence. His actions in Bratislava prompted widespread horror.
  • The Statistics Office notes that the mortality rate has decreased. From year-on-year average, the mortality rate is deceased by a fifth. Last year, 59,500 people died with diseases of the circulatory system being the most common cause of death.
  • Every fifth 155mm artillery round fired in Ukraine is manufactured in Slovakia. A manufacturer in Dubnica nad Váhom produces ammunition for Zuzana 2, Caesar and Krab weapons systems being used in Ukraine. The rounds from the Dubnica manufacturer are marked with the sign '1003M'. (SME)


On Saturday, western and eastern parts of Slovakia can expect cloudy weather with temperatures from 12°C to 15°C. Central Slovakia will be partly sunny with no rain, and temperatures of 10°C to 14°C.

On Sunday, the temperature in Slovakia will drop to 8°C to 12°C. The skies will remain cloudy, with a chance of rain.

On Monday, the weather will clear up but remain cool; sunny skies are expected for the whole country. Temperatures will remain stable for all parts of Slovakia too, varying from 4°C to 7°C. (SHMÚ)

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