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Slovakia Election Might Shift Sentiment in a Fierce Ukraine Ally

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When the ambassador visited Ladomirova, he met with Mr. Cuper’s bitter rival, a former mayor whom Mr. Cuper had accused of embezzling village funds and who was convicted of fraud in 2019. The previous mayor’s spouse, Olga Bojcikova, who declined to be interviewed, was on the time operating in opposition to Mr. Cuper, who was backed by pro-Ukrainian events, within the native election final October. She gained.

The ambassador’s story of “razed” Russian graves, although debunked by the police, was, Mr. Cuper recalled, “blown out of all proportion” by Kremlin-friendly Slovaks, significantly the Brat za Brata bikers.

The bikers posted incendiary statements on Fb denouncing the mayor’s “blasphemous act” and rallied its members to reply. This set off requires Mr. Cuper to be “executed,” “buried alive” and “flogged like a canine.”

Slovakia’s prosecutor normal, Maros Zilinka, who has a protracted historical past of sympathy for Russia and hostility to the US, added gasoline to the hearth by asserting that the mayor might be accountable for prison prosecution for a “morally reprehensible act” that wanted to be investigated.

Mr. Cuper stated he by no means touched the graves however had eliminated stone border markers as a result of they have been falling aside. Nor did he contact a discover board put up as a part of renovation work financed by Russia in 2014: It falsely described the cemetery because the resting place of 270 Russian battle lifeless. The cemetery incorporates the unidentified our bodies of troopers from varied nations, together with Russia, killed in a World Battle I battle.

The ambassador’s story, he stated, was “totally unfaithful” however nonetheless “created a nationwide uproar.”

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