The Evening: Slovakia’s Leader Shot, $1B to Israel, $2B to Ukraine, In Memory of Dickey Betts, and More

Slovakia’s Leader Shot

Slovakia’s prime minister, Robert Fico, a pugnacious fixture in the country’s politics who has increasingly embraced right-wing views, was shot multiple times and critically wounded on Wednesday in what officials said appeared to be a politically motivated assassination attempt, as the NYT reports.

Biden Admin Moving Ahead on $1 Billion in Arms to Israel

The Biden administration has told key lawmakers it plans to move forward on a new $1 billion sale of arms and ammunition to Israel, as the AP reports.

$2 Billion to Ukraine

The Biden administration is planning to send $2 billion in military aid for Ukraine, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday while capping a two-day trip to the Ukrainian capital intended to underline Washington’s support, as The Washington Postreports.

Executive Education

From production to procurement, explore the defense acquisition process with Mapping the U.S. DOD Acquisition Ecosystem. Join us at CSIS in-person or virtually on May 29 to dive into the requirements process, funding stages, and how the government acquires and maintains capabilities. Register here by May 21.

Audio Briefs

CSIS experts give short, spoken-word summaries on the biggest takeaways from their latest reports, white papers, and commentaries—in their own words.

Listen here: "Mineral Demands for Resilient Semiconductor Supply Chains: The Role of the Western Hemisphere" with CSIS's Ryan C. Berg and Henry Ziemer.

In That Number

$1 billion

The Biden administration has told key lawmakers it plans to move forward on a new $1 billion sale of arms and ammunition to Israel, three congressional aides say.
Source: AP

Critical Quote

The shooting of the prime minister is first and foremost an attack on a human being—but it’s also an attack on democracy.

— Zuzana Caputova, President of Slovakia

iDeas Lab

The Essequibo Pressure Cooker: Runaway Nationalism and Maduro’s Compellence Strategy

Recent satellite images reveal enhanced Venezuelan naval presence in Guiria with conflicting reports on the exact number of vessels, but up to six missile boats may be stationed there. Recent movements also include Zolfaghar missiles and a patrol vessel arriving at Punta Barima, significantly escalating the military buildup near the Essequibo region controlled by Guyana. Read the full analysis here. 

The Andreas C. Dracopoulos iDeas Lab at CSIS enhances our research with the latest in cutting-edge web technologies, design, and multimedia.


Photo: Eduard Kryzhanivskyi/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

Photo: Eduard Kryzhanivskyi/Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba honor the memory of fallen Ukrainian soldiers by laying flowers at the Wall of Remembrance of Defenders of Ukraine memorial located near the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery on May 15, 2024, in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Recommended Reading

Experts React: Energy and Trade Implications of Tariffs on Chinese Imports” by CSIS’s Joseph Majkut, William Alan Reinsch, Scott Kennedy, Emily Benson, Gracelin Baskaran, Jane Nakano, and Quill Robinson.

This Town Tomorrow

At 9:30 a.m., the CSIS Korea Chair welcomes Allison Hooker, former Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for the Korean Peninsula, to discuss South and North Korea relations. 

Later, at 1:00 p.m., the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development hosts Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Millennium Challenge Corporation, to discuss how the organization is responding and adapting to current global challenges.

Earlier, at 10:30 a.m., the Wilson Center holds a discussion with General Laura Richardson, Commander of U.S. Southern Command, on the strategic importance and the state of democracy in Latin America.


Today, the CSIS Humanitarian Agenda hosted experts on the nexus of climate and conflict, and adaptation to discuss how to effectively coordinate a sufficient response to compounded crises across the Middle East and North Africa. Watch the full video here.


Photo: CSIS

The latest episode of Smart Women, Smart Power explores the murky world of deepfakes and the countermeasures that should be prioritized to mitigate the dangers posed by weaponized synthetic media.

Listen on Spotify & Apple Podcast.


As previously discussed in this space, Billy Strings is leading a renaissance in American roots music. Fusing bluegrass, country, blues, and rock, Strings is selling out multi-date gigs nationwide. At the end of April, Strings rolled into St. Augustine, FL, and closed out one of his shows there with a tribute in memory of the Allman Brothers' Dickey Betts. This clip showcases Strings' guitar virtuosity and great singing chops.