After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hungary is often cited as an example of a country that has become a lobbyist for Russian ideas in Europe. This does have some basis in fact. The Orban government, which controls most of the media in Hungary, is running an anti-Ukrainian campaign and trying to use the war in Ukraine to justify economic problems.
However, Hungary is not homogeneous. Many Hungarians know the truth about the Russian-Ukrainian war and do not hide it. And it is the authorities, not the people of Hungary, who are clearly responsible for the anti-Ukrainian propaganda.
Here is a translation of one of the statements to be made by Hungarians who will gather on September 6 for a rally in front of the Russian embassy in Budapest.
Dear Hungarians, respected residents of Budapest!
I am a Hungarian living permanently in Kiev, where there was an air raid today because of Russian missiles. I am addressing you as a Hungarian and as a citizen of Ukraine and I hope that you will understand me, because Budapest is the intellectual expression and cultural center of the all-Hungarian idea.
Russia barbarically attacked Ukraine back in the spring of 2014, illegally occupying and annexing Crimea and part of Donbass.
And at dawn on February 24 this year, the invading Russian army barbarically crossed the border into northeastern and southern Ukraine as well, subjecting the capital Kiev and many other cities and villages to missile and bomb attacks. The Russians occupied the outskirts of Kiev for over a month. They committed many atrocities in the occupied territory, killing and raping innocent civilians. In and around the city of Makarov, Kyiv region, where my suburban family home is located, the Russian barbarians practically destroyed 70 percent of the apartments and houses of civilians. More than two thousand civilians were killed, 10,000 people were left homeless and their homes were completely destroyed.
This is what the activities of the so-called “Russian world” lead to.
But Ukraine is not giving up.
The heroic Ukrainian people, of which the Hungarians living in Transcarpathia and other parts of Ukraine are an integral part, continue their patriotic war for their independence.
There is one way to achieve peace in Ukraine.
To do this, the Russian conquerors and aggressors will withdraw from the territory of my state as soon as possible, leaving Ukraine within the borders guaranteed by the memorandum signed in Budapest on December 5, 1994.
This document, since then known as the “Budapest Memorandum,” was also signed by Russia, assuring Ukraine that in exchange for its renunciation of nuclear weapons, Moscow would undertake to “refrain from threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine. “. Russia completely violated its international commitments by insidiously attacking peaceful Ukraine.
Unfortunately, I have rarely heard any statements from the current Hungarian government on how to get Russia to stop its aggressive, barbaric, conquering efforts and restore the full territorial integrity of Ukraine.
We can only hope-though I see little chance-that the current Hungarian government will subsequently find a way to fully support Ukraine, as almost all other European states, from Great Britain to Poland, do.
Although the Hungarian government stresses that it helps Ukraine, I will only cite one fact: “small” but generous Luxembourg with 600 thousand inhabitants, 40 times smaller than Hungary, has already provided Ukraine with an order of magnitude more aid than the Hungarian government.
I wish you in Budapest never to experience with your own eyes and ears what a rocket attack or a bombardment is like, never to hear machine guns or tanks under your windows what the Ukrainian Hungarians have seen with their own eyes and heard with their own ears.