Ukraine’s President sends message to Viktor Orbán on the Day of Victory over Nazism

In a speech on the Day of Victory over the Nazis, in the city of Uzhhorod (Ungvár in Hungarian) Ukraine’s young and photogenic president sent a not so subtle message to Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.   Volodymyr Zelensky talked about the “expulsion of invaders” from Zacarpathia, a clear reference to the illegal 1939 occupation of the area by Hungarian ruler Miklós Horthy.

President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky pays respect to the victims of fascism

On May 9 Ukraine celebrated the Day of Victory and the President of Ukraine travelled to Western Ukraine. He talked about the 50 million victims of World War II, of which more than 8 million were killed and tortured Ukrainians: “We defeated Nazism 75 years ago. It took another 46 years for us to gain an independent Ukrainian state. And today, for the sixth year in a row, we are defending it.”

Zelensky also announced the installation of symbolic bells. “Yesterday, I was in the Luhansk region, near the first village, where the liberation of Ukraine began in 1942. The first bell will be placed there – the Remembrance Bell.  Today, I am in Zakarpathia, near the place where the expulsion of the invaders ended. The Victory Bell will be placed here.”

Well, the invaders – the Hungarian Army – occupied Zacarpathia in 1939, and later joined the German Wehrmacht to take over the rest of Ukraine committing unspeakable atrocities.

Today far-right Orbán claims that pro-Hitler Horthy was a “great statesman.”  Not surprisingly Zelensky has refused to meet him so far.  In fact Orbán bitterly complained that “despite repeated attempts, we’ve not yet been able to meet the new President of Ukraine.”

Hungary has even threatened to block Ukraine’s aspirations of joining NATO and EU because Orbán claims that Ukraine’s language law restricts the right of the ethnic Hungarian minority.  After US politicians raised their concerns that Orbán’s empty posturing represent a security danger for the NATO alliance, Hungarian Foreign Minister, Mr. Szijjártó has backpedaled and “made a couple of suggestions” to resolve the situation. Hungary’s criticism miraculously subsided.

Loud ethnic Hungarian lobbyists in Ukraine have disappeared.  Mr. László Brenzovics, “Orbán’s man” in Zacarpathia, lost power and corruption accusations have surfaced.  Ms. Ildikó Orosz resigned her post as Rector of the Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College and Ms. Andrea Bocskor, Hungary’s Ukraine-born European Parliament member stopped her vicious attacks of Ukrainian politicians.  Pro-Putin Orbán has little popular support in Zacarpathia and President Zelensky knows that.

Orbán’s anti-Ukraine lobby team: Mr. László Brenzovics (far left), his wife Ms. Zsóka Sepella-Brenzovics, Ms. Ildikó Orosz and Ms. Andrea Bocskor (far right).

Two US organizations have also got mixed up in this anti-Ukraine propaganda campaign.  The Hungarian Communion of Friends invited Brenzovics to the ITT-OTT Conference at Lake Hope, Ohio and the Hungarian American Coalition lobbied for Brenzovics and honored (!) Ms. Orosz in Washington DC.

Photo: Mr. László Brenzovics and Ms. Andrea Lauer Rice (right) of the Hungarian American Coalition coordinating strategy in Budapest.

Andrea Lauer Rice leads the Coalition and she should explain the Coalition’s participation in this anti-Ukrainian (and pro-Putin) publicity stunt.  Ms. Lauer Rice also took a mysterious trip to Ukraine with Gov. George Pataki and never explained the funding of her pro-Orbán organization.

György Lázár

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