Anti-war demonstration with a coffin
"Sixty-four Counties" Youth Movement (HVIM), Jobbik and Jobbik's Youth Platform held a joint protest march with torches against the military drafting of Hungarians living in the Lower Carpathian region of Ukraine. Setting out from the Parliament building, the demonstrators carried a sign with the message "This is not our war", a black flag and a coffin. The demonstration finished in front of the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, where Adrián Magvasi, a board member of HVIM and Jobbik's vice-president István Szávay held a press conference.
"We chose this shocking form of protest march to express our message." HVIM board member Adrián Magvasi began his press conference. The march with the torches was indeed a shocking sight as the demonstrators walked from the Parliament to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, especially because the members of HVIM, Jobbik and Jobbik Youth Platform were carrying a coffin, too. The HVIM leader explained that the reason why the three organizations needed to arrange this unusual form of press conference was because the current situation in Ukraine is shocking, too.
"Most Hungarians may not even have realized that there is a war going on not too far from us, and Hungarian people are impacted as well. They are impacted but not interested at all."
- Magvasi pointed out, stating that one single Hungarian victim and even one single drop of Hungarian blood is too much in a war that is not even fought by Russia and Ukraine, it's just the political game of the great powers.
Protesting against the pressure exercised by NATO and the West, he also criticized the Hungarian government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for failing to do their best to protect the Hungarian community of the Lower Carpathians. He cited the example of the Yugoslav Wars, during which, in his view, foreign interests forced Hungarians to participate in a war where the Hungarian interest was sidelined, lot of people sacrificed their blood in the war and weren't even given autonomy. He added that the purpose of this striking demonstration was to avoid any similar situation this time.
Jobbik's vice-president István Szávay explained the two reasons why they chose "This is not our war" as the title of the press conference. The chairman of Jobbik's national policy cabinet said that this was not Hungary's war and the country must remain neutral in this conflict, despite any NATO obligations.
"We are definitely against the Western powers, the US or any other country supplying weapons to Ukraine."
- emphasized the MP, reminding the press of Saturday's security policy conference in Munich, where the influential US Republican Senator John McCain almost demanded that the US supply weapons to Ukraine, even without the president's approval. "If it happens, the conflict will most likely escalate, and Hungary must stay out of it." Szávay pointed out.
Referring to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's speech held at the security conference, in which he had defended the Hungarians of the Lower Carpathians (along with several other ethnic communities in Ukraine), Szávay expressed Jobbik's interest in the opinion of the US as to what conditions the Americans would set for Ukraine for a peace settlement. In order to find out, he will turn to US Ambassador Colleen Bell to ask her whether her government considers the rights of ethnic minorities equally important.
"This is not our war since the Hungarians of the Lower Carpathians have nothing to do with this war. We find it astounding that the Hungarian government and its ally, the Hungarian Cultural Association in the Lower Carpathians; HCALC) talks about the proportional drafting of Hungarians as a great achievement." he pointed out, referring to the fact that the number of draft cards addressed to men living in the Beregszász/Beregovo region is disproportionately high, twice or three times higher than in other regions.
"László Brenzovics, the chairman of HCALC and the only Hungarian representative in the Ukrainian Parliament failed to press the "No" button in a protest against the mobilization order which means a threat for hundreds of Hungarian youth, husbands and fathers of being drafted into the army." stated Szávay, adding that it was not the time to talk about proportionate drafting since even one single Hungarian victim is too much. He concluded his speech explaining that Hungarians as well as Poles, Romanians and Ruthenians living in Ukraine have nothing to do with this war.