ORBÁN KEEPS STUMBLING IN THE BATTLEFIELD – THE WEEKLY 88
People are not surprised that Russia and Belarus, where Putin’s alternative reality has taken full control of the public discourse, do not tolerate the honest statement of facts about the ongoing events in Ukraine although, on a side note, the Russian dictator’s denial of reality is not always helping his his communication efforts, either. As to why Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party hesitates to acknowledge the obvious, we can only guess at this point. What we see in Hungary is dreadful, even though when it comes to formal decisions, Orbán is still moving together with the other EU member states..
I have said it many times, but let me say it again: there is no excuse for what the Russian army is doing in Ukraine.
There’s no “geopolitical interest”, badly written law or ethnic tension that could justify taking the lives of innocent people, destroying cities or forcing your rule on people who reject it. Yet that’s exactly what is happening in Ukraine now. What the Ukrainian people want is clear: they reject Moscow’s rule. Regardless if their native tongue is Ukrainian or Russian. Moscow is using military action to take revenge on them. Russia is the aggressor, Ukraine is the victim. That’s the truth, the rest is double talk.
The gravity of the situation is clearly shown by how even the far-right and authoritarian European politicians who’ve had good relations with Moscow are now realizing the facts, and they are trying to salvage whatever political capital they have left.
Matteo Salvini is trying to help Ukrainian refugees (when he’s not sent away, that is), while Mateusz Morawiecki and Janez Janša are travelling to Kyiv despite the dangers of the war. Viktor Orbán is wandering aimlessly in the battlefield on his own. After talking for years about battles, fights and gunpowder smell in Brussels, he’s now trying to sell his February trip to Moscow as a peace mission, while he’s contemplating about buffer zones and precious Russian relations among his loyal followers.
His out-of-touch approach was tragically manifested in his speech delivered on 15th March, Hungary’s national day. While his former allies signed in from a Kyiv bunker, Orbán talked about how the outcome of the Ukraine war didn’t actually matter for Hungary and suggested that Hungary’s main interest was basically to stay under the radar in the hope that Moscow will continue to do business with Budapest. Seeing how Orbán keeps blurring the line between the aggressor and the victim, many analysts wonder why the Hungarian PM is doing this, even going against the whole of Europe and his former friends, too. At this point, we don’t know if Orbán, who used to be known for his sense of strategy, is simply getting tired and detached from reality and that’s why he can’t change course in his communication as smoothly as he used to, or perhaps he is getting scared of his own creation, i.e., the extremely pro-Russia echo chamber, or he is simply blackmailed by Putin somehow…
Orbán’s statement that the outcome of the war would not matter for Hungary is a gross misrepresentation at best.
Putin clearly declared his goals: he wants to occupy Ukraine and block NATO in Central Europe, thus turning the NATO membership of the region’s countries into nothing but a blank sheet of paper.
According to Putin’s plans, Ukraine will not be a buffer zone, because it will be devoured by his empire. The buffer zone countries would be Poland, Hungary, Romania and the others, just as they were in 1956, 1968 and during the Brezhnev Doctrine. By still defending Putin and talking about understanding Russia’s needs, Orbán is actually talking about submission to Russia. By doing so, he ignores his own countries rightful security needs as well as those of Europe as a whole.
The mask is falling off Orbán’s face.
It’s more and more evident that the European Union (especially the German industrial lobby and the European Commission, which consistently fudged on the anti-Orbán sanctions) nurtured a snake in its bosom, while the politicians who suggested to keep Orbán and Fidesz in the European political system, were simply wrong. Viktor Orbán is a threat to Hungary. Furthermore, every day this man spends in office is a threat to Europe’s countries.
On 3rd April, Hungarian voters will hopefully oust Orbán’s government and Hungary will return to the European path.
If it doesn’t happen (and have no doubt that Fidesz will do whatever it can to rig the elections), Europe will have to respond to the threat posed by Orbán, if it wants to avoid having another Lukashenka-type regime within its own borders and decision-making mechanisms.