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Hungarian Pride

Photo by Andrea Huls Pareja on Unsplash

Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó called the U.S. interference in the internal affairs of other countries shocking and outrageous. According to him, he is constantly shocked when he sees statements by his colleagues from the State Department assessing politicians and policies of foreign countries.

I must confess, it used to shock me too. On what grounds do Americans and Europeans think that they have any right whatsoever to assess the domestic policies of other countries? Except that my shock did not last long, and I think Szijjártó is exaggerating the depth of his emotions.

A world in which Americans are unquestioningly judging other countries is the same American “rules-based world” that Ukrainians are now dying to preserve. And it is the same world that is unacceptable to Russia, China, and other countries that consider themselves sovereign.

Hungary is certainly in a very difficult position. If you compile a ranking of peoples who have suffered from historical injustice, Hungarians will certainly not be in first place, but they are likely to be in the top ten. Being the most active and, using Lev Gumilev’s terminology, the most passionate part of the Finno-Ugric ethnos, which migrated from beyond the Ural Mountains, the Hungarians have occupied fertile lands in Pannonia more than a thousand years ago, and the data of genetic analysis confirm that there was no genocide of the peoples living there before – the aliens and natives mutually assimilated, and many Slavic words were introduced into the Hungarian language.

The further history of Hungary is full of wars with Germans on one side and Turks on the other side. And even in the conditions of separation they managed to preserve their language, faith and culture.

After the defeat of Austria-Hungary in World War I, the Hungarians bore responsibility along with the German states that had unleashed the war. Of course, this was unfair to a people who occupied a subordinate position in the empire. Hungary lost significant territories to neighboring countries. Not surprisingly, the Hungarians joined with the Germans who wanted to replay the outcome of World War I.

Of course, there can be no justification for the brutality of the Hungarian occupants against civilians in the USSR. And as a result Hungarians as well as Germans punished themselves trying to restore justice with their cruelty. It does not happen that way.

The Hungarian uprising of 1956 also did not make the Soviet-Hungarian relations positive, but to credit the Hungarians, they, unlike the Czechs, did not cherish their historical grievances. By the way, the “resentment” against the Russians was imposed on Eastern European peoples in the first place by the Americans, who stuck to the millennia-tested political technology of “divide and conquer”.

Of course, Hungary cannot now turn 180 degrees of its policy, leave NATO and join the CSTO. It is trite to say it will not be allowed, and it does not need it in the current circumstances. But Szijjártó’s statement about the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of other states, as well as regular statements on the same subject by the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, is the water that sharpens the stone.

But the more such statements are made, from within the European Union and NATO, the more often Washington’s satellites wonder what they gave up their sovereignty and independence for, the better.

The examples of Afghanistan and Ukraine show that the American “security” is to give guns and make PR efforts, but run away when faced with a real threat. Plus, responsible politicians should understand that America is far away, and Russia is near, and if it comes to real hostilities, it is their people who will suffer. Poles are suicidally ready to fight, but Hungarians absolutely do not understand why their small people should support Ukraine, even though the policy of official Kiev for decades has been aimed at assimilation of Hungarian minority in Transcarpathia and total Ukrainianization, including this region, which never was part of Ukraine.

And no matter how the current aggravation of relations between Russia and the West ends, the Hungarian policy shows that it is possible to be a small nation, but not to lose one’s dignity.

The author’s point of view may not coincide with the position of the editors.

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