Ukrainian “Coup” in Hungary: Anti-Maidanists Became Managers of the State Self-Government of Ukrainians of Hungary

“For the attention of all Ukrainians in Ukraine and abroad. Today there was the revenge of the Russian world in Hungary. The Ukrainian community was captured by separatist forces, and those who called Stepan Bandera a fascist took over today!” such phrases started to be used by the well-known Ukrainian activist and head of the Society of Ukrainian Culture in Hungary Yaroslava Khortyani.

You will ask: why did the “coup” happen on November 8th? It’s been a month, and nobody writes anything about it. What’s the matter?

I’ll explain in order.

In 1993 the Hungarian Parliament adopted a law on national minorities. Within the framework of this law, the Ukrainian minority was able to elect deputies to the State Self-Government of Ukrainians of Hungary (the term of office is 5 years, it is almost impossible to be removed from this position). Accordingly, funding for the needs of Ukrainian communities, etc., is distributed through this self-government.

At the moment this self-government consists of representatives of three organisations: Cultural Society of Ukrainians of the Csongrád region (CSUC), Society of Ukrainian Culture in Hungary, and the Society for the Preservation of Ukrainian Traditions “Kievskaya Rus”.

Initially, self-government consisted of 21 deputies, but, apparently, attempts soon started to drag funding towards Maidanists. It is reported that the society “Kievskaya Rus” in 2010 had 8 seats out of 21, but then by litigation 6 people were removed from there. The Society of Ukrainian Culture in Hungary (SUCH) is essentially Russophobic/pro-Maidan and is heavily influenced by Catholic clerics. In addition, SUCH is a member of the World Congress of Ukrainians, which has long been headed by Canadian citizens, and this Congress itself is recognised in Russia as an undesirable organisation because of its active participation in Maidan and open demonstration of Russophobic ideas. And here, for a long time, it was the SUCH that had an advantage, and accordingly influence, when it came to distributing state finances. This is an annual amount equivalent to approximately €310,000.

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But on November 8th another parliamentary self-government election took place. As a result, the following picture was obtained: SUCH received 6 seats, “Kievskaya Rus” – 2 seats, and CSUC – 7 seats. After that, the last two organisations created a coalition and received a dominant majority – 9 seats out of 15, which allows them to make any decisions at their own discretion.

It should be immediately said that representatives of the organisation “Kievskaya Rus” have in the media a stable reputation of people who despise Maidan and take Hungarian delegations to Crimea without coordination with the Ukrainian authorities, etc. Here, for example, is a photo of how deputy Anatoly Bury gives an interview in Crimea in May 2017.

But still, there were only two deputies from “Kievskaya Rus” and they do not influence things. Another thing is that CSUC won 7 seats, and this created a very unpleasant surprise for Maidan supporters.

On the day of the election, when the balance of forces became clear, before the first constituent assembly took place, the Ambassador of Ukraine to Hungary Liubov Nepop posted on the page of the Embassy on Facebook a statement saying that the Embassy stops its cooperation with the State Self-Government of Ukrainians of Hungary as long as its members who support “Russian aggression” or similar sentiments don’t rethink their actions and don’t make a corresponding public statement “in support of the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the conditions of Russian aggression”.

According to some media outlets, representatives of “Kievskaya Rus” “immediately engaged in whitewashing their own reputation. At first, Bury pointedly refused his former position. And the next day repented and Ruchko.”

It seems that the situation for Ukraine has more or less normalised, and two people do not influence anything. But the fact is that CSUC, having teamed up with “Kievskaya Rus”, elected the head of self-government, and started a policy that made the main figures of SUCH furious and angry.

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For example, it is reported that one of the proposals was to stop funding the Uniate parish in Hungary. In fact, it is a blow to the very heart of the Banderist-Maidanist public in Hungary. After all, even the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church cleric Damian Gaboriy, who is working there, maintains certain ties with the leadership of radicals of the pro-Uniate organisation “Trizub” (named after S. Bandera), which has become the core for the terrorist organisation “Right Sector“. This organisation is banned in the Russian Federation, and on the territory of Ukraine its members became involved in many criminal cases. One recent such event is the murder of a three-year-old boy by a “Right Sector” sniper. But, there are photos of how Gaboriy very amicably pilgrims to Rome together with Rostislav Vinar – one of the leaders of “Trizub” and the closest friend of the head of the “Right Sector” – Dmitry Yarosh.

Of course, the Uniates reacted in their usual way – they decided to send an angry crowd to unwelcome officials in order to exert pressure. At the same time, they started writing letters and shouting that refusing to fund them was little more than discrimination on religious grounds.

By the way, this letter mentions an interesting detail: it turns out that a proposal to stop funding this Uniate community was proposed by a woman who had previously been a member of the pastoral and economic council of the parish in the same Uniate community. Apparently, the nationalist and other components forced the woman to offer to stop this outrage. This fact turned out to be very uncomfortable for Uniates and for Ukrainian officials. After all, it would be possible to start a campaign about the “hand of the Kremlin”, which has become a tradition for Uniates and officials, but they were opposed by a woman who was not only part of their parish, but was a trusted person and helped in many issues, including financial ones.

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In fact, representatives of SUCH on the eve of the elections appealed to the CSUC, but were refused, after which the head of SUCH started to declare the revenge of the Russian world in Hungary.

This is a very important mention – after all, the refusal of the CSUC to cooperate with the Maidanists from SUCH is a demonstration of a certain vector of development, which will be adhered to by the State Self-Government of Ukrainians of Hungary for the next 5 years. That is precisely why the Maidanists, who were essentially out of the vote because their vote will not influence decision-making, are hysterical. Perhaps there will be an attempt to pressure the coalition through some officials or courts, or to find some leverage, but in general, it looks exactly like the refusal of Hungary’s Ukrainians to identify themselves as Maidanists and Banderists.

Aleksandr Voznesensky

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