Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Putin’s Trojan Horse Inside the European Union

By Amanda Coakley

03 Aug 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

You should read this story to know why Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban always sides with Russia.

When Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban unleashed a racist tirade during an annual address to ethnic Hungarians in Romania on July 23, in which he argued that his supporters do “not want to become peoples of mixed race,” the international community recoiled in horror at the vitriol being espoused by the leader of a NATO and European Union member state. One of Orban’s longtime advisors, Zsuzsa Hegedus, resigned after the speech, calling it a “pure Nazi text … worthy of [former Nazi leader Joseph] Goebbels.”

Many others in Hungary were less surprised. Since returning to power in 2010 with a two-thirds supermajority in parliament that has allowed him to dismantle Hungarian democracy, Orban has used such language to justify discriminatory policies on immigration and minority communities. The only slight difference this time was that the mask slipped completely and Orban’s far-right sentiments were now evident to the world. 

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