Spilnota Detector Media

Hungary allegedly has territorial ambitions regarding Transcarpathia

Russia continues to promote the message that “Hungarians are encroaching on Transcarpathia”, despite a direct statement by Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjártó about supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The corresponding information leaks took place against the backdrop of Szijjarto’s arrival in Uzhhorod to meet with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba, as well as the head of the Office of the President Andrii Yermak.

An important goal of such a meeting was to improve relations between the two countries by organizing a frank and constructive dialogue. Another goal of the conversation was to create the preconditions for a meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi.

At the same time, the result of negotiations in Uzhhorod between Szijjártó, Kuleba and Yermak was the beginning of an important dialogue on the rights of the Hungarian minority in Ukraine. Hungary and Ukraine agreed to create a joint commission, which, 10 days from the date of the meeting, should present a complete list of controversial issues regarding the rights of national minorities.

Also during the meeting, they discussed Ukraine’s membership in the EU, cooperation in logistics, development of transport links, energy and financial projects, etc. This was reported by the Center for Countering Disinformation.

Fake In Transcarpathia they allegedly mine the border with Hungary

Propagandists are distributing a video on social networks where a man in military uniform claims that mining of the borders with Hungary has begun in Transcarpathia. In the comments, social media users suggest that this is being done to stop border violations or because of the presence of Hungarian troops. However, this information is unreliable.

Specialists from the VoxCheck project drew attention to it. The State Border Service of Ukraine (SBS) has denied information about mining of the borders with Hungary. Project analysts were also unable to identify the serviceman depicted in the video, and Ukrainian media did not have relevant reports on this topic. Instead, the State National Security Service reported the continuation of mining of the borders with Belarus. According to the speaker of the State National Security Service Andrii Demchenko, the direction to Belarus is a priority for Ukraine from a security point of view.

Propagandists spread this misinformation to create panic among the population. They say that an attack is already underway on the western borders of Ukraine.

Fake Ukraine allegedly began mining territories on the border with Hungary

Propaganda resources began distributing a video in which an unknown man in the uniform of the Ukrainian Armed Forces “warns” residents of the Transcarpathian region that he and other military personnel were allegedly given an order to start mining the border areas bordering Hungary. It's fake.

The information was analyzed by the experts from the Center for Countering Disinformation. They asked the State Border Service of Ukraine to comment on the video. They replied that the information mentioned in the recording was not true. Probably, having taken possession of the uniform of the Ukrainian Armed Forces as a result of one of the battles at the front, the Russians decided to take advantage of this and create a fake video.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to sow panic among the civilian population of Transcarpathia and resort to one of the propaganda tactics: using fear, uncertainty and doubt to achieve this goal. Previously, we denied information that the wife of the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs crossed the Ukrainian-Hungarian border with $13 million.

Fake The wife of a deputy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs crossed the Ukrainian-Hungarian border with $13 million

Some Ukrainian media disseminated information that on September 29, the wife of Deputy Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Vasyl Teteria allegedly crossed the Ukrainian-Hungarian border at the Chop-Zakhon checkpoint with the amount of $13 million. This money was allegedly discovered by the Hungarian side. It's fake.

The case was studied by the fact-checkers of the Center for Strategic Communications. On October 5, the Hungarian side informed Ukraine that “in the period from September 28 to 30, 2023, at the Zakhon checkpoint, police representatives did not find any funds that were being moved in concealment from border and customs control, and they also did not know about the declaration of funds in the amount of 13 million US dollars”. The State Customs Service of Ukraine reported this on its website.

Moreover, border and law enforcement agencies established that the specified person did not cross the state border at all in 2023.

Thus, Russian propaganda is trying to discredit government bodies and arouse distrust among Ukrainians, saying that all officials are corrupt. Previously, we talked about the manipulation that the White House said that corruption in Ukraine has increased by 500%, and US aid is not reaching Ukrainians.

Message Poland and Hungary “oppose” each other because of the division of Ukraine

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The reports talk about the alleged worsening of relations between Poland and Hungary due to the “future division” of Ukraine. Like, countries are already choosing Ukrainian territories that will be included in their states. And now the two countries are competing and cannot get along. The authors will report that the Polish officials themselves announced the deterioration of relations between the countries.

The fact-checkers of the VoxCheck project took up the case, and found out that Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki really spoke about the relations between the two states. He stated that their relationship with Hungary had changed because of Hungary's position on the Russian-Ukrainian war. The official explained that they cooperated powerfully, but now the level of support has obviously decreased. This is not the first time that Poland has criticized Hungary's position. For example, in April 2022, the chairman of the Bureau of International Policy under the President of Poland, Jakub Kumoch, said that they did not like the position of the Hungarian authorities towards Ukraine.

Propagandists seek to distort reality and convince that relations between Poland and Hungary have changed because the countries allegedly want to cut off Ukrainian territories. In fact, Polish politicians express their clear position on Russian aggression.

Fake Hungarians living in Ukraine ask Budapest to “protect them from Ukrainian genocide”

This message appeared in the Russian propaganda media. According to it, the Hungarians not only asked to be protected from the Ukrainian genocide, but also seemed to have begun preparations for a referendum for the annexation of certain regions of Ukraine to Hungary. With a request to create Carpathian Rus in the west of Ukraine, the Transcarpathian Rusyns and Petro Hetsko, the head of the international center “Matytsia of the Rusyns”, allegedly turned to Moscow. It's fake.

As StopFake analysts note, the Russian news itself does not talk about Hungarians, but about Rusyns. Also, these statements are fake, because they were made by Petro Hetsko, the head of the international center “Matytsia of the Rusyns”, who does not represent the interests of the Rusyns in Ukraine, has been in Russia since 2014 and has been put on the international wanted list. In 2019, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison because he campaigned for changing the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

Thus, propagandists are trying to spread the opinion that Ukraine will disintegrate in the near future, and its territories will be taken over by Western countries. Earlier, Detector Media wrote about a fake spread by Russian officials that Poland would soon take over the west part of Ukraine.

Message Ukraine seeks to destroy ethnic Hungarians, therefore recruits them into the army en masse

This thesis was circulated on social networks, in particular on telegram channels broadcasting pro-Kremlin rhetoric. The report says that Ukraine is allegedly engaged in ethnic cleansing of Hungarians in Transcarpathia, that is, genocide. They say that Ukraine sends ethnic Hungarians to the front, and does not “touch” others. The authors of the messages add that, at the same time, the Ukrainian leadership wants to get rid of ethnic Hungarians in the territory of Transcarpathia to the detriment of Hungary.

Analysts of the EU vs Disinfo project investigated this case and found that no facts confirm that representatives of national minorities in Ukraine, in particular Hungarians, are disproportionately called up to the Ukrainian army. A citizen of Ukraine liable for military service can carry it out on an equal basis with everyone, regardless of whether such a person belongs to the category of national minorities or not. In addition, the Hungarian authorities did not make any official statements about the so-called genocide of the Hungarians in Transcarpathia or “ethnic cleansing”.

This message is beneficial for propaganda, as the authors want to nourish the narrative that Ukraine itself is allegedly engaged in genocide. Thus, propagandists want to hide their own war crimes, the murder and genocide of Ukrainians, and at the same time whitewash themselves.

"Detector Media" previously denied the fake that Russia would transfer the alleged Transcarpathian prisoners of war to Hungary in order to achieve justice.

Message European countries want to “sell” peace in Ukraine at a higher price

Pro-Russian telegram channels write about this with reference to the words of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary,Szijjártó Péter. Like, all European countries, except Hungary, defend the need to fight on. Only Hungary is interested in a ceasefire and peace talks. According to Szijjártó, the war in Ukraine is becoming more and more brutal and human lives need to be saved, and this can only be done with the help of peace.

Hungary, despite its supposedly neutral position, really systematically “plays” along with Russia. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has previously explained that the war started because of Russia's opposition to NATO expansion. Orban also opposed sanctions against Russia. Such theses coincide with the narratives of Russian propaganda. Actually, like Szijjártó’s proposal for peace negotiations.

Western countries have repeatedly said that only Ukraine will decide how and when to start the peace process and whether to start it at all. The partners also promise to provide support to Ukraine “as much as necessary”.

Russian propaganda systematically manipulates the subject of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia. Like, Ukraine refuses to negotiate and cease fire. Thus, Russia transfers responsibility for the unleashed war to Ukraine. The position of Ukraine regarding the negotiations has not changed - negotiations are possible only after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine. Earlier propagandists claimed that Zelenskyi could have stopped the war, but the West did not let him do it.

Fake Hungary is preparing to protect itself from the violence of Kyiv and Brussels

Such messages are spread in the Russian mass media. Allegedly "because of what is happening in Ukraine," Hungary is planning to strengthen the army's combat capability and is introducing a state of an energy emergency.

The Embassy of Hungary in Ukraine emphasized that such statements are unreliable information.

"Being a member of NATO and a country neighboring Ukraine, Hungary took a clear position from the very beginning: in cooperation with our allies, we will provide all possible humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but we do not want to risk getting involved in a war and risk Hungary's security in any case. This position remains the same, so any news portal that claims otherwise is lying. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary did not define any scenario under which the Hungarian army would cross the Ukrainian border," the embassy said.