Trojan Horse on the March. The “Hungarian Threat” Is Growing in Europe

Anyone who thinks that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is a funny and strange old-school politician who is only interested in repairing rusty roofs and road bumpers with European Union money is blind and naive.

Anyone who thinks that Orbán will be satisfied with the results of the vote on the allocation of 50 billion euros and, puffing, will crawl back to his den, remembering the bitter taste of the coffee that German Chancellor O. Scholz sent him for, is blind and naive.

Considering that Orbán and his associates have been in politics since the 1980s, and since the 2020s he and the Fidesz party have actually built a mafia state in Hungary, there would be more than enough money to “repair” local Hungarian “failures.” As the experience of Covid-19 shows, the mafia is sometimes ready to help fellow citizens just like that, out of kindness.

The story of the bitter coffee taste of 50 billion euros for Ukraine is just a trial balloon. Orbán is testing the strength of the European bureaucracy, pretending to be a political scarecrow feeding on crumbs from the rich Kremlin table. It is a big mistake to think that Orbán is for Russia and Putin. No, Orbán is for Hungary, for Orbán, for his political revenge in Europe.

Despite his bulky build as an experienced apparatchik, Orbán demonstrates amazing flexibility and his ability to maneuve in European politics. It was he who was one of the first to play it by ear and to benefit from the endless series of elections that covered the European Union this year (and a little to Hungary’s advantage).

Orbán described himself as “a Central European, Anti-Communist, old-fashioned freedom fighter raised under Communist rule” (from V. Orbán’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas, August 2022).

Anyone who thinks that “Putin’s Trojan Horse” is peacefully nibbling grass in the green pastures of Texas, waiting for the next D. Trump’s rule, is blind and naive. In August 2022, the Hungarian Prime Minister gave a rousing speech at a conference of conservatives in Texas, where, among other things, he called for reconquering the institutions of power in Washington and Brussels, focusing on the 2024 US presidential elections and the elections to the European Parliament, which will determine “two fronts of the struggle for Western civilization.”

And if someone else thinks that all the power of the Hungarian establishment puts pressure only on Ukraine, which Orbán and Co. are constantly throwing a spoke in its wheels, periodically demanding to return Transcarpathia to the “Hungarian fold,” he prefers not to see the obvious.

In the shadow of the Russian double-headed eagle, hanging over Europe (and according to Russian politicians, the entire “collective West”), the Hungarian eagle somehow quietly fledged and became strongly.

Orbán understood that Europe was vulnerable. The Hungarians, with the rights of a non-Slavic people, began to demand preferences, splitting European unity everywhere, and implementing the latest Kremlin guidelines.

And so, gradually, Budapest from a fairly presentable European city turned into some kind of Zamoskvorechye, where all kinds of Russian emissaries feel well. The love for big cases with Rosatom money and warm friendship with the bosses of the Russian Orthodox Church (Patriarch Kirill himself is a personal friend) played a dirty trick on Orbán and his team. If there is a place in the world where the Russian agents have it easy as serious businessmen and clergy, it is the capital of Hungary.

Of course, supporting sanctions against the Kremlin regime can disrupt the smooth financial flows in Budapest. By the way, “trading on sanctions” is also a very profitable business and a successful way to solve purely Hungarian problems, demanding preferences from the hated Brussels bureaucracy. It is not for nothing that Orbán “washed his hands” when only the lazy did not laugh at his search for coffee for the German Сhancellor. The Hungarian Prime Minister got everything he needed from life and debate, and realized that the European bureaucracy could be frightened and flexible just like any other bureaucracy. It is hardly worth hoping that Orbán will continue to enthusiastically support anti-Russian démarches in Europe. It will cost him too much. In the truest sense of the word.

Anyone who thinks that Orbán is simply copying the Kremlin system with its oligarchy, corruption and “manual control”, intolerance towards the opposition/Jews/foreigners/migrants and other “foreign agents” is blind and naive.

The Hungarian leader once proudly stated that during the migration crisis of 2015, 400 thousand illegal migrants arrived at the borders of Hungary. According to him, this is almost three times the size of Genghis Khan’s army with which he invaded Europe. The fact that Genghis Khan was no longer alive during the Western Campaign, and the Campaign itself was led by his grandson, is just a small historical inaccuracy against the backdrop of grandiose pictures of the epic battles of the Hungarian Prime Minister with hordes of migrants.

Viktor Orbán carefully creates an image of an old battle hardened fighter with communists, liberals and migrants. However, in reality, Orbán is Moscow’s real “Trojan Horse”. It performs a very specific function in Europe — it forms the dividing lines of the continent. The Kremlin’s scheme for dismembering Ukraine into “new regions” and “everything that remains” is being scaled to the whole of Europe.

According to Orbán, Ukraine is a buffer zone between Russia and the West and should remain so until the end of the century (the Hungarian Prime Minister stated during a debate with former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, Die Presse, February 11, 2024).

However, the main vector of Viktor Orbán’s activity is directed not at Kyiv, but at Brussels. Moscow, through Orbán, is seeking to eliminate Brussels as a serious obstacle to its ambitious political and military plans. “Reconquering the institutions of power in Brussels” is the goal of Russian undercover agents (a Russian intelligence officer tried to get a job as an intern at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, 2022), and Orbán himself, and a number of radical movements throughout Europe are aimed.

Having led (and subdued) the conservative revolution in Europe, the Kremlin is trying to redraw existing borders. The attack on Ukraine destroyed the seemingly unshakable post-war European security system. Now it is proposed to return to “original” national borders, “disputes over territories” and projects for the restoration of empires. And the Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán, with his reputation as an “old-fashioned freedom fighter” is perfectly suited to the role of leader of the conservative movement in Europe.

The ideas of reviving the “Russian Empire” began to entry the mind of Europeans somehow unnoticed, thanks to Russian politicians and omnipresent propagandists. Erdogan revived the shadow of the “Ottoman Empire,” on the outskirts of Europe, and the conspiracy of the “Reichsbürger” revived the prospects for the restoration of the Reich.

Orbán himself states that he “comes from a thousand-year-old country with rich history, but, let’s be honest: Hungary is far from being a Global Superpower” (from the Hungarian Prime Minister’s speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Texas, August 2022). And isn’t the project of “restoring from the ashes” of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, popular among European conservatives, aimed at reviving Great Hungary? And, obviously, it is Hungary, the “Lone Star State of Europe”, which has tightly clinched with the European bureaucracy, that is destined for the role of leader in the “neo-empire.”