A spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry has criticized the Hungarian Prime Minister’s recent inauguration speech because it “flagrantly distorted the historical truth” in an attempt to “whitewash the governments of Nazi accomplices,” news site Telex reports.
On Tuesday, Viktor Orbán unveiled the statue of George H. W. Bush in Budapest’s Szabadság tér (Liberty Square). During his speech, the Prime Minister recalled that on one side of the square stands the memorial to the victims of the German occupation, and on the other the memorial to the victims of the Soviet, which according to Orbán, carries a clear message, “as a Hungarian, you only have two options: either you side with the occupiers, or you side with freedom.”
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova complained on social media that the Hungarian PM had called the monument (commemorating the 80,000 Red Army soldiers who died liberating the city from Nazi invaders) in his speech “a memorial to the victims of the Soviet occupation.”
Zakharova claims that “such statements flagrantly distort the historical truth and the events of World War II, the results of which were formalized in the decisions of the Nuremberg Trials.”
The spokeswoman continues by stating that “We would like to remind everyone that Hungary, a close ally of Hitler during the Horthy era, was actively involved in the division of Czechoslovakia and in the Nazi aggression against Yugoslavia. On June 27, 1941, it joined Nazi Germany’s war against the Soviet Union at its own initiative, and Hungarian troops took part in mass crimes against civilians and Soviet prisoners of war in the occupied territories.”
“The Red Army liberated European nations from the Nazi plague and brought peace and freedom to them. But today some countries are trying to distort this fact, withhold the truth about the key role played by the Soviet Union in Victory over Nazism, hush up some capitals’ historical responsibility for war crimes, and whitewash the governments of Nazi accomplices,” Maria Zakharova concludes.
Contrary to Zakharova’s words, although the Red Army in fact expelled the army of Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union did not bring freedom and peace to Hungary, as with their troops’ arrival, another occupation had begun which lasted for almost half a century. Under the Soviet Union’s oppression, life was very limited in Hungary for decades, the country lost its sovereignty, and millions suffered under the communist regime.
As Telex recalls, it’s not the first time spokeswoman Zakharova has made unprecedented comments in European diplomacy. Last month in a Facebook post she likened the meeting between Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and U.S. President Donald Trump to an explicit scene in the film ’Basic Instinct.’ She also jokingly claimed that she wasn’t surprised when Trump got elected as she had already “had a chat” with American Jews. Zakharova also called the Skripal case a blatant provocation against Russia.
Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI