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A debate over ‘Putinophobia’

April 5th, 2017

A conservative blogger accuses the Left of baseless anti-Putin fear mongering. In his response, another conservative commentator thinks that fears over Hungary’s Putinization are legitimate to a certain extent.

On Mandiner, Zsolt Jeszenszky accuses the Left of fomenting ‘anti-Putin paranoia’. The conservative blogger likens the ‘Putinophobia’ of the Left to the exaggerated fears on the Right about alleged plots by George Soros and foreign powers behind anything contrary to their interests and ideology. Jeszenszky notes that fears over Russia are partly explained by Hungarian historical memory. He also acknowledges the activity of Russian secret services in Hungary, but Jeszenszky dismisses fears of Russian expansionism as groundless.

In a swift response just three hours later, Mandiner’s, Gellért Rajcsányi recalls that in 2008, after Russian troops moved into Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and after the Georgian army  tried to put down an unarmed separatist uprising, PM Orbán called Russia a major threat to Hungary, and added that Hungary’s NATO membership was a crucial security issue. The conservative commentator goes on to accuse PM Orbán of toeing President Putin’s policy line. Rajcsányi fears that such developments will alienate Hungary from the West, and make the country defenceless against Russian interference and interests.

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