Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Weeklies on the first year of the war in Ukraine

February 27th, 2023

Left-wing and liberal authors believe that the West should support Ukraine until it regains the territories occupied by Russia. Conservative analysts suggest that none of the two warring countries can win the war and therefore support calls by the Hungarian government for an urgent ceasefire and peace negotiations.

In Élet és Irodalom, Lajos Bokros, a former finance minister and unsuccessful liberal candidate for Prime Minister fears that some Western European NATO countries might be ready to accept Russian expansion in exchange for economic advantages. He condemns the policies pursued by German leaders from 2014 onwards as reminiscent of the Munich agreement concluded by British and French leaders with Adolf Hitler in 1938. Nevertheless, if the West accepts Russia’s right to change borders unilaterally, it will open the way for China to annex Taiwan. Taiwan’s fate, he concludes, will be decided in Ukraine.

In a full-page editorial, Magyar Narancs writes that if Russia can keep its conquests in Ukraine, then the Ukrainian state will be economically dependent on Russia and at its mercy for its national security. If, on the other hand, Ukraine manages to break through towards the south and reconquer the occupied section of its Black Sea coast, that would open the possibility of promising peace talks. Such a breakthrough, however, the editors write, would only become possible if large-scale and much bolder Western military support for Ukraine is delivered.

In a similar vein, Heti Világgazdaság’s Györgyi Kocsis believes the supply of efficient and heavy weaponry from the West is lagging behind what is required by the situation along the front lines in Ukraine. In fact, she writes, President Putin is ready to sacrifice a stunning number of human lives. To stave off his expected spring offensive, Ukraine badly needs more state-of-the-art combat vehicles, armour and artillery, she concludes.

Magyar Hang’s Roland Majláth, on the other hand, believes that Russia simply has not amassed enough human resources to fundamentally change the course of the war. Its troops have made very little progress in their attempts to occupy the whole Donetsk region, even though it was one of the first two Ukrainian regions to be officially annexed by Russia. Majláth describes the situation along the front lines as a stalemate reminiscent of World War I with its endless trench warfare.

In his regular weekly editorial in Demokrata, András Bencsik condemns a statement by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg who said all options were risky but the riskiest one would be a Russian victory. In other words, Bencsik writes, the Secretary General would feel more unsettled by a Russian victory than with the risk of World War III. He praises the Hungarian government for its staunch insistence on the necessity of an immediate ceasefire as he believes that would be the only way to prevent the loss of further tens or hundreds of thousands of human lives.

In Mandiner, Krisztián Talabér, an analyst at the pro-government Nézőpont think tank finds it suicidal for the opposition to oppose the government’s stance on Ukraine. This, he continues, was the reason they suffered an unprecedentedly crushing defeat in last spring’s elections. The current financial and energy crisis is a textbook opportunity for any opposition to win over new supporters, he explains and attributes the bad showing of the Hungarian opposition in opinion polls to the Left’s insistence on continuing the war until Ukraine’s total victory.

Tags: , ,