Ukraine’s Hungarians stuck between Kyiv and pro-Putin Orban

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Until October, the medieval castle on the hill above Mukacheve in Ukraine’s westernmost region sported a statue of Hungary’s national symbol, the “turul” bird.

Axar.az reports that it has since been replaced with Ukraine’s trident after the city’s mayor ordered the mythical creature’s replacement, unsettling Transcarpathia’s large Hungarian community and sparking protests from Budapest.

Closer to Budapest than Kyiv and part of the Austro-Hungarian empire until World War I, multi-ethnic Transcarpathia borders Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, and is home to over 100,000 Magyars — its biggest minority group.

But the turul “is a chauvinistic symbol of imperial-era Hungary and belongs in a museum,” Mukacheve’s mayor Andriy Baloha told AFP.

“Only the trident should be on the castle,” he said.

2023.03.21 / 13:17
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