While battles spark from time to time within Ukraine in the language domain, often provoked in favor of hybrid interests, Russia's efforts on the European pitch aimed to discredit Ukraine's reputation never stopped. The scenario of these efforts and figures involved never changed, either.
So, while media, experts, and opinion leaders are discussing in the Ukrainian medical space certain statements about the Ukrainian language bordering with undisguised xenophobia, the Russian embassy in Hungary has done its standard work to maintain the high degree of tensions over the "language issue".
Russian Ambassador to Hungary, Vladimir Sergeyev, stated Moscow's concerns about the "oppression of national minorities" in Ukraine and suggested that Moscow and Budapest jointly address such a policy pursued by Kyiv. And, of course, the diplomat put an emphasis on "discrimination" by Ukrainian authorities of the Hungarian national minority living in the far-western region of Zakarpattia.
It should be reminded that last month came the reports of the intention of the Russian delegation to the PACE to raise the issue of Ukraine "infringing" rights of Russian speakers. The move was initiated by vice speaker of the State Duma and head of the delegation, an infamous propagandist and xenophobe Piotr Tolstoy. In the PACE, Russia has long secured support of various kinds of populist and ultra-right forces, which also tend to exploit similar topics to gain electoral points.
It is worth noting that within the Ukraine "federalization" project, the Kremlin has always assigned one of the most important roles to the factor of social and political destabilization in Zakarpattia. The efforts were made not only by the Russian Federation, but also their assets both within Ukraine and in the neighboring countries, which provide for the important link in such campaigns.
Given the multinational character of the Ukrainian population, we should expect in the near future similar statements by Russian ambassadors in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, and other CEC states. While top officials in most of these countries are unlikely to give Russia any feedback to such proposals, there will always be those who are ready to play these issues.
The good news is that none of the countries mentioned showed any real support for Russia in this project. Alas, there's an exception, which is Hungary, where populism and personal ambitions of a number of politicians seem to prevail over common sense. Nevertheless, in 2019, the Kremlin failed to play the language factor and implement the "federalization" project in Ukraine. But, as we can see, Russia didn't abandon its attempts, and after a short respite, vigorous efforts in this direction have resumed.