As expected, the role of an external force is becoming obvious in the latest hot media spin aiming to rock the stability boat in Ukraine's Zakarpattia region bordering Hungary.
I'm talking about the hate speech video with threats toward ethnic Hungarians living in the area. A masked man on the video claims to be a member of the Ukrainian Right Sector right wing organization, which Russians have traditionally depicted as "neo-Nazis" with major influence over the Ukrainian politics although the force never had any weight whatsoever, remaining on the fringe of the political spectrum. He The man speaks on camera, warning Hungarian families of reprisals for obtaining Hungarian passports while being Ukrainian citizens. In fact, it appears, the guy might as well been a hired actor, which I've actually already suggested earlier.
Moreover, the latest destabilization stunt is proceeding along the tracks long worked out by its masterminds. We can at least recall a double arson attack in Uzhgorod bask in 2018 when the premises of a Hungarian NGO was set ablaze. But let's get back to the recent events...
On Friday, Head of Ukraine's National Police Ihor Klimenko came out with a statement, revealing some details into the video in question. The police chief said the man seen throwing Nazi salutes and threatening ethnic Hungarians, including their children is not even a citizen of Ukraine, let alone member of a Ukrainian nationalist group: "We know for sure that this is a citizen of a neighboring state. We tracked him and found out that he only came to Ukraine for the period when the video was recorded. On the day the video was published, he crossed out of Ukraine."
Another peculiar fact that the law enforcers have established is that the provocative video was originally uploaded on the YouTube channel run by a Serbia-based blogger. And after the video made it to the Ukrainian media space, the blogger effectively removed the video from her platform.
Let me remind you that citizens of Poland, members of the radical neo-Nazi groups Phalanga and Strzelec, who at the same time profess pro-Russian views, took part in the mentioned Uzhgorod provocation in 2018. They committed the arson attack, ordered by a German neo-Nazi journalist Manuel Ochsenreiter, suspected of cooperation with the Russian intelligence and an aide of the then Bundestag MP Markus Frohnmayer from the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, known not only for its pro-Russian sympathies and involvement in Russian intelligence operations.
Also, Ochsenreiter repeatedly met with Russian propagandist Alexander Dugin, the man affiliated with the GRU and known for his far-right views. The two crossed their paths in the Katehon think tank, chaired by another GRU darling, billionaire Konstantin Malofeev, known for financing Donbas separatists and promoting various anti-Ukrainian stunts across Eastern Europe.
But this is all history. Rather soon, we'll see what the latest series of provocations will expose. After all, as time shows, provocateurs never escape justice.
In this regard, though, another thing is also worth attention ... The incumbent government in Hungary makes the most of each of these provocations to try to compromise Ukraine. At the same time, when revelations come that behind them stand foreign intelligence agencies, the Hungarian foreign ministry never apologizes for false accusations against Kyiv, while continuing to spin the same sort of narratives as part of yet another Russian psyop.
The problem for the Hungarian government is that at some point, a direct relationship between Russian operations to destabilize Zakarpattia and such prompt responses on the part of Budapest will be exposed –and that will be really embarrassing for a NATO Ally.