Hungarians don’t want to “shed blood” for Ukraine, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told a large crowd in Budapest

Hundreds of thousands participated in the “peace march” in Hungary’s capital Budapest on Saturday, denouncing the EU’s policy of escalating tensions with Russia. The event culminated with a speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who accused Brussels of bringing Europe closer to a global conflict. 

The demonstrators marched from the iconic Chain Bridge to Margaret Island on the Danube River.

Many carried national flags and chanted pacifist slogans, with some holding signs reading “No war” and “Give us peace, Lord.” 

“Never before have so many people lined up for peace. We are the biggest peace corps, the largest peacekeeping force in Europe,” the prime minister said, as quoted by Reuters. “Europe must be prevented from rushing into war, into its own destruction.”

Orban said that his country must draw lessons from the devastation it went through the darkest times of the 20th century. “In the two world wars, the Hungarians lost 1.5 million lives, and with them – their future children and grandchildren,” Orban told the crowd. “I’m saying this slowly so that Brussels would understand: we will not go to war. We will not go to the East for a third time, we will not go to the Russian front again.”


Orban urged everyone to support the “pro-peace and pro-sovereignty” agenda of the ruling Fidesz party in the European Parliament election next week. “Do we want to shed Hungarian blood for Ukraine? No, we don’t,” he said.

The pro-war [forces] have gone beyond common sense by wanting to defeat Russia as they tried to do during the First World War and the Second World war.

Since the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, Orban has repeatedly accused the EU leadership in Brussels of dangerous brinkmanship with Moscow and warned that the European bloc must not allow itself to be dragged into a full-blown war.

READ MORE: Still time to prevent NATO-Russia war – Hungary

Budapest has refused to provide any military aid to Ukraine and threatened to veto financial assistance to Kiev. Orban heavily criticized the economic sanctions imposed on Moscow by the EU, arguing that the bloc had “shot itself in the lungs” by undermining trade and its own energy supply.

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