Hungarians expect restraint and sobriety in the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict
A poll conducted by Századvég in March shows that 91 percent of respondents believe tensions over the Russian-Ukrainian crisis should be eased. The survey mapped who the Hungarian population considers to be responsible for the escalation of the armed conflict, what they think about Hungary’s relationship with Russia and the direction to be followed by Hungary in the context of the crisis.
In recent years, Hungary has sought a balanced relationship with Russia and Ukraine
As a starting point, it is important to note that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia cannot be considered new. Tensions between the two countries have become permanent since Russia occupied the Crimea in 2014, thus Russia’s military operations that began at the end of February can be seen as another chapter in a protracted crisis. Given that the actions taken by Russian President Vladimir Putin have escalated the conflict in question, it is less surprising that more Hungarian respondents (32 percent) consider Russia to be responsible for the exacerbation of the situation rather than Ukraine led by Zelensky (13 percent).
However, the survey reveals that
47 percent of Hungarians say both parties are responsible for the escalation of the conflict, which is probably due to the fact that public opinion is callign for a peaceful settlement of the armed conflict as soon as possible,
avoiding that it becomes European wide.
In recent years, Hungary has sought a balanced and peaceful relationship with both Russia and Ukraine. Accordingly, only 25 percent of respondents believe that the Hungarian Prime Minister serves Vladimir Putin’s interest, while
an overwhelming majority (71 percent) thinks that Viktor Orbán wants to maintain a peaceful relationship with Russia, thus guaranteeing Hungary’s gas and energy supply.
two-thirds of the respondents (66 percent) say that Hungary’s relationship with Russia that has been developed in recent years is beneficial in the current situation to preserve its peace and security
and avoid Hungary’s involvement in the war, while 25 percent expressed the opposite view.
Public opinion is still in favour of a peaceful settlement of the conflict
Some left-wing parties and some of their partisan media outlets are calling for aggressive action against Russia. However, the research finds that, in line with the data collected by Századvég in February,
9 out of 10 Hungarians (90 percent) believe that Hungary should not be pulled into an armed conflict and that guaranteeing Hungary’s security is top priority.
The proportion of those who see the punishment of Russian President Putin as a more important, urgent task is 9 percent. It can also be stated that
91 percent of respondents believe that threatening Russia in this dire situation does not help, but tensions need to be eased instead,
while 6 percent disagree with this statement.
All in all, it can be stated that the Hungarian population expects restraint from all public actors on the issue of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and urges a sober approach to the conflict.
CATI, n=1000, among the Hungarian adult population, data collection: March 2022