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'This is a military operation': Orban on his refusal to call Russian invasion of Ukraine 'war'

'This is a military operation': Orban on his refusal to call Russian invasion of Ukraine 'war' Photo: Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban (Getty Images)

Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban refused to label Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, as a "war," writes Bloomberg.

"This is a military operation," Orban told reporters at the annual press conference in Budapest, using the terminology of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

According to him, there has been no declaration of war between the two countries. "When Russia declares war, then there will be war," he said.

“We should be happy there’s no declaration of war because then there will be a general mobilization,” in Russia, Orban said. “I don’t wish that on anybody.”

Putin's ally

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban openly holds a pro-Russian position. He often makes statements discrediting Ukraine. In October, he met with Putin in Beijing, becoming the first EU leader to do so after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes in Ukraine.

Hungary is the only European country perceived as hostile by Ukrainians. According to the Sociological Group "Rating," Hungary moved to the category of hostile countries for Ukrainians in 2022.

According to British intelligence, the estimated range of losses in the Russian army since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine is 320,000 people killed or wounded. However, even Moscow does not have an exact figure.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine stated that as of November 21, 2023, the number of civilian casualties exceeded 10,000. However, the UN believes that the actual number of civilian casualties is significantly higher than the reported figure.