Security Service of Ukraine: Russia prepared massive protests to demand Hungarian autonomy in Zakarpattia

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claims that it has disrupted Russian provocation on behalf of the Hungarian community in Zakarpattia.

Plans were made to utilize a conference of national minorities which was supposed to be held in Ukraine between May 17 and 19, the SBU website reports.

Against the backdrop of statements about autonomy, confrontations were supposed to take place with local nationalists. Russia had also planned to bring in provocateurs to incite clashes and confrontation with the enforcement agencies.

On May 18, SBU staff spoke with a man who was supposed to film the protests. He said that he was paid 10,000 hryvnia ($380 USD) by a person who was using a mobile phone with a Russian operator. He also admitted that he had already worked for this client, covering the developments in Odessa on May 2 in particular.

He was questioned as a witness in the framework of previously opened criminal proceedings according to section 110 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (separatism), and was issued an official warning.

The SBU also reported that the communal services of Uzhhorod took down propaganda installations with text in the Hungarian language. They were made by a printing company in Kyiv on the order of people in contact with Russian information centers. The local organizations had nothing to do with the preparation or placement of these materials.

The  news outlet reported that the installations in question had been set up between the 17th and 18th of May in several locations: on the border of the Mukachevsk and Berehovsk regions between the towns of Dertsen and Hat, in the town of Velyka Kopanya at the entrance to the Vinohradiv region and the Batiovo settlement in the Berehovsk region.

The installations had the following text on them: “The Berehovsk region: the Hungarians welcome you”, “The Vinohradiv region: the Hungarians welcome you,” as well as, “The Berehovsk region: land of the Hungarian language”. The inscriptions did, however, contain errors.

In March, SBU head Vasil Hrytsak said that Russia is preparing protest action in Ukraine on behalf of national minorities: Gagauzis, Rusyns, Hungarians, Poles and Bulgarians.

  Ukraine, SBU, Russia, Zakarpattia, Hungarian community