The full-scale war that Russia waged against Ukraine has drastically impacted the situation in Ukraine. Many Ukrainians were forced to flee the country and seek safer regions or countries: according to estimates, about 8 million became refugees, while around 5 million are internally displaced people
While other European states redoubled in a tour de force of liberal values, the Hungarian government sunk even deeper into illiberalism and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán further consolidated his power, despite a dismal economic performance and international ostracism.
‘The Brussels sanctions will destroy us!’ was a slogan featured on billboards (with the sanctions depicted as bombs) paid for by the Hungarian government, which have been displayed across the country since the second half of 2022. The campaign was introduced as a reaction to the European Union’s decision to impose sanctions against the import of Russian products – most prominently energy resources.
The Hungarian government has always had a strong relationship with Russia. This has changed since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine due to the fact that Hungary is, after all, a member of the European Union (EU). This is why Hungary could no longer keep such a strong connection to Russia as before.
Russia weaponized its energy resources and used them as a countermeasure against European sanctions, cutting down the energy supply, and forcing the EU to take multiple measures in order to preserve its economy and to step up its efforts in becoming green, sustainable, and no longer dependent on Russia.
In light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it seems that other European states are finally being forced to take action against Vladimir Putin’s dictatorial regime and confront Russian influence both on and off their soil.
War and conflict have devastating consequences for societies, leaving behind destruction, human suffering, and long-lasting negative impacts. Countries with a history of war offer valuable lessons on how to address and mitigate these impacts. By examining their experiences, policymakers can gain insight into effective strategies to rebuild shattered societies, promote reconciliation, ensure justice, and foster peace.
In the aftermath of the outbreak of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the European Union (EU) has been facing the consequences of its misguided policy decisions from decades ago. Doing ‘business as usual’ with Russia, a country whose values are fundamentally different from those of the Western nations’, is always dangerous and may seem reckless.
In this episode, we talk about German strategy towards the war in Ukraine, a shift in the defense policy, the future of EU enlargement and strategic autonomy, and how Germans perceive Zeitenwende.
According to media reports, the Ukrainian offensive is progressing slower than expected. However, there are many indications that the main phase of the offensive is still ahead of us, and the actions taken so far have only been rehearsals. The attacks are advancing towards the Sea of Azov in order to cut off Russian access to Crimea and divide the occupation zone into two parts.