The European press is full of comments about Viktor Orbán introducing this or that measure, about other European governments disagreeing with it, and about how terrible it is. Somehow, the people of Hungary have disappeared from these articles. It is as if, perhaps, the Orbán government should not be accountable to its own citizens, but to foreign presidents, prime ministers and chairmen of the board.
Fortunately, there are opinion polls, so we know how the Hungarian people see it. 90% of them are calling for stronger border protection with Ukraine. 90% say that they should not interfere in Ukraine at any cost. 80% do not agree that the EU should have any involvement in the training of Ukrainian troops. Only a third of Hungarians think Russia is the clear culprit in the conflict. And so on.
How much more stridently anti-war attitudes would be in other European countries if there was normal free discussion and if it was measured.
Yet Hungarians are a rather combative people and do not have a great history of relations with Russia. How much more stridently anti-war attitudes would be in other European countries if there was normal free discussion and if it was measured. In the Czech Republic, for example, it emerged in June that only about a quarter of the population supported an active approach to the war in Ukraine (according to a STEM survey) and so the issue disappeared from the polls.
The same was the case with the expedition to Afghanistan. When the first survey in the Czech Republic showed that the vast majority of the public was against it, it was no longer investigated.