A Ukrainian journalist recently suggested that changing the ethnic composition of the Transcarpathia region adjacent to Hungary, where some 150,000 ethnic Hungarians live, should be accomplished through the relocation of internal refugees into the region to dilute the ethnic Hungarian population.
“The solution is really obvious. Start building housing in Transcarpathia for internally displaced people who have lost their homes due to the war and the occupation. We also need to help businesses move to towns and villages with a particularly large Hungarian population. In this way, the ethnic composition of the region will change, but no one’s rights will be affected,” Denis Kazansky wrote on Ukrainian news portal Novynarnia.
According to the Ukrainian journalist, it is not difficult to find 10,000 to 15,000 people willing to move to Transcarpathia. He said with only those small numbers, it would be enough to fix “the Hungarian problem.”
Hungary and Ukraine have been at odds even before the war began over the rights of ethnic Hungarians in the region of Transcarpathia, with the Ukrainian government restricting the language rights of those living in the region. However, due to Hungary’s stance on the war, which includes calling for an immediate ceasefire and refusing to send weapons to Ukraine, tensions have reached a boiling point.
“There will probably be thousands of residents from the former Bakhmut alone. The problem of jobs can also be solved. Today, many industries are moving from the east to the western regions, and a safe city close to the EU border is the best place to relocate a business. By the way, recently a large company in Kramatorsk, Furlender, which manufactures equipment for wind power plants, moved to Transcarpathia,” added Denis Kazansky, who went on to say that “Transcarpathia, in general, is a very undervalued region, despite its proximity to the European Union and it being the safest place in Ukraine.”
He also argued that “Uzhhorod (Ungvár, by its Hungarian name) still has only 112,000 inhabitants. It is the smallest regional center. I am sure that with proper state support, the population could easily grow to 300,000.”
As Remix News reported in January, the Ukrainian armed forces are increasingly turning to ethnic Hungarians living in the west of the country to fill the army’s battered ranks, with some critics worrying that the mass mobilization effort amounts to ethnic cleansing.