Kidnapped and brought to the front: Angry relatives attack Ukrainian recruitment center demanding release of forced draftees in Hungarian minority region

Recruiters are rounding up men in key regions and cities, such as Transcarpathia and Odessa, and leaving cities like Kyiv alone

Relatives demand the discharge of Ukrainian soldier in Kyiv. (MTI/EPA)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

Protesting relatives of force draftees erected barricades in front of a recruitment center in the Hungarian-minority Transcarpathia region, demanding the discharge of their husbands and sons.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the spirit of 1944 is once again haunting Transcarpathia now in 2024. Then, tens of thousands of Hungarian and German men were deported by the Soviet invaders to the “Malenky robot” (i.e., forced labor), and today, regardless of their nationality, local men are being taken to a war they have nothing to do with. What is striking, however, is that Kyiv is conducting a regular manhunt in the mixed population of Transcarpathia, comparable only to that in the Romanian-inhabited Chernivtsi and the Russian-speaking Odessa. The question is why? Are we witnessing another chapter in the policy of displacement?

It is well known that, unlike in Transcarpathia, there is no similar operation in Kyiv, for example, and men there dare to go out on the streets.

Masked and armed commandos from the interior of Ukraine regularly make “guest appearances” in Transcarpathia. Most recently, men of conscript age were taken from the historic center of Uzhhorod.

Of course, they “raid” not only the streets of Uzhhorod but also those of other cities. From Berehovo and Oleh, they have recently rounded up everyone they found on the streets. According to local reports, some were even beaten half to death for resisting the unconstitutional procedure, or, to put it simply, kidnapping.

In the area around Nagyszőlős, the army reinforcements rounded up several conscripted Roma from the local Roma community, but they did not expect this to result in a small-scale uprising. It turned out that not only healthy young people, but even men who were known to be ill, were taken from the market in Ilonokújfalu. The Roma did not hesitate and attacked the military building of the recruitment center in Nagyszőlős.

After the protest action, the Transcarpathian Regional Police issued a statement saying that the protesters could face up to seven years in prison. Interestingly, the Ukrainian authorities adhered to the Soviet legacy. In Russia, it is still customary for the security services to force perpetrators to publicly apologize, usually recorded on video. This was no different in this case. The women had to apologize on camera and say that they did not really mean to do what they did.

SOURCES:Magyar Nemzet
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