On June 16, The New York Times published an article about the Hungarians of Transcarpathia. According to the Hungarian newspaper Index, a Times journalist attended an event marking the 102nd anniversary of the Trianon Peace Treaty in the village of Geche. At the beginning of the article, the American correspondent drew readers’ attention to the fact that although she was in Ukraine, the Hungarian historical monument was decorated not with the yellow and blue flag of Ukraine, but with red and white and green – the colors of the Hungarian flag.
According to the report, the Ukrainian government is increasingly concerned about the loyalty of Transcarpathian Hungarians to the Hungarian government’s controversial policy regarding the Russian invasion. The correspondent also complained that most Hungarians of Transcarpathia watch Hungarian state television, which „often broadcasts the Russian narrative” to its viewers.
The journalist lists anti-Ukrainian conspiracies, referring to anonymous Ukrainians. He also mentions an interview with Gyula Fodor, vice-rector of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute named after Ferenc Rakoczi II. The vice-rector denies the veracity of the content of the article about him. According to him, he had a private conversation with the journalist, whom he did not give permission to use and publish what had been said. He wrote:
„In addition to the above-mentioned gross violation of journalistic ethics and moral norms, Erica Solomon did not convey the information in a way that would correspond to what had been said during the conversation. The passages she published are short, out-of-context statements that do not seem to agree with what was actually said during the private conversation on June 4.”
The full statement of Gyula Fodor can be read HERE.
This is not the first time the New York Times has provided distorted information about local Hungarians. In 2018, one of the newspaper’s journalists spent a week in Transcarpathia to investigate the situation of Hungarians in Transcarpathia. The American correspondent spoke with the president of the Rakoczi Institute Ildiko Orosz and vice-rector Gyula Fodor. However, the interviews he conducted were not fully covered, he published them according to his own interpretation, with a lot of anti-Hungarian connotations. In response, the institute’s management released a full recording of the interview and debunked the author’s misinformation in an additional informational article.
Photo: Diego Ibarra Sanchez/The New York Times