Fact Check: NO Evidence George Soros Is Paying The Hungarian Left To 'Drag The Country' Into Ukraine War


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Fact Check: NO Evidence George Soros Is Paying The Hungarian Left To 'Drag The Country' Into Ukraine War No Money Trail

Is U.S. billionaire George Soros financing a Hungarian left-wing effort to "drag the country" into the Russo-Ukrainian War? No, there is no evidence to support this claim: While a civic group that supports Hungary's left-of-center opposition has accepted donations from sources outside Hungary, there is no proof the money came from Soros. Moreover, there is no evidence that any opposition party has taken foreign cash, which would constitute a violation of Hungarian law.

The claim appeared in a video on TikTok (archived here) on April 6, 2023. Its creator, Dániel Bohár, is a partner of Megafon, a company that produces social-media content in support of Hungary's governing Fidesz party. At the outset of the clip, Bohár says:

Hungary should stay out of the Russian-Ukrainian war, which the left wing wants to drag the country into.

He reappears at the 2:28 mark of the video and admonishes viewers that the lives of the 125,000-strong ethnic-Hungarian minority in Ukraine's Transcarpathia region are endangered by:

every warmongering politician who, instead of peace and a ceasefire, demands sanctions and would send weapons to the Ukrainian-Russian war. I propose to everyone -- to the dollar-infused left wing and its financiers as well -- get it into your heads: We, the Hungarians, do not want anything to do with the war. We want to stay out of it, so don't bring it to either Hungary or Transcarpathia! (All translations by Lead Stories.)

When Bohár says the word "financiers," an animated image appears showing Soros showering opposition leaders with $100 bills.

This is what the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:

(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Fri May 12 14:20:02 2023 UTC)

The claim stems from a podcast-style interview that Péter Márki-Zay, the joint prime ministerial candidate for six opposition parties in Hungary's April 2022 elections, gave to the Magyar Hang news outlet in August 2022. At the outset, Márki-Zay said the Mindenki Magyarországa Mozgalom (Hungary for Everybody, MMM), a nonparty political movement that he leads, planned to publicly disclose its finances from the 2022 campaign. At the 1:44 mark, he revealed:

In mid-June, support of several hundreds of millions of [Hungarian] forints arrived from the United States... with that help, we were able to pay off the last bills from the campaign... It was many donations from many donors. It was, however, it was carried out by a foundation, Action for Democracy in America, which transferred [the money] to MMM.

When the interviewer asked if Soros, who was born in Hungary, was the source of the cash, Márki-Zay responded:

I don't believe George Soros, specifically, donated money to us.

MMM did not spend this money on "party finance" and therefore did not break Hungarian law, Márki-Zay added at 8:15.

In November 2022, commentators close to the governing Fidesz party revealed that Action for Democracy's online fundraising page had recorded only 11 donations, raising doubts about Márki-Zay's claim that MMM's cash had come from "many donors." (The number of recorded contributions has since risen to 14.)

In January 2023, the Hungarian government's National Information Center released report showing that MMM and related businesses had received nearly HUF 4.1 billion ($12 million) from Action for Democracy and a Switzerland-based foundation between September 2021 and July 2022 -- far exceeding the "hundreds of millions" of forints that Márki-Zay mentioned in his August interview.

Regardless of the real number of donors or the total sum contributed, there is no evidence that the money flowed from Soros' coffers -- or that Hungary's opposition parties are partaking in his largesse.

The claim that the Hungarian left wants to "drag the country" into the Ukraine war reflects numerous statements by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. His government has refused to send arms to Ukraine or allow shipments of lethal weapons to cross Hungarian territory. Meanwhile, several opposition politicians have voiced support for providing security assistance to Ukraine, as many of Hungary's NATO allies have done.

At 2:05 of an interview with Hungarian state radio on January 27, 2023, Orbán said:

The left-wing has said they will do what the international community says. So if the left wing were in government today, we, too, would be standing up to our necks in war... If you send weapons, if you finance the entire annual budget of one of the belligerents, if you promise more and more weapons, more and more modern weapons, then you can say whatever you want. No matter what you say, you are in the war.

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