Anna Nemtsova reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin has some key allies in the European Union. In some countries, they are outliers, even fringe elements. In some, like France and the Netherlands, they made impressive bids for power before, finally, they failed. But in Hungary, a nation of about 10 million people east of Austria, west of Ukraine, and north of the Balkans, Putin’s soulmate is the prime minister, Viktor Orban.
As with so many Putin allies and apologists (including in the United States) Orban made the fight against immigration a centerpiece of his agenda. And he then went one better by identifying another Hungarian as the personification of evil “liberalism.”
Last month Hungary hosted a unique conference for persecuted Christians. Orban opened the conference by scolding Europe for, “denying its Christian roots” and for allowing in “dangerous extremists.”
The billionaire George Soros, once a supporter of Orban, is now identified publicly and ubiquitously as his number one enemy. In a recent public statement Orban called the world’s biggest philanthropist “Satan,” claiming that the developer of one of the best Hungarian universities wants to destroy Europe by letting in Muslim immigrants.
That statement made many alt-right supporters happy, both in Hungary and in Russia. One of the eminences grises of the Kremlin, Vladislav Surkov, wrote in his column on Monday: “Things that acquire a national scale in the United States become a global trend outside its borders.” [Continue reading…]