A fabricated quote has been circulating online attributed to the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban saying, in response to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s appeals for help following Russia’s invasion, that he did not want to “lose” Hungary to “an idiot who made [sic] a massacre” in Europe.
The alleged quote attributed to Orban reads: “I don’t care about the States and #Ukraine. I am a Hungarian by nationality, and I do not want to lose my country because of an idiot who made a massacre in the centre of Europe, and with whom, with Russia.”
A Twitter user posted a photo of the Prime Minister Viktor Orban along with a caption reading: “#Hungarian PM Viktor #Orban responding to #Zelensky’. (here).
One user said on Twitter: “Ok. Thank you for joining the EU. I think you will be able to see yourself out” (here).
Another comment in response to the claim reads: “I think it's about time Hungary and Turkey got kicked out of EU and Nato” (here).
Other iterations of the claim online can be found here: (here), (here), (here), (here), and (here).
Reuters found no evidence that any such comment was made by Orban. A spokesperson for the International Communications Office of the Hungarian Government told Reuters the prime minister had not said the words attributed to him in the alleged quote.
“The quote attributed to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán does not belong to him. The tweet you are referring to is fake news,” the spokesperson told Reuters.
Reuters could not find the quote on any official websites or in any transcripts of the Prime Minister’s speeches.
An advanced search on Twitter in English and Hungarian did not yield any source for the alleged quote (archive.ph/WFB6W), (archive.ph/whp4Y).
Similarly, an advanced Google search in English and Hungarian did not reveal any source of the alleged quote (archive.ph/nRLgp), (archive.ph/nRLgp).
However, a Twitter search in Russian revealed another iteration of the same alleged quote posted on March 27 (archive.ph/sStrD).
The iteration in Russian cites the alleged context of the quote as: “Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban responded to Mr. Zelensky’s claims about military assistance.”
A day earlier, Viktor Orban did give an interview to the outlet M1 in which he responded to President Zelensky’s comments calling for military assistance and sanctions against Moscow, but the alleged quote circulating online cannot be found among Orban’s remarks (here), (here).
Responding to Zelenskiy’s comments, Orban said: “So in the first place we should understand Ukraine’s president, that he wants in this situation that the whole world not only share his pain and help the refugees but also take Ukraine’s position as its own and be involved. And he requests that NATO step in, that commit to air combat, send weapons and I understand that because for Ukrainians this is an understandable point of view. But we are not Ukrainians, we are not Russians, we are Hungarians.”
“As for the question is where Hungary stands – it stands at Hungary’s side,” Orban also said.
No evidence. Reuters did not find any evidence to suggest that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he did not want to “lose” Hungary to “an idiot who made [sic] a massacre” in Europe.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.