Accessibility links

Breaking News

Watchdog

“The world is on the brink of an economic crisis. Hungary must stay outside of this war and must protect the families' material security," Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Facebook.

BUDAPEST -- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has imposed a new state of emergency in the country, citing the war in Ukraine, which he said “poses a threat to our physical security.”

Speaking in a video message posted on Facebook on May 24, Orban said no one can see an end to the war, which began three months ago when Russia invaded Ukraine.

“This war means a constant danger to Hungary. It poses a threat to our physical security. It threatens our economy and our families in terms of energy supplies and material security," Orban said.

The war and the sanctions imposed by the European Union have led to huge economic turbulence and drastic price increases, he said.

“The world is on the brink of an economic crisis. Hungary must stay outside of this war and must protect the families' material security," he added.

The state of emergency, which is to begin at midnight, enables the government “to react with all available instruments to protect Hungary and Hungarian families,” he said.

Hungary already is under a state of emergency that was declared because of COVID-19, but it is due to expire on May 31.

New rules that will be in effect under the change will be announced on May 25, Orban said.

Shortly before the announcement, the Hungarian parliament amended the constitution to allow for such a measure.

Orban's Fidesz party, which won reelection on April 3, commands a two-thirds majority in the chamber.

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ) denounced the declaration, saying the state of emergency "has become permanent."

The move gives Orban "more leeway than usual," allowing him to "restrict or simply suspend everybody's fundamental rights," TASZ said.

Orban, in power for 12 years, has been accused by his Western partners of abuses of power in his country, a member of both the European Union and NATO.

With reporting by AFP
Veronika Belotserkovskaya

A court in Moscow has issued an arrest warrant for a food blogger and magazine founder for allegedly "spreading fake news" about the Russian military.

The Basmanny district court announced its decision on May 24 to arrest Veronika Belotserkovskaya, who founded the St. Petersburg magazine and website Sobaka. Belotserkovskaya currently lives in France.

On March 16, Russia's Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the Ukrainian-born Belotserkovskaya, who blogs under the name Belonika, for allegedly spreading false news about the Russian Army on her Instagram account, which has almost 950,000 subscribers.

She was accused of publishing several Instagram posts containing "deliberately false information about the armed forces of the Russian Federation's destruction of cities and civilians in Ukraine, including children, during a special military operation."

Some of the posts cited the coverage of the war by Western news agencies and media outlets.

Russia's media regulator, Roskomnadzor, has strictly limited access to information about the war in Ukraine launched by Russia on February 24 and directed media to describe events in Ukraine as a “special military operation” and not a war or an invasion.

On May 14, Russian authorities added Belotserkovskaya to the wanted list.

Following the opening of the criminal case against her in March, Belotserkovskaya transferred ownership of Sobaka to its employees.

Load more

About This Blog

"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.

Subscribe

Journalists In Trouble

RFE/RL journalists take risks, face threats, and make sacrifices every day in an effort to gather the news. Our "Journalists In Trouble" page recognizes their courage and conviction, and documents the high price that many have paid simply for doing their jobs. More

XS
SM
MD
LG