Beginning March 21, large numbers of citizens in the Hungarian-minority inhabited Subcarpathia region of Ukraine have received “hate texts” on their phones. The Hungarian-language local news portal Karpatalja.ma obtained the vile message targeting ethnic Hungarians: “Ukraine belongs to Ukrainians. Glory to the Nation! Death to the Enemy! Knife the Hungarians!” Zoltán Babják, mayor of Berehovo/Beregszász, has urged the populace to ignore these, saying officials are investigating the provocation. Meanwhile, there have been numerous air raid sirens in the province as more people from western Ukraine continue to seek refuge in Subcarpathia and Hungary.
President Zelensky has indicated a willingness to reconsider minority language rights apparently for the Hungarian community as well, restricted since 2014. In an interview with Suspilne (СУСПІЛЬНЕ) on March 21, the Ukrainian president mentioned Hungarians, saying “it is important that we talk about things like this…” referring to their long-standing appeal to have language rights reinstated. It turns out that on March 21 Ukraine joined the European Association of National Language Institutions, also signaling an apparent willingness to now support multi-lingualism and minority languages.