Russia exploits nationalist sentiments in Europe to put Ukraine at odds with its western neighbors - ISW
Russian propagandists appear to be fueling and seizing on neo-imperialist and nationalist sentiments in Europe in order to drive wedges between Ukraine and its western neighbors
The American Institute for the Study of War (ISW) report states this.
Analysts recall that recently, right-wing Hungarian politician and Our Homeland Movement party leader Laszlo Toroczkai stated that Hungary should claim Ukraine’s Zakarpattia region in the event of a Ukrainian defeat in the war.
Following him, right-wing Romanian politician and Alliance for the Union of Romanians party leader Claudiu Tarziu emphasized on January 29 that Romania needs to “reintegrate” areas of Ukraine neighboring Romania where Romanian populations lived in order to maintain sovereignty.
Experts believe that Russian sources amplified Toroczkai’s and Tarziu’s statements and emphasized these ultranationalist Romanian and Hungarian claims to Ukrainian territory.
Earlier, before the full-scale invasion, Russia proposed the idea of a “partitioned Ukraine” between Russia and the West prior to the full-scale invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior Russian officials reignited this narrative in December 2023 by claiming that Ukraine has historical “territorial disputes” with Poland, Romania, and Hungary but could maintain its “sovereignty” if the whole country is comprised of the borders of Lviv region.
The ISW emphasizes that the Russian ultranationalist framework of the Russian World (Russkiy Mir) concept appears to have gained traction among nationalist European factions as applied to their own nationalist ideologies.
"Russian information space actors likely seek to leverage this ideological bent to drive a wedge between Ukraine and its European neighbors," the Institute for War Studies concludes.