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Hungary–Russia relations refer to bilateral foreign relations between the two countries, Hungary and Russia. After the Second World War, Hungary and the Soviet Union became economic and military allies; both were signatories of the Warsaw Pact. The relations between both countries were damaged in 1956 due to the Soviet intervention in the revolution occurring in Hungary. However both countries reestablished diplomatic relations after the breakup of the USSR.
Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Hungary and the Soviet Union
The People's Republic of Hungary (Magyar Népköztársaság) was the official state name of Hungary from 1949 to 1989 during its Communist period under the guidance of the Soviet Union. Following the Soviet occupation of Hungary after World War II, the Soviets set up a police system that persecuted all opposition through direct force and propaganda, hoping this would lead to a Communist victory in the elections of 1946 . Despite these efforts, the Hungarian Communist Party came in third place in the elections, prompting the Soviets to directly impose a puppet government the following year. The next few years were spent consolidating power, using the ÁVH secret police to suppress political opposition through intimidation, false accusations, imprisonment and torture. The worst of the repression came under the rule of Mátyás Rákosi. At the height of his rule, Rákosi developed a strong cult of personality. Dubbed the "bald murderer", Rákosi imitated Stalinist political and economic programs, resulting in Hungary experiencing one of the harshest dictatorships in Europe. He described himself as "Stalin's best Hungarian disciple" and "Stalin's best pupil". After Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" denouncing Stalin's cult of personality, Rákosi was ultimately removed from power and replaced by the reformist Imre Nagy, who attempted to take Hungary out of the Soviet bloc. This led to the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, which was brutally crushed by the Soviets. Following the crushing of the revolution, the Soviets instituted János Kádár as the leader of Hungary. After an initial period of repressions against the revolutionaries, Kádár implemented a more moderate form of communism, which he referred to as "Goulash Communism." He would rule until 1988, when he was removed from power just before the "revolution" that ended Communism in Hungary.
Hungary and the Russian Federation
Since 1991, Hungarian-Russian relations have improved constantly. Following the Russian military intervention in Ukraine in 2014, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán rejected the Russian sanctions despite European Union pressure.
In 2017, Vladimir Putin visited Budapest to meet with Orbán to discuss bilateral ties. As a response to the reaction to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the United Kingdom, in April 2018, one Hungarian embassy staffer was expelled from Russia.
- Wettig, Gerhard (2008), Stalin and the Cold War in Europe, Rowman & Littlefield, p. 51, ISBN 0-7425-5542-9
- UN General Assembly Special Committee on the Problem of Hungary (1957) "Chapter II.N, para 89(xi) (p. 31)" (PDF). (1.47 MiB)
- Sugar, Peter F., Peter Hanak and Tibor Frank, A History of Hungary, Indiana University Press, 1994, ISBN 0-253-20867-X, page 375-77
- Granville, Johanna, The First Domino: International Decision Making during the Hungarian Crisis of 1956, Texas A&M University Press, 2004. ISBN 1-58544-298-4
- Gati, Charles, Failed Illusions: Moscow, Washington, Budapest, and the 1956 Hungarian Revolt, Stanford University Press, 2006 ISBN 0-8047-5606-6, page 9-12
- Matthews, John P. C., Explosion: The Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Hippocrene Books, 2007, ISBN 0-7818-1174-0, page 93-4
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