Hungarian opposition leader delivers aid to damaged Kyiv children's hospital


  • World
  • Wednesday, 10 Jul 2024

FILE PHOTO: Peter Magyar, former government insider and leader of the Respect and Freedom (TISZA) Party, speaks to media after voting at a polling station during European Parliament and municipal elections, in Budapest, Hungary, June 9, 2024. REUTERS/Marton Monus/File Photo

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungarian opposition politician Peter Magyar, the main challenger to Prime Minister Viktor Orban, delivered aid on Wednesday to the Kyiv children's hospital hit during Russian airstrikes this week.

Magyar's Tisza party raised about 15 million forints ($41,276.83) and collected medical supplies and food donated by Hungarians.

"This was a sudden decision after we saw the brutal Russian missile attack," Magyar told reporters before leaving for Kyiv.

A U.N. rights mission said on Tuesday there was a "high likelihood" Kyiv's main children's hospital took a direct hit from a Russian missile. The Kremlin said, without providing evidence, the hospital was hit by Ukrainian anti-missile fire.

Orban, a critic of Western military aid to Ukraine and the European Union leader with the warmest relations with Russia, se visited Kyiv and Moscow last week as part of what he calls a "peace mission". His meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin drew a strong rebuke from some European allies.

"The prime minister is allowed to travel the world and pretend that he is creating peace [...] but we believe in actions instead of flying around the world three times. We are different," Magyar said.

Magyar, whose party won nearly 30% of the Hungarian vote in a European Parliament election in June, said Orban should have visited Kyiv sooner but that one reason for the delay was a disagreement between Kyiv and Budapest over the rights of Ukraine's Hungarian minority.

Magyar said he agreed with the government that no arms shipments to Ukraine should go via Hungary or with its help, as this could make Ukraine's Hungarian community a target, but other countries had the sovereign right to send arms to Ukraine.

($1 = 363.4000 forints)

(Writing by Anita Komuves, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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