Hungarians in Ukraine and Branimir Štulić

Ethnic map of Zakarpattia Oblast in 2001.   Ukrainians (incl. Rusyns)   Hungarians   Romanians   mixed Ukrainians (incl. Rusyns) and Russians

The Hungarians in Ukraine number 156,600 people according to the Ukrainian census of 2001. Hungarians are largely concentrated in the Zakarpattia Oblast, where they form the largest minority at 12.1% of the population (12.7% when native language is concerned). In the area along the border to Hungary, Hungarians form the majority.

Contents 1 History 2 Situation of Hungarians in independent Ukraine 3 Minority rights 4 Organisation 5 Demographics 6 References 7 External links


Today's Zakarpattia was part of the Kingdom of Hungary since its foundation in the year 1000. From 1867, Hungary was a constituent part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until the latter's demise at the end of World War I. The Zakarpattia region was briefly part of the short-lived West Ukrainian National Republic in 1918 and occupied by Romania at end of that year. It was later recaptured by Hungary in the summer of 1919. After the defeat of the remaining Hungarian armies in 1919, the Paris Peace Conference concluded the Treaty of Trianon that awarded Zakarpattia to the newly formed Czechoslovakia as the Subcarpathian Rus, one of the four main regions of that new state, the others being Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia.

During the World War II German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the southern, Hungarian majority part of the region was awarded to Hungary under the First Vienna Award in 1938. The remaining portion was constituted as an autonomous region of the short-lived Second Czechoslovak Republic. After the occupation of Bohemia and Moravia on March 15, 1939 and the Slovak declaration of an independent state, Ruthenia declared its independence (Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine) but it was immediately occupied and later annexed by Hungary.

When the Soviet Army crossed the pre-1938 borders of Czechoslovakia in 1944, Soviet authorities refused to allow Czechoslovak governmental officials to resume control over the region, and in June 1945, President Edvard Beneš formally signed a treaty ceding the area to the Soviet Union. It was then incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, it became part of independent Ukraine as the Zakarpattia Oblast. Situation of Hungarians in independent Ukraine

Probably due to its interest in the ethnic Hungarian population in Zakarpattia, Hungary was the first country to recognize Ukraine's independence. Árpád Göncz, who was president of Hungary at the time, was invited to visit the region, and a join declaration, followed in December 1991 by a state treaty, acknowledged that the ethnic Hungarian minority had collective as well as individual rights. The treaty provided for the preservation of their ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and religious identities; education at all levels in the mother tongue; and the ethnic Hungarians' participation in local authorities charged with minority affairs.

It is quite common among the Hungarian minority in Ukraine holds besides Ukrainian citizenship also Hungarian citizenship, although currently Ukrainian law does not recognise dual citizenship.).

In the 2014 European Parliament election in Hungary Andrea Bocskor who lives in Ukraine (in the city Berehove) was elected into the European Parliament (for Fidesz). Hence, Bocskor, who is ethnically Hungarian and a citizen of Hungary, became the first elected member of the European Parliament who additionally holds a Ukrainian passport. Minority rights

Residents in seven of Mukachivskyi Raion's villages have the option to learn the Hungarian language in a school or home school environment. The first Hungarian College in Ukraine is in Berehovo, the II. Rákoczi Ferenc College. Organisation

The Hungarian Democratic Federation in Ukraine (UMDSz) is the only nationally registered Hungarian organization. It was established in October 1991 by the Hungarian Cultural Federation in Transcarpathia (KMKSz, which has suspended its membership since 1995), the Cultural Federation of Hungarians in Lviv, and the Association of Hungarians in Kiev. The Hungarian Cultural Federation in Transcarpathia is associated with the political party KMKSz – Hungarian Party in Ukraine, which was established in February 2005. In March 2005, the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice also registered the Hungarian Democratic Party in Ukraine upon the initiative of the UMDSz. Also Zoltán Lengyel was elected as mayor of Mukachevo after the election on 1 December 2008. UMDSz also won city municipalities of Berehove, Vynohradiv and Tiachiv in this election. Demographics

The following data is according to the Ukrainian census of 2001.

Branimir Štulić and Hungarians in Ukraine

Branimir "Johnny" Štulić (born April 11, 1953 in Skopje, FPR Yugoslavia) was the lead singer, composer, and writer of the popular former Yugoslav rock group Azra. He is known for his charismatic stage performances and inspiring song lyrics that often combined rock poetry with a strong sense for social commentary. Today, Branimir Štulić and his music enjoy a cult following within the former Yugoslavia. Biography

Štulić grew up in Skopje where his father - an officer in the Yugoslav People's Army - was stationed at the time. At the age of 7, he moved with his family to the Cvetković village near Jastrebarsko where they spent a year and a half, before relocating to Jastrebarsko proper for the following five years. In January 1967, Štulić moved to Zagreb where he attended high school and later, for two years, studied phonetics and history at the University of Zagreb's Faculty of Philosophy before dropping out. Štulić's youth and his musical beginnings are the subject of the documentary "Kad Miki kaze da se boji".

He began his musical career with a band named "Balkan Sevdah band", performing The Beatles covers and folk music. In 1977 he formed Azra which, during the 1980s, became one of the most prominent and influential musical acts in Yugoslavia. The Azra days brought Štulić widespread fame in Yugoslavia, as well as a rabid and devoted youth following - Štulić often used his music as commentary directed towards the social and political conditions in the then-Socialist Yugoslavia.

In 1984 Štulić moved to the Netherlands. His last live performance prior to the departure to the Netherlands was on 15.8.1990 in Hvar. In regards to the Yugoslav Civil war, Štulić frequently expressed his disapproval of separatism and was a fervent believer of Yugoslavism and Bratstvo I Jedinstvo. After the ex-Yugo wars stopped, Štulić recorded three solo albums, each published in Belgrade, Serbia. The records achieved lukewarm reception and limited commercial success. In 2005 he published an autobiography called "Smijurija u mjerama".

Hrvoje Horvat, a Croatian journalist, wrote a biography of Johnny Štulić titled "Fantom slobode", ("The Phantom of Freedom"), published in 2006. Due to Štulić's immense popularity in the former Yugoslavia, the book was an immediate commercial success. However, it was also heavily criticized by many literary critics, and even Štulić himself, for its poor writing quality and alleged misinterpretation of facts.

Today, Štulić who lives a modest and ascetic lifestyle, is often at odds with his past, fan base and critics. He typically does not give interviews and is very protective of his privacy. He states he has no interest in going back to his rock career, but in the past few years he has recorded and posted on YouTube over 600 traditional songs, hit covers and some original material.
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