“Nuke them!” – this was one of the most shocking shouts that could be heard during a pro-Putin, pro-Russia demonstration today afternoon in Budapest. The venue was originally Heroes’ Square, but, for some reason, the organisers modified it. Thus, they gathered in the Hungarian capital’s heart, in Freedom (Szabadság) Square. Interestingly, a WWII Soviet monument is there, but so is the Embassy of the USA. Moreover, there was a pro-Ukraine demonstration nearby.
According to Blikk, the pro-Ukraine protest started just after the pro-Russia demonstration finished. The Hungarian news outlet said there were fewer people at the pro-Russian event. Somebody decorated the Soviet memorial in Szabadság (Freedom) Square with tiny Hungarian and Ukrainian flags. These were replaced with Russian ones before the demonstration started.
The pro-Russian protest started with speeches. The speakers said that Hungarian peacekeepers should protect the interests of Hungarians living in Transcarpathia. Furthermore, they welcomed the autonomy of Russians and asked the government to acknowledge that. Finally, they stressed that the USA was responsible for the war.
People shouted anti-Ukrainian slogans into the loudspeakers. Some said that the Ukrainians gave only a few poets to the world, and that is all. Others replied: “Nuke them!” The demonstrators hailed Putin, Transcarpathia, Hungary, and booed Ukraine, Zelenskiy, and the peace treaty of Trianon.
One of the speakers said that Hungarians are suffocating from Western propaganda. He believed that a financial background power uses NATO to gain control over the resources of Russia. Others said Putin had no other choice but to attack Ukraine. They highlighted Russia’s interests had to be considered by other powers.
The first venue of the pro-Russian demonstration was Heroes’ Square, but the organisers changed it.
Interestingly, there was a pro-Ukraine demonstration just a couple of blocks away, with Ukrainian and Hungarian speeches, Blikk wrote. The Ukrainian Cultural Association in Hungary and the Jednisty Asociaciya Association organised it on Vértanúk tere (Martyrs’ Square).
Hundreds gathered there with Ukrainian flags. The first speaker reminded the protestors that in 1932 and 1933, the Russians carried out genocide against the Ukrainians by starving 3-7 million people to death. He said that the same Russians came to Ukraine with rockets and tanks. He added that the Hungarian parliament should stand behind Ukraine because the fate of the two peoples is the same, and Hungary also has martyrs.
Actress Kriszta Szalai also talked during the protest. She highlighted that only the politicians play games. The people of Hungary are with Ukraine. “We are with you,” she concluded.