The moment when the very last Soviet soldiers left their Hungarian headquarters on June 19, 1991, aired on national television for the first time. The recordings were made by László Zámbó, who sat in his Trabant and immortalized the moment that the whole country waited decades for.

László Zámbó recorded the last Soviet trucks leaving Budapest, and also the troops’ commander, Viktor Silov leaving his mansion. The videos aired on RTL Klub on Saturday night, reports

During the show in which the videos were shown, the man said he waited for two nights and almost three whole days so he could record the historical moments.

The next day, Zámbó went to the headquarters and looked around. “Hideous, what they left behind, dirt and disarray. The Russian soldiers undressed, took their uniforms off, and hang it on the fence. Whatever they could get, civil clothes, they scattered. They did not want to go home, they obviously knew they could have a better life here,” he said.
The man was there as well when Viktor Silov left his mansion. The Lieutenant General, upon noticing the camera, went back to the building, then eventually got himself to leave: he stepped onto the street, locked the door, swinging his umbrella he walked to his Volga and took off to Záhony. He left the country the same afternoon.

RTL Klub tried to get in contact with him, but the ex-soldier did not want to give them an interview.

The then-Prime Minister, Miklós Németh, came to an agreement with Mihail Gorbacsov about the decades-long “temporarily” stationing Russian troops’ withdrawal in March 1989, but they did not go public with the decision.

The first 10,000 soldiers left Hungary in March that same year, and a year later an official agreement was reached, which stated that all soldiers and vehicles would leave the country.

In the video, after introducing the topic, they talk about the famous Hungarian song “Bye-Bye Szása,” which was inspired by these events. After that, they interviewed people, such as Miklós Németh, who was the Prime Minister at the time and asked about what memories they have of the “temporary residency” of the Soviets and Russians.
Throughout the video, many recordings of Hungary at the time are shown. They also explain that the Russians came here during the Second World War, then in 1956 more came to fight off the Hungarian resistance. And although there was an agreement that they would only stay temporarily, they were here for over three decades.
We can see the soldiers leaving in the video around 5:30 as well as the conditions they left. At 8:40 we can see Viktor Silov turning back at his gate, before finally leaving his mansion – and Hungary.
Featured image: László Zámbó / RTL Klub Fókusz Plusz


1 comment
  1. A wonderful and happy moment for Hungary after such a long time in the grips of Communism. It is a pitty that a recording isn’t in the process of being made of Gyurcsány and his wife leaving Hungary along with his hypocritical party members. Leaving Hungary in peace so that people can get on with their lives.

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