Vladimir Putin received the title of honorary citizen from the University of Debrecen back in 2017.
In the summer of 2017, Vladimir Putin was awarded the Civis Honoris Causa, the title of Honorary Citizen of the University of Debrecen. The decision was made by the Senate, on the proposal of Rector Szilvássy.
The title of Honorary Citizen can be awarded to a national or foreign person who “has contributed to the strengthening of the reputation of the University (…) through their work, moral or financial support”.
According to eduline.hu, the Russian president “earned” the title with the Paks II project, as “the Hungarian government” and the Russian Federation intend to give a significant role to the University of Debrecen in the project. The University of Debrecen not only participates in the training of Paks II specialists but also
“carries out additional complementary activities such as the training of teachers and instructors who provide primary and secondary, and, of course, higher education for the children of Russian specialists coming to Hungary”.
Already in 2017, there were protests against Putin’s honorary citizenship title. The university’s senate supported the idea with a 90% majority, but the minutes obtained by hvg.hu also revealed that the electronic voting was not attended by the full number of members. According to the document, “more than 60 per cent of the senate members voted”. A total of 57 voted, 3 against and 3 abstained.
However, as we can read in Telex’s article, it is noteworthy that the Civis Honoris Causa award does not include Vladimir Putin’s name on the university’s website. Though, if the page’s update data is to be believed, it was not just deleted but was not there already in August 2021.
Telex tried to search for the name “Putin” on the university’s current website – without success. Of course, this could be due to a data loss or other technical error when switching from the old website to the current one because there are three hits for the Russian president’s name when typing the name into the search engine of the old website.
However, Vladimir Putin was not found in the list of honorary citizens in the old version either.
Source: Telex, eduline.hu, hvg.hu