Budapest went back in time early on Monday when activists replaced street names with ones from the communist era.
Call it a special welcome for Russian President Vladimir Putin, in town for the opening ceremony of the World Judo Championships.
The stunt was organized by Momentum, a movement that already made a name by halting Budapest’s bid to host the 2024 Olympics, calling it a waste of money.
Its activists are pro-European, and concerned about Putin’s second visit to Hungary this year.
Putin was invited as the honorary president of the International Judo Federation, but was also due to meet with Orban, a rare ally in the EU.
Momentum Movement: how Hungary’s youth is rising up against Russian influence https://t.co/iIAptDefVj pic.twitter.com/pl73lXNKka— euronews (@euronews) August 28, 2017“I don’t think we should have any common issues with Putin. It’s not about Russia or the Russian people, I simply do not agree with his politics,” one Momentum activist told Euronews.
Locals were divided about the visit.
“The world needs various poles of influence. I feel a certain sympathy towards Putin,” one man said.
“I totally disagree with the visit. This is Hungary, so the Hungarian leaders should be in charge,” said a woman.
“That’s the way it is. We can’t do anything. Prime Minister Orbán decides,” another one said.
Momentum activists handed out replicas of communist-era newspapers and also planned to project the EU flag from a hill overlooking the capital.