Earlier this week, we reported that civil activists Gergő Komáromy (more commonly known as G Ras) and Csongor Kiripolszky threw water-soluble paint-filled balloons at the monument to Soviet Liberators in Freedom Square. Why’d they do it? Because they wanted to protest Russia’s influence over Hungary.
The two activists were arrested on Monday, held overnight, and tried and convicted the next day. They were each fined HUF 30,000.
On Wednesday, this bizarre video was posted on YouTube:
“Good day! I am Mogamed from Grozny, Chechnya. An event took place recently, in which a man vandalized a memorial to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War. To be specific, he threw paint [at the memorial]. You can see the memorial over there. Yes. We mobilized yesterday for the purpose of tracking-down this citizen. We spoke about [the paint-throwing] with each other and both agreed that he would ask for forgiveness from those he hurt with this act. This citizen is now here with us and I will let him speak in English and Hungarian,” Mogamed said.
And, boy, did G Ras apologize.
“Hello friends! This is an honest apology to each and everyone who I hurt with this action. I’m really sorry for that. This was definitely a mistake, the target itself. With all of my actions in all of my life, what I want is to fight peacefully and nonviolently, but actively, against oppression, against injustice, but even more for love, for unity, for peace, for each and everyone — Hungarian, Russian, any kind of people, any kind of beings in this world. So, that’s why I’m really sorry because it was not my intention to cause bad feelings to anyone. What I really want for all of us is to unite in the name of peace and love and make this world a better place. So, thanks for the understanding and sorry, again. Let’s all work together for a better world,” G Ras said in English before switching to Hungarian and saying pretty much the same thing again.
According to an opinion piece published on Index.hu by journalist Gergely Nyilas,
“On April 20th, the Putinization of Hungary leaped forward more than ever before. tweet
The parallels had already been here, just instead of oil and gas, [the Hungarian] system was built up on stealing EU funds. The state was captured, then came the grinding-down of the press, the rewriting of the election law, then came the bald-headed [goons] to obstruct City Park activists and those trying to submit referendum questions, and now we are seeing the sanding-down of CEU and civil society organizations. tweet
But like it or not, at least we can say that until April 20th, all this was the product of frustration in Hungarian society. We made it like this, we too make it operate. tweet
But on April 20th, Mogamed from Chechnya arrived and showed us that it isn’t just the Putin handbook that is here: the reality of everyday Russian politics has arrived.” tweet
Nyilas continues his piece by explaining that it’s not uncommon in Russia for Chechen strongmen to pay visits to people who need to do some apologizing (opposition figures, journalists, etc) …