Upstart opposition party Momentum welcomed Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin to Budapest on Monday by placing large stickers over street signs to show the original communist-era names. Putin’s visit coincides with the opening ceremony of the 2017 Suzuki World Judo Championships. Media reports suggest he will use the occasion to meet privately with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
Putin’s latest visit is his second to Budapest in 2017 and his sixth in four years.
Momentum’s activists set about placing the communist-era name stickers over street signs early Monday morning.
Fővám Square’s sign was covered with a sticker reading Dimitrov Square, Lehel Square became Workers’ Square, Erzsébet Square became Sztálin Square, Ferenciek Square became Liberation Square, Ludovika Square became Béla Kun Square, Nyugati Square became Marx Square, Oktogon became November 7th Square, Király Street became Majakovszkij Street, and the Erzsébet and Teréz Boulevards became Lenin Boulevard.
Momentum activists also distributed copies of Soviet-era newspapers near Budapest subway underpasses to let Hungarians know about the historic ties between Hungary and Russia.
One copy read: “Soviet party and government delegation led by Leonid Brezhnev arrives in our homeland”. The stamp over the text reads, “Let’s not allow for this to happen again!”