The green party mayor of Budapest was happy to meet his Ukrainian counterpart. Earlier this year, he was hoaxed by Russian pranksters and had an awkward conversation with a fake Vitali Klitchko.
“A long-awaited face-to-face meeting with Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko,” Gergely Karácsony, Budapest’s green party mayor wrote on Facebook on Monday, sharing a selfie with the Ukrainian politician.
Both attended a summit of the Pact of Free Cities in Prague, which was formed by the Mayors of the Visegrád Four capitals (Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, and Bratislava) and was later joined by a number of cities, including Kiev.
Earlier this year, Karácsony had a video chat with his Ukrainian counterpart, or at least he thought so. Budapest’s Mayor wrote in a Facebook post in June that most of the video chat was “a relevant conversation about the war against Ukraine and the refugee crisis, and towards the end of the call there were several odd, suspiciously provocative questions, which led me to end the call well ahead of schedule.” After the call, Kiev confirmed that he was indeed not speaking to Vitali Klitchko.
The video conversation was released in August by Russian pranksters Vovan and Lexus. Neither Karácsony, nor his translator (the mayor admitted before that his English skills are “hyper passive”) noticed that they fell victim to deepfake manipulation. Karácsony had criticized the Hungarian government’s stance on the EU sanctions during the call.
Featured photo via Facebook/Karácsony Gergely