Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony (L) with Mayor of Bratislava Matúš Vallo, Mayor of Kiev Vitali Klitschko, Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski, and Mayor of Prague Zdeněk Hřib.
Gergely Karácsony, the Mayor of Budapest, arrived in Kyiv at the invitation of Vitali Klitschko, the Mayor of the Ukrainian capital, and the opposition politician did not fail to call out the Hungarian government for its point of view on the Ukrainian war.
Gergely Karácsony arrived together with the mayors of Bratislava, Prague, and Warsaw on an official visit to Ukraine. The Visegrád Four mayors are scheduled to meet not only the Mayor of Kyiv but also senior Ukrainian officials, the mayor of Bucha, where a horrible massacre occurred, and with senior EU diplomats.
According to the official statement, the aim of the visit to Kyiv is to review how the V4 capitals can provide infrastructural and humanitarian assistance to the city, which is suffering from Russian war aggression, and to the citizens of the Ukrainian capital.
The Mayor of Budapest reported about the visit on his Facebook page.
At an international press conference with city leaders, Karácsony expressed his solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the people of Kyiv who are, in his words, suffering from Russian aggression.
At the same time however, he had transgressed against the principle of neutrality required in his office when he started speaking out against the Hungarian government.
The Hungarian mayor declared that Budapest stands by Ukraine, adding that the Hungarian government is not the same as Hungary. “Although the Hungarian government often acts in the interests of the belligerent aggressor President Putin, millions of Hungarians, including many in Budapest, express solidarity with the attacked Ukraine in many ways and refuse to confuse the aggressor with the victim,” he said.
At least in this meeting, however, it can be said that Karácsony met the real Vitali Klitschko, unlike in a previous deepfake video call.
Last year, the Mayor of Budapest had a video chat with, whom he thought to be, his Ukrainian counterpart. Karácsony 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. Karácsony, whose English skills are rather rudimentary, did not notice that he fell victim to an impersonator for several minutes during the call.
Featured photo via Facebook/Gergely Karácsony