Hungarian Mayor Saves Cancelled pro-Ukraine Concert

The Hungarian government's attempt to scrap a concert to raise funds for Ukraine was foiled by an independent mayor, local media reported on Sunday.

Ukrainian artists from and outside Ukraine have been organizing a European charity concert tour, "Life will win", featuring well-known Ukrainian actors, singers and artists like Pianoboy, Wellboy or Kvartal 95 Studio, and including former colleagues of Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskiy in his television series Servant of the People.

The concert was planned to take place on Thursday, June 16, at an upscale Budapest venue.

Castlegarden Bazaar, a prestigious site, was primarily renovated with EU funds and, since its inauguration in 2014, it has become a favourite event venue of the governing Fidesz party, hosting international conferences and PM Viktor Orban's State of the Nation addresses, besides fashion shows, exhibitions and outdoor events.

BIRN asked the management of Castlegarden Bazaar on Monday why the planned concert had been abruptly cancelled but received no answer by the time of publication.

However, Prime Minister Orban has traded bitter barbs with Ukraine and President Zelensky since Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

In May, Zelenskiy criticized Hungary's refusal to support an oil embargo against Russia, when it is known that revenues from energy sales are used to finance the Kremlin's war machine.

Orban also said supplying Ukraine with weapons, which Hungary, alone among Ukraine's EU neighbours, has refused to do, would also make the country a Russian military target, while sanctioning Russian energy imports would cripple Hungary's own economy.

Meanwhile, the concert was saved at the last minute by Krisztina Baranyi, an...

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