Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Budapest on Tuesday to meet the leader some Hungarians cast as his alter ego — "Little Putin."
It's a striking moniker for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who rose to international prominence in the 1980s as an anti-Soviet student leader. His transformation into a populist who cozies up to the Kremlin and stifles dissent mirrors a broader eastern European narrative in which rebellion against Moscow has evolved into mixed feelings about the neighboring Russian giant. Leaders in Hungary, Serbia, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic all increasingly play a double game of courting EU riches while also flirting with Russian patronage.
Help the Ukrainians give Putin a bloody defeat in Donbas and that European flirting with Putin will end real fast.
Obviously, The Dignified Rant has the film clip of the meeting:
At 1/8 scale!
Apparently, some people just aren't ready for democracy and rule of law.
UPDATE: The Poles are not amused:
The prime minister of Poland, one of Europe's most critical voices on Russia, held what she called "honest and difficult talks" on Thursday with her Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban, who faces sharp criticism in the West for cultivating closer ties with Russia.
That makes sense. Orban is honestly difficult.