Tanks appear on the streets of Budapest following Berlin attack

Many Budapest residents were stunned to see tanks and other armoured vehicles in the streets of the Hungarian capital on Tuesday. The Counter-Terrorism Centre’s (TEK) personnel  were instructed to guard key commercial locations in central Budapest following Monday evening’s terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin, Germany. Hungary’s terror risk remains unchanged at “3”, but Minister of Interior Sándor Pintér ordered police to increase their presence on the busiest streets of the Hungarian capital. It’s certainly not an everyday occurrence that an armed vehicle rolls into Vörösmarty tér, Budapest’s ritzy commercial square. Each December, the square is home to Budapest’s annual Christmas market, with locals and tourists alike sipping malt wine and hot tea.

A tank in downtown Budapest on Tuesday. Photo: MTI.

A tank in Vörösmarty tér, downtown Budapest on Tuesday. Photo: Bálint/444.hu.

Tanks and armed officers have also appeared around Budapest’s main shopping centres, including in front of the Mammut Shopping Mall on the Buda side, near Széna tér. By the early afternoon, a third tank was seen rolling down one of Budapest’s main thoroughfares past the Keleti railway station, en route to the Aréna Pláza mall.

And the Hungarian Telegraphic Office (the main state-owned news agency, abbreviated as MTI) published photos of armed officers patrolling Váci utca and Vörösmarty Square.

János Marjai / MTI.

János Marjai / MTI.

Meanwhile Prime Minister Viktor Orbán wrote to German Chancellor Angela Merkel following Monday’s terrorist attack in Berlin, which claimed at least 12 lives and also injured at least one Hungarian national. “This was a severe attack not only against the people of Berlin, but against all of Europe and against our Christian values,” wrote Mr. Orbán, adding that Hungarian citizens share in the grief of those who lost loved ones in the attack.

As our readers will know, the attack took place in Berlin’s Charlottenburg district, near the bustling Kurfürstendamm boulevard, when a truck deliberately rammed into shoppers at the famous Christmas market. The attack bears a stark resemblance to the one in Nice, France this past summer.


  1. There are many ways to attack “Christian values”. One way is to drive into peaceful shoppers, with a truck filled with steel railings. Another way is to perpetuate an affinity fraud on those who endorse “Christian values”. The latter is Mr. Orbán’s approach. He and Putin prefer “soft power” – it’s easier to get away with, far less messy, and can help you to stay on top longer. It’s the weapon of choice in the post-modern world.

  2. If Orban’s ( Putin’s, Trump’s etc. ) values are the Christian, Western etc. values , then it is preferable to covert to Islam. Anway, it very well could have been a false-flag operation as well, in order to influence upcoming federal elections…

  3. If Orban’s ( Putin’s, Trump’s etc. ) values are the Christian, Western etc. values , then it is preferable to covert to Islam. By the way, it very well could have been a false-flag operation as well, in order to influence upcoming federal elections…

  4. They are protecting the Hungarian civilians, you are protecting the migrants — but who will protect you?

    • Richard

      It’s a good show to move around some big pieces, but the stark truth is that the TEK boys are primarily for show, actually they often come to steal the show from the police.
      The Hungarian services have also missed all of the few known terrorists who’d been here the last two years. And when they get something right (in the Pharaon case) Orban overrules them.
      So I am not sure about this protection. (And remember that when Orban starts protecting something it either ends in his pockets or is badly spoiled).

  5. Christian values and Orban ?! Please give me a break.
    In the Sicilian mafia there were many believers, but those didn’t make the mafia any better. In the Orban mafia there aren’t even believers.

    PS This is an old armored personnel carrier, not a tank.

  6. Observer,

    1.) You are only able to see the wrong side of everything when it comes to Orban or the Hungarian government. Not very objective.

    2.) To use Orban by unnecessarily painting him black as a base starting point and benchmark of anything that happens, even in such tragic cases as the destruction of the European/Western social civilization, can only lead to the complete loss of credibility of the speaker. You can put many of his words into someone else mouth and actions into someone else hand only to see they are true and good.

    3.) Slowly, slowly. You cannot see what will happen tomorrow, reality might belie you. Remember how many things happened that you accused Orban with only to see that it happened somewhere else and someone else did it.

    4.) This story is definitely not about Orban. You can’t cry Orban in every now and then, and can’t see the world through Orban glasses.
    I don’t!!!!!!! The world is not turning around Orban.

    • Richard,

      Unfortunately, the small, parochial Hungarian world is forced now to turn around Orban.

      I would like to something right coming out of Orban or his “government”, but, as you say, I’m unable to see what there isn’t. (Honest, I know a couple of good things, but I’m not telling).

      This is why they say that everything Orban touches turns s…t, and the list is very long, eg. last week – PISA results, Healthcare Insurance Fund (Eg.biz. kasza) mess.
      But hey, some bugs live on this stuff.

      • Richard 2

        And I can see roughly what will happen tomorrow, I kept warning that Orban in power with 2/3 will probably mean a constitutional putsch establishing a fascist regime.
        Here we are now.

        I also warned that this regime will bring an economic crisis to Hungary and here we are now, battling with Romania and Bulgaria for the bottom place.

        With the 6 year record one is better off assuming that anything this regime does is bad or corrupt or both, shifting the burden of proof.

        I have stated many times my rejection of mass migration, even of mass movement of refugees. But there are ways and means to achieve a goal and here the Orban regime’s acts are despicable.
        So it is 95% black and
        Orban delenta est.

  7. @ richard

    “you are protecting the migrants — but who will protect you”

    Good question Richard. I wondered about that myself. I came to the conclusion, that I’m the one best equipped to protect myself. I guess that makes me a Liberal.

    • If it is true and you can really do that then I agree, yes that’s where real liberalism is beginning. Protect and liberate yourself.

  8. Göllner and Christianity…. rofl.

  9. @ Liladiadal

    “Rofl” ?? Haven’t you been told by your Mama, that you should swallow your food before you open your mouth ?

  10. Observer,

    let’s get serious, it has nothing to do with Orban he has no remotest idea of security issues, in best case he only can nod yes and tell Pinter to do something. I travel and I saw this in many other countries, and many years ago I saw armed military personnel patrolling in Vienna on Graben.

    Imagine the outcry if they did nothing at least to try to prevent possible Christmas terrorist actions. He does it’s not good, he doesn’t it’s not good either.

    From our chair I don’t think we can tell whether he is pulling off a show as we are not SWAT specialists either. I can imagine that these few military personnel and armored vehicles are just the visible surface and there are dozens of armed plainclothes SWAT or police officers swarming all around.
    And many more that we can’t even guess.

    Anyway, I think it’s good to try to do something although when it comes to terrorist attacks I believe it’s simply impossible to prevent it unless they have intel. You have it you can act, you don’t have it it’s a matter of preparedness and mostly good luck.

  11. You people make me sick. “Might as well convert to islam” well, go ahead. While christians despise gays, islamists behead them. While christians despise cheaters, islamists beat them to death with rocks. These people are there to make sure muslims won’t feel like it’s their home, so they can’t do whatever they want.

  12. Look at the real photos.

    Concrete Blocks and Police Cordons: Christmas Markets in 2016 Europe


  13. Facepalm* its not a tank it is a BTR

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