First Soviet Troops Leave Hungary to Fanfares and Good Riddances

United Press International

The first Soviet soldiers to leave Hungary under a withdrawal agreement signed over the weekend boarded a train for home Monday as a military band played the two countries' national anthems in a small town west of Budapest.

Protesters from the pro-democracy Federation of Young Democrats held a small protest. They waved signs saying, "Hurry Home to the Sunshine in Azerbaijan," referring to the southern republic where troops were sent to restore order, and "Go Home as Quickly as You Came," referring to the 1956 Soviet invasion.

Under an agreement signed in Moscow, two-thirds of the 49,700 Soviet troops in Hungary are to be out by the end of this year. All the troops are scheduled to be gone by June 30, 1991.

About 300 troops boarded the train here Monday.

Village Council President Ferenc Horvath said the entire population is glad to see them gone. "Our village had been like a front-line settlement for decades," he said. Billboards and power poles throughout the country have been plastered with posters showing the back of a stiff-necked Soviet officer with the Russian inscription: "Comrades, that's the end."

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World