New Yorkers are extremely confused by the giant banner of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s face that found its way to the Manhattan Bridge.
The banner arrived on Thursday afternoon and depicts Putin’s portrait along with the word “Peacemaker.”
It was only up for about an hour before police officers removed it, but the real question is why on earth was it there in the first place?
Some people saw the banner as it was being unfurled by “two guys.”
“We were just at our desks, we have some large windows from our office and we just saw it going up,” Quinn Formel — whose office building in Dumbo faces the Manhattan Bridge — reportedly told the New York Post.
“These two guys … they were struggling for a little bit, but eventually got it [the banner] up,” he said.
Putin propaganda popping up on American soil is an issue for several reasons, the main one being that the United States and Russia are not on the friendliest of terms.
Furthermore, there is an ongoing conspiracy theory that Russia is trying to influence U.S. elections, and there’s a belief that Donald Trump is acting as a surrogate for his good pal Putin.
It is pretty coincidental, after all, that the banner was hung in Trump’s home state.
The concern was also raised that Russia was behind the recent Democratic National Committee hacking scandal, which revealed the organization’s plans to sabotage Vermont senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.
While there has been no official explanation for this random stunt, the Twittersphere wasted no time weighing in on who they think is responsible.
Of course, both of the U.S. presidential candidates’ names were tossed around quite a bit.
Aww, how sweet - Trump hung a banner supporting his BFF Putin from the Manhattan Bridge. pic.twitter.com/5dXgqhZPWF— Phillydude (@Fairwinds10) October 6, 2016
Hillary supporters are so predictable. https://t.co/ijcz9qlkPf— Anthony Weiner (@AnthonyVVeiner) October 6, 2016
Now, Putin, you've gotta stop wishing you were the black guy in charge.... "Manhattan Bridge"— SantanaNyla-aka-Dawn (@dawnparagracias) October 6, 2016
Maybe Manhattan Bridge is a message that we shouldn't be trying to start a war with Russia. That is a terrible idea. Ask anyone in history— #FreeRicky (@OmnicientIam) October 6, 2016
re: Manhattan Bridge - Peacemaker? Wait, is this the same Putin who violently intervened in Ukraine, then annexed Crimea?— felicia the critic (@felicianista) October 6, 2016
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Alexei Nikolskyi