Staunton, Sept. 18 – Thirty years ago, the residents of St. Petersburg voted to restore the name their city had had in imperial times, St. Petersburg. But despite that vote and the passage of more than three decades, the city’s residents remain very much divided over what their city should be called.
The June 1991 referendum did not result in an overwhelming vote for change, with only 54 percent voting to restore the imperial period name and 42 percent voting against. Indeed, had it not taken place when many older residents were at their dachas and therefore not able to vote, it might not have passed (versia.ru/kak-30-let-nazad-leningrad-stal-sankt-peterburgom
Today, 26 percent of the northern capital’s residents say they favor the name Leningrad, nine percent back Petrograd, which wasn’t an option in the 1991 referendum, 38 percent favor St. Petersburg, but 27 percent favor Petersburg without the saint, which also wasn’t an option in the earlier voting.