Sunday, January 2, 2022

Chechnya Set to Rename Regions of Its Capital for Chechens rather than Russians or Foreigners

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 12 – In yet another example of the Orwellian principle that “all animals are equal but some are more equal than others,” Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov has called for dropping Soviet-era names for five regions in Grozny and labelling them instead with the names of figures from Chechnya’s past.

            If the leader of any other republic or even predominantly ethnic Russian region were to try to do the same, there would have been expressions of outrage by Russian commentators and officials in Moscow. But this Kadyrov move has sparked nary a word at least so far (

            Among the names to be dropped are Bolshevik leader Sergey Kirov who was murdered by Stalin, Soviet Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky and Japanese communist Sen Katayama. Among the Chechen names that will go up at Dargun Omayev, a Chechen actor, Dasi Akayev, a Chechen pilot, and Abuzar Aydamirov, a Chechen poet.

            Such a change in toponomy is just one more way in which Chechnya is becoming less and less like the rest of Russia – exactly at a time when Vladimir Putin is demanding that all other regions become more like each other.

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