Friday, December 30, 2022

Russians Told ‘Bomb Shelter’ Outdated Term and that USSR was ‘Murdered at Its Prime’

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Dec. 29 – Words matter because they affect how people understand what is going on around them; and this week, there were two striking examples of efforts, one by regional officials and a second by a Moscow commentator to change the words Russians use about two key things.

            On the one hand, officials in Saratov Oblast put out the word that residents should not speak about “bomb shelters” because that is “an outdated term.” Instead, they should use “recessed rooms” instead, a less emotional term but one that is almost Orwellian in its deceptiveness (

            And on the other, Dmitry Agranovsky, a Moscow lawyer and commentator says, Russians should stop saying that the USSR collapsed because in fact it was “murdered in its prime,” a truly Orwellian rewrite of history that invites Russians to engage in a search for enemies (

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