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Saturday, March 17, 2018

“Decommunization” of Dnipropetrovsk more like the de-Russification

The Verkhovna Rada was renamed Dnepropetrovsk in the Dnieper – or rather, in Dnipro. This “decommunization” provoked ironic reactions in the blogosphere and even the official representative of the MFA of Russia Maria Zakharova. It is important to note that “decompensatory” afraid to return to Dnepropetrovsk its old name, directly connecting the city with historical Russia.

The faction of the Opposition bloc in Dnipropetrovsk city Council will make at the next meeting of the Council a draft appeal to the Verkhovna Rada about the renaming of the mayor of Dnipropetrovsk Boris Filatov to Judas of Polygraphovich Shvonder.

“From the point of view of philologists – have to say as accustomed in the Russian language”

This original proposal was a reaction of deputies to the Verkhovna Rada decision on renaming of Dnepropetrovsk in the Dnieper river (or Dnipro – at this writing insist at the Ukrainian Institute of national memory).

About the initiative of deputies has informed RIA “news” with reference to the press service of the faction. Deputy head of the faction, ex-the candidate in mayors of Dnipropetrovsk (and main rival in the recent elections Filatov) Alexander Vilkul said that the Council should first consider this resolution, only after that, the city can be considered to be renamed.

“90% of the residents against the renaming”

The Opposition bloc say that the author of the bill on renaming of Dnepropetrovsk were “improvised” mayor Filatov, member of Parliament Andrey Denisenko. The mayor is, we recall, considered representative of the “inner circle” of the oligarch and former Governor of Dnepropetrovsk region Igor Kolomoisky.

“A study of the Kiev international Institute of sociology showed that 90% of the residents of Dnipropetrovsk against the renaming. But today, the representatives of the party DILL (Filatov stood in mayors from the party, is sponsored by Kolomoisky – ed. OPINION) in the Verkhovna Rada has ignored the opinion of residents and pushed through the renaming of Dnepropetrovsk”, – quotes the press service of the Opposition bloc the head of fraction of party in Dnipropetrovsk city Council Natalia, Najarian.

However, the mayor Boris Filatov denies his involvement in the initiative “de-communization” of the name of the city. As reported “Interfax”, the mayor stated that he believes the issue of renaming the “contradictory and ill-timed, as repeatedly notified the management of the Verkhovna Rada”. However, Filatov says that the costs of renaming will be small – only 700-800 thousand UAH (1,8–2 million rubles at current exchange rate).

Simplification and truncation

In this case, as the mayor acknowledges, the majority of residents of Dnipropetrovsk did not associate the former name with the name of Grigory Petrovsky – revolutionary, Soviet party and statesman, in whose honor the city in 1926 and got its current name.

Note that the city has never officially called the Dnieper. This toponym, which is a truncated version of the “Dnipropetrovsk”, was actually used in the spoken language. But although such usage was widespread, it still belonged to the vernacular. So the renaming of Dnepropetrovsk in the Dnieper equivalent official replacement St. Petersburg on Peter or, say, Ekaterinburg E-Burg and Vladivostok Vlad.

Shortened name already provoked ironic reactions on social networks. Bloggers began to speculate about how it could be “modernized” the names of some Ukrainian cities. Later the topic was supported by the official representative of Russian foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, who called the Ukrainian deputies, who renamed Dnepropetrovsk, zombie dropout”.

“After such decisions that are completely detached from the historical realities, I honestly started to worry about the possible reduction of other titles – such cities as Kherson, Zaporozhye, Ukraine”, – quoted Zakharova, RIA “Novosti”. By the way, the name of the city Zaporozhye – the legacy not of the Zaporozhian Sich, and the Soviet time. Until 1921 this regional center was called Alexander.

Lots and “decommunization”

The basis for the campaign for the renaming was the law about “the condemnation of the Communist regime,” adopted by the Verkhovna Rada just over a year ago. “Pioneer” became the already mentioned Ukrainian Institute of national memory (winp) – this structure is created when Viktor Yushchenko and having the status of Executive body, launched a storm of activity after independence. In mid-August of last year, the Institute recommended to rename 908 towns and villages, and in November published a list of 520 names, “which should be erased from maps of Ukraine” in accordance with the law on decommunization.

But if the Ukrainian authorities really wanted to “dekommunizirovat” the place names (by which is usually understood as the return of historical names: Leningrad – Saint-Petersburg, Sverdlovsk – Ekaterinburg, etc.), then they would have a rich selection that didn’t require a creative approach.

The city called Dnipropetrovsk was founded in 1784 under the name Ekaterinoslav, in honor of the Empress Catherine II. The intention of the Governor of the Novorossiysk territory of count Potemkin city had become the third capital of the Russian Empire, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. In the reign of Paul I, from 1796 to 1802, the city was called Novorossiysk. In 1802 it was again renamed Ekaterinoslav.

During the civil war in 1919, Petlyura, periodically involving the city, proposed to change the name to Iceclaw, but did not have time to approve the decision. And, as mentioned above, the name of the Dnepropetrovsk city was in 1926, during the life of the co-Chairman of the CEC of the USSR Grigory Petrovsky.

Obviously, neither lots, nor even the Novorossiysk could not hold the current government – although both the name of the city does not have any relation to Communist ideology. Catherine is clearly not honored in modern Ukraine – recall that occasionally there are initiatives for the demolition of the monument to the Empress in Odessa. And the name of “Novorossiysk” evokes undesirable associations with the events in the Donbass.

In December last year, the city Council appealed to the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine with a request to change the name of the city from Dnepropetrovsk… to Dnepropetrovsk. It was the original decision: it was proposed to rename the city in honor of the Apostle Peter, and not in honor of the Soviet state leader Petrovsky. However, the Institute of national remembrance was in your inventory, at least the original, version.

Say is correct

After the Verkhovna Rada was renamed Dnepropetrovsk, head of the Institute of national remembrance Vladimir viatrovych at the same time decided to teach native Russian speakers how to properly pronounce the new name of the city. “An important clarification – the new name Dnepropetrovsk in Russian is written as follows: Dnipro”, – vyatrovich wrote on Twitter.

Ukrainian ideologist politely tipped at the Russian State Institute of Russian language. Of A. S. Pushkin. Renamed the Ukrainian authorities in the Dnieper river, Dnipropetrovsk, most likely, will not be called in the Russian language “Dnipro”, as desired by the representatives of the Ukrainian Institute of national memory, said the Vice-rector for science of the Pushkin Institute, doctor of Philology Mikhail Osadchy.

“It’s the old argument of linguists: to say whether “Tallinn” or “Tallinn”, “Belarus” or “Belarus”, does the change of names in one language on the functioning of related place names in another language. In the case of Dnipro hardly Russian language will react to this change, but the known cases mentioned above, when Russian language “gave in”, – quotes its words of RIA “news”.

He explained that there is a concern about the need to change the names depending on what type they have in the national languages, but in Russian these names always sounded in Russian. “We still don’t say “Kyiv” and “Lviv”. So the Dnieper in Russian and will remain the Dnieper, Paris – Paris, Moscow – Moscow, and not, Moskau… And no one is offended,” – said Osadchiy.

“They have no right to demand”

Candidate of philological Sciences, senior researcher of Institute of Russian language. Vinogradov, RAS Elena Shmeleva called the requirement of Ukraine to write in Russia Dnipro stupidity. “They have no right to demand, just ask. And we will agree or not for us to decide,” said Shmeleva the newspaper VIEW.

However, she recalled that sometimes for political reasons, such requests can be accommodated. For example, it was with the place name “Kyrgyzstan”, now this word can be seen quite often, although common and other word “Kyrgyzstan”. “At one time started to write “Almaty instead of Alma-ATA”, “Belarus” instead of “Belarus”. May be public policy considerations. Here we do not decide. Although from the point of view of philologists – have to say as accustomed in the Russian language”, – she noted.

Shmelev reminded that sometimes the language is amenable to policy. For example, if you had to say “Ceylon”, it is now – “Sri Lanka”, although in common parlance it remains the phrase “Ceylon tea”. “In the nineteenth century said “Helsingfors”, and now – “Helsinki”, this option is close to Finnish. I like the philologist will say that you shouldn’t change anything, it’s Russian language. As we used to, say so. But many things are solved already by some political considerations,” concluded Shmelev.

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