The return of Stalingrad?

Will Stalingrad get its name back? Putin may well have given his tacit support for the restoration of the name ‘Stalingrad’ to the town of Volgograd. Stalingrad was its name between 1925 and 1961, until the irresponsible Khrushchev dumped the name in his effort at de-Stalinisation. Yet Stalingrad is forever etched in history as one of two battles (the other was Kursk) that turned the Second War against Nazi Germany. When asked by a veteran at the recent D-Day celebrations in Paris, Putin is reported to have said, ‘In this case residents should hold a referendum where they will decide on it … It wasn’t me who changed the name … we’ll mull over how it can be done’. While some places began to get excited (here, here and here), Russian news outlets were somewhat low-key.





7 thoughts on “The return of Stalingrad?

  1. Why not bring Leningrad back? The reason Leningrad isn’t and Stalingrad is being reconsidered speaks for itself with regard to the motifs behind this.

  2. I go to 2-3 conferences a year in China, and there are Russian delegates at all these conferences. The Russians attending generally place much more emphasis on Stalin (for them the communist equivalent of Peter the Great, Stalin who made Russia and its Slavic satellites into a to-be feared empire), and less on the ‘cosmopolitan’ Lenin. Along with this Slavic nationalism goes some bizarre Russian Orthodox theology (basically enabling communism to be defanged as it is translated into something the Orthodox theologians call ‘sobornost’). Very intriguing.

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