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Campaign Seeks to Rename Moscow Metro Station Honoring Regicide

Long-running calls for a renaming of a Moscow district named after a insubordinate who played a partial in a execution of Russia’s final majestic family seemed to have finished advance Thursday, when Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin combined his voice to a debate to change during slightest a name of a metro station.

“I suspect we should cruise about [renaming] Voikovskaya metro station. It wouldn’t lead to changing a surrounding addresses, so we should let people decide,” he pronounced Thursday in an talk with a Govorit Moskva radio station.

Pyotr Voikov — after whom a district, 6 streets and a metro hire in northwestern Moscow are named — was a comrade insubordinate who played a pivotal purpose in a preference to govern a tsar, his wife, their 5 children and family servants in 1918. The family was shot and bayoneted to genocide in a groundwork of a residence in a Urals city of Yekaterinburg where they were being kept underneath residence arrest. Voikov was also concerned in a gruesome ordering of their remains.

During a Soviet era, Voikov was hailed as a hero, though given a fall of a Soviet Union, a suspicion of renaming a district has been lifted regularly — though never with any result.

Voikovsky is one of a singular Soviet place names in Moscow that somehow survived a large-scale renaming of a 1990s that saw Ulitsa Gorkogo turn Tverskaya Ulitsa, Ulitsa Gertsena turn Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ulitsa and Ploshchad Dzerzhinskogo turn Lubyanskaya Ploshchad.

Even Sverdlovsk, as Yekaterinburg was renamed in 1924 in honour of Yakov Sverdlov — a comrade politician who is also believed to have sealed off on a sharpened of a stately family — had a majestic name easy in 1991, while Voikov’s memory continued to be immortalized.

Renewed Attempts

The many new debate to change a name was launched final week in a arise of a array of unaccepted proposals to give a flourishing descendants of a Romanov dynasty some arrange of standing in Russia, when a Voikovsky district metropolitan emissary filed a offer with City Hall to rename a area.

Alexander Zakondyrin, a deputy, suggested organizing an online referendum on renaming a district.

“I suggested 5 opposite alternatives to select from: Volkovsky, Kosmodemyansky, Nikolsky, Aviatsionny and Peterburgsky,” he told The Moscow Times on Wednesday.

“We don’t have resources to classify a genuine referendum, so we suggested to Anastasia Rakova [deputy mayor and arch of staff for a mayor and City Hall] a launch of an online opinion around Activny Grazhdanin [an focus designed by City Hall to get feedback from residents on several issues],” Zakondyrin said.

The emissary combined that there competence be a sixth option. “Right now no one knows where to put a relic to Prince Vladimir [that is now being made]. We are prepared to collect a plcae for it within a Voikovsky district and call it a Vladimirsky district — because not?” he said.

Diverse Support

His offer hadn’t elicited any greeting from a authorities as of Wednesday, Zakondyrin said, given emissary mayor Rakova is now on vacation. Nevertheless he perceived widespread support — some of it from astonishing quarters.

Representatives of a former majestic dynasty unsurprisingly sided with a deputy’s offer a same day he filed it to City Hall.

“It’s about time it was done. The names of those concerned in repressions and a execution of a tsar’s family should be taken off a map of Moscow,” German Lukyanov, an profession for some of a flourishing Romanovs, was cited by a Interfax news organisation as observant final week.

On Tuesday, a Russian Orthodox Church — that canonized a majestic family as passion bearers in 2000 — voiced a support for a proposal, Interfax reported. Church orator Vsevolod Chaplin called for Voikov’s name to be wiped off a city map and described him as “a militant and a destroyer” who deserves “eternal punishment and dishonor” rather than to have streets and metro stations named after him.

Prominent polite rights defender and conduct of a Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva concluded with Chaplin.

“It’s a singular arise when we determine with a Russian Orthodox Church, though Voikov is an unpalatable figure, his repute is blotted, and his name shouldn’t beauty a metro hire or anything else,” she was cited by Interfax as observant Tuesday.

Residents of a district were also discerning to demonstrate support for a change, and began enthusiastically deliberating new names for a metro hire and streets in countless groups clinging to a area on Russian amicable network VKontakte.

“[Let’s call it] Volkovsky. When we was a 6-year-old kid, we couldn’t know because we have a travel [in a district] named after a cosmonaut Volkov while a metro hire is Voikovskaya. we always suspicion it was some kind of mistake,” Alexei Chernukhin, a internal resident, wrote in a thread on a VKontakte organisation “Voika” dedicated to a probable name change.

“I complicated during a MAI [Moscow Aviation Institute], so it would be cold to name a district Aviatsionny [Aviation],” another user, Yevgeny Koshelev, wrote in a same thread.

Years of Pledges

But this is not a initial time calls have been listened to rename a district. The tale began in 1997, when a state elect obliged for identifying a stays of a stately family found outward Yekaterinburg settled that Voikovskaya metro hire should be renamed.

Since then, attempts have been finished by a Orthodox Church, pro-monarchy residents and eremite foundations each integrate of years. In 2008, some monarchist activists hold a few scanty pickets in support of renaming all a places named after Voikov, though their efforts resulted in nothing.

The closest a debate edged to success was in 2011, when Lyudmila Shve­tsova, emissary mayor for amicable growth and conduct of a elect obliged for fixing city sites behind then, mentioned in an talk to a Izvestia journal that City Hall would “consider a proposal” to rename Voikovskaya metro station.

Following a interview, Russian media exploded with headlines observant that Voikovskaya would unequivocally be renamed, though once again a story fizzled out, and a hire kept a name.

‘No’ to Rewriting History

Far from everybody agrees with renaming a Voikovsky district. The Communist Party has pronounced it is an try to “rewrite history” and called on Muscovites to honour “the decisions a ancestors finished to immortalize someone’s memory,” Valery Rashkin, a Communist emissary in a State Duma, told a Russkaya Sluzhba Novostei radio hire on Tuesday.

“I definitely intent to a renaming. We should demeanour during a bigger picture, not during a opinions of some groups,” he was cited by a radio hire as saying. “We should cruise a story from a tsarist epoch and Soviet duration by to a benefaction as a whole,” he added.

Moscow City Duma Deputy Yevgeny Gerasimov, chair of a elect for enlightenment and mass communications, concluded with Rashkin. “We should all ease down and safety a story a approach it is,” Gerasimov told The Moscow Times in a phone talk Wednesday.

“It’s about time we let go and stop renaming everything. Our story is too prolonged and too versatile,” he said. “Moreover, I’m certain lots of people don’t even know who Voikov is,” a emissary added.

Gerasimov also pronounced that renaming a district, a metro hire and several streets would entail too many bureaucracy. “Can we suppose how many papers Muscovites would have to redo due to a residence change, and how many income that would require? It would be a good nuisance for internal residents,” Gerasimov said.

Zakondyrin deserted that objection. “I’m astounded an gifted lawmaker would contend such a thing,” he pronounced in a phone talk with The Moscow Times. “No one will have to redo their papers right away. If a request expires, a new one will enclose a new residence — it’s a normal procedure,” he said.

‘Yes’ to Changing Times

Several Russian historians polled by The Moscow Times were unanimous in their verdict: Voikov’s name should be taken off a map.

“It’s inconceivable to have his name in a collateral [of Russia] or anywhere else as a name of a metro station, [Voikov doesn’t merit to have] a open toilet [named after him],” publisher and historian Pyotr Romanov — no propinquity to a former majestic family — and author of a “Ostorozhno: Istoria” (Caution: History) educational plan told The Moscow Times on Wednesday.

Grigory Revzin, an humanities historian and publisher during Kommersant daily, agreed. “Voikov is a antipathetic figure, and it’s bizarre that something is called after him,” he told The Moscow Times. “And those who quarrel ‘the rewriting of history’ are simply perplexing to announce their chronicle of events a truest, and no one has ever managed to do that,” he said.

Taking Soviet names off a map is a good idea, distinguished historian and author of countless story textbooks Leonid Katsva told The Moscow Times in a phone interview, though Voikov is not indispensably a many dire example.

“We still have a tiny city outward of Moscow called Dzerzhinsky [after a owner of a dreaded Soviet tip police]. It also has a block named after Dzerzhinsky and a highway,” he said. “Why collect Voikov as a aim while there’s still a vast travel and a library named after Lenin, and a monolith [containing Lenin’s embalmed body] is still on Red Square?” a historian said.

Rewriting story happens all a time and is totally normal and even useful, pronounced Katsva. “Every square of new investigate can be deliberate rewriting history,” he said. “When they renamed Bolshaya Kaluzhskaya Ulitsa into Leninsky Prospekt, that was rewriting history, when they renamed a Rumyantsevskaya Library into a Lenin Library, that was rewriting history. It’s inevitable, and we don’t cruise it’s harmful,” he said.

“The Communists started ‘rewriting history’ after a [1917] revolution, when they renamed many of a streets,” concluded Alexei Dedushkin, a obvious dilettante in a story of Moscow and one of a founders of a Oldmos.ru city story project. “So they shouldn’t unequivocally complain,” he added.

Contact the author at d.imedia@imedia.ru

Article source: http://www.themoscowtimes.com/article/526124.html