Ekaterinburg, March 28, 2019
Russian state deputies have again raised the issue of renaming Sverdlovsk Province, which is currently named in honor of Yakov Sverdlov, who played an important role in planning the October Revolution and is widely believed to have participated in the slaying of the Royal Martyrs on July 17, 1918.
The proposal came during a closed meeting of provincial Governor Evgeny Kuyvashev with the federal parliamentary deputies from the region on the preparations for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of Ekaterinburg, reports URA.RU.
“In his speech, Pavel Vladimirovich [Krasheninnikov],” the head of the Committee for State Construction and Legislation, “among other things, noted that if the authorities want to raise the topic of renaming Sverdlovsk Province, it should either be done right away, with maximum consideration of public opinion, or after the Ural capital’s anniversary,” one of the participants in the closed meeting explained.
In response, Kuyvashev offered to hear out “the chief ideologist of the idea of renaming the province”—Deputy Andrei Alshevsky, who offered several alternative names and advocated for the issue to be brought to a referendum in 2017.
“Yes, there was indeed a discussion on renaming, but the issue is not easy,” Alshevsky said. “I personally spoke about how it would be worth it to look not just at the names Ekaterinburg or Ural [Province]. After all, not too long ago we had the Royal Days in memory of the centenary of the execution of the Emperor’s family. Therefore, we could consider the option of renaming the province to Romanov.”
The governor explained that he heard all the opinions but again emphasized that the issue should be resolved through public opinion and referendum.
There have been several such proposals and decisions in recent years. In August 2016, the Moscow train station Voikovskaya, named for another of the Romanov murderers was renamed as “Baltic;” in January 2018, a Tyumen city Deputy called for a street name the murderer of Bishop Germogen (Dolganov) to revert to its Christian name in honor of the Dormition of the Mother of God; the same month, His Grace Bishop James of Naryan-Mar proposed renaming the “Communist” islands of a northern archipelago in honor of the Royal Martyrs; and in December 2018, Tsar Nicholas II’s name won a contest for renaming Murmansk Airport, narrowly beating out Soviet polar explorer and Hero of the Soviet Union Ivan Papanin, who fought for the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War.
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