Magazine article Russian Life

Crossing out Kirov

Magazine article Russian Life

Crossing out Kirov

Article excerpt

Aside from Lenin, nobody in the Soviet pantheon has been wiped off the map in the wake of the USSR more frequently than Sergei Kirov. His 1934 assassination touched off a frenzy to spread his name far and wide. Urzhum, his birthplace, lobbied to be rechristened Kirov, but that distinction went to the regional capital of Vyatka instead, and also to the region in which both are located. The remote city of Khibingorsk became Kirovsk, as did a Leningrad regional settlement that Kirov founded. All these places have retained their name.

And, with a few exceptions (e.g. Kirov in Kaluga oblast), that's pretty much it for Kirov's surviving legacy. One thing Azerbaijan and Armenia can agree on is their distaste for town and city names that honor a man who helped subjugate the Caucasus. Four Azeri and two Armenian settlements named Kirov in Soviet times received native names in the 1990s. Additionally, Kirovobad, Azerbaijan reverted to Ganja in 1991, while Armenia's third-largest city switched from Kirovakan back to Vanadzor.

Kirov has also gotten caught up in the current battle between Ukraine and Russia. In accordance with Ukrainian de-Soviet-ization laws, the regional capital formerly known as Kirovohrad was given the moniker Kropyvnytskyi, although the surrounding region kept the Kirovohrad name. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.