Odessa City Council speaks out against “decommunization” of street names

28.04.2017, Ukraine.

Members of the Odessa City Council reversed the decision to change the Soviet–era street names, also known as “decommunization”, conducted by Mikheil Saakashvili, the former city governor, RIA Novosti news agency reported on April 28.

Changes affected about 56 street names. For example, the “Heavenly Hundred” avenue was renamed back to the original “Marshal Zhukov” avenue.The street recently named in honor of Roman Shukhevich (formerly – “Yaroslav Galan” street) is now called “Defenders of the Fatherland”.

The alleys, bearing the names of, so called, “heroes” of the Anti-Terrorist Operation* in the Donbass region, have also been renamed.

Those members of the City Council who spoke out for reversing the initiative of the former city governor Mikheil Saakashvili stressed that several streets subjected to change do not exist at all, and others had their Soviet–era names changed earlier by the City Council Toponymic  Commission.

Representatives of the Ukrainian “Svoboda” party (banned in Crimea since 2014, and designated as dangerous, nationalistic extremist organization ) have already announced that they will challenge the decision of the city council. Current Governor Maxim Stepanov did not comment on the decision of the council members.

The legal provision for renaming streets with (so-called) “communist” names was adopted by Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) in 2015.

Roman Shukhevich was a murderer, an associate of Stepan Bandera, a war criminal, and second in command of the Nazi “Nachtigal” battalion.

Yaroslav Galan, for whom Odessa’s major street had been named, was a Ukrainian anti-fascist writer, a Bolshevik, a communist, and an activist of the Ukrainian national liberation movement in Poland.

Update. Maxim Stepanov, the governor of Odessa, has already called the decision of the Odessa City Council a provocation, on the eve of May 2 ( the day of the Odessa massacre of 2nd of May, 2014).

Vladimir Vyatrovich, the head of the Ukrainian National Heritage Institute, threatened Gennady Trukhanov, the acting mayor of Odessa, with a criminal investigation, calling actions of the city council “revanchist”. On April 28, the decision of the City Council of Odessa was overturned by Primorsky district court.

* “Anti-terrorist operation” is the way Kiev junta refers to its punitive operation – Editor.

The original of the picture is by lil’latvian, license CC BY ND 2.0.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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