22 March 2023, 10:57
Rada Adopts Law Banning Place Names Associated with russia and Its Imperial Policy

The Verkhovna Rada has adopted amendments to the law “On Condemnation and Prohibition of Propaganda of Russian Imperial Policy in Ukraine and Decolonization of Toponymy.” A total of 248 MPs supported the document.

The law condemns the russian imperial policy and recognizes it as criminal and also prohibits the production and propaganda of the corresponding symbols.

It is also forbidden to assign names that glorify the imperial policy of russia, russia itself, or its figures to geographical objects, legal entities, and objects of property rights. The purpose of the law is to restore the names that highlight Ukraine’s history and not glorify Soviet or russian ones.

The Transparent Cities program (Transparency International Ukraine) is studying the process of renaming toponyms in Ukrainian cities, as well as the experience of other countries that are abandoning russian or Soviet names.   

According to our research, about 2,200 toponyms have been renamed in 33 cities in the TOP 50 of the 2021 Transparency Ranking since the beginning of the large-scale war. In particular, the names of streets, boulevards, squares, parks, districts, and even lakes and ships have been changed.

It is significant that in Pavlohrad, every 5th street had to be renamed (“61 toponyms” in total).  In 9 other cities, this process has already started, but there are no results yet. It may be because toponymic commissions are developing options, or residents are offering suggestions.

The leaders in terms of the number of renamed place names are:

  • Kyiv (237),
  • Vinnytsia (232),
  • Kryvyi Rih (183),
  • Kamianske (182),
  • Sumy (179),
  • Kremenchuk (142),
  • Cherkasy (105).

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