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Window on Eurasia — New Series: Majority of Putin Streets in Russia are in the North Caucasus


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Paul Goble

            Staunton, October 7 – As of today, there are 22 streets in the Russian Federation named for Vladimir Putin. Twelve of them are in the North Caucasus (seven in Daghestan, three in Ingushetia, and two in Chechnya), but only one – in Chechnya – is in a major city, in that case, the republic capital of Grozny. 

            Other places with Putin Streets, the Open Media Foundation says, are Tatarstan where there are three, Krasnoyarsk kray with two, and Orenburg, Kurgan, and Smolensk oblasts, and Udmurtia and the Khanty-Mansiisk AD with one each (openmedia.io/news/n2/v-chest-putina-v-rossii-nazvali-ulicy-v-22-gorodax-i-posyolkax-bolshe-poloviny-na-severnom-kavkaze/).

            The first Putin Street appeared in the village of Olgeti in Ingushetia in 2002, but the renaming drive did not come to the Kremlin’s attention until Kadyrov renamed a major thoroughfare in Grozny in 2008. At that time, Putin asked that this trend not continue, but neither he nor those who had taken this step reversed course.

            Moreover, local and regional governments learned that Putin’s preferences notwithstanding, there is no law against renaming streets in the honor of someone still alive; and after the Anschluss of Crimea in 2014, the practice of doing so in Putin’s honor accelerated to its current level.

            What is perhaps most striking given the Kremlin leader’s attacks on many of the prerogatives of non-Russian areas is that 17 of the 22 streets named in Putin’s honor are in non-Russian republics, a reflection of the kind of personal deference more traditional societies often show

Window on Eurasia — New Series