08 May 2020, 11:38

Journalists treat renaming of Tskhinvali into Stalinir as populism

Residents of South Ossetia are not using the name "Stalinir" to denote Tskhinvali; and the decree on the temporary renaming of the city is populist and designed for Stalin's supporters, journalists and a political analyst assert.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that in April, Anatoly Bibilov, the head of South Ossetia, decided to use the name "Stalinir" to designate the capital of his republic during the festivities dedicated to the Great Patriotic War.

For elderly residents of Tskhinvali, the name "Stalinir" is associated with their youth.

Tskhinvali was renamed to Stalinir, or Staliniri, in 1934 in honour of Joseph Stalin. In 1961, the city was renamed into Tskhinvali.

Anna Chochieva, a journalist, is surprised that "in Ossetia there are many admirers of Stalin."

"Many Ossetians, including my grandfather, were repressed during the time of Stalin; and none of my entourage uses the name of 'Stalinir; ... Ossetians are divided into two parts: some are great admirers of Stalin, others not," Ms Chochieva said.

Tamara Mearakishvili, an activist, treats the decree on renaming Tskhinvali as populism. In her opinion, Bibilov "decided to remind himself as a president."

In his turn, Bibilov said that the use of the name "Stalinir" is a tribute to WWII veterans and the generation of war years.

In the past few years, monuments to Stalin appeared in different regions of Russia. In December 2019, his bust appeared in Volgograd, which caused townspeople's protests.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on May 7, 2020 at 11:19 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Gor Alexanyan; Source: CK correspondent

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