25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union itself million the city was completely transformed — but not the names of its streets still bear the names of Communist luminaries.
On Karl Marx street is Cannonball, a nice beer bar with live rock music on weekends. On the street of the Rose Luxembourg is the Gucci boutique. On the sidelines of the attracted night clubs and DutyFree Chili, and French hipster cafe with quiet jazz. Leading a strip club Ekaterinburg “911” is on 1 may.
On the street Proletarskaya is a gaggle of young schoolchildren and their teachers, they go to the Temple on Blood, opened in 2003. At this place in 1918, the Communists killed Tsar Nicholas II and his family. At the end of this street where it turns into a Dzerzhinsky street, named after the founder of the secret police of the Soviet Union, is a cinema showing the new film about star wars and the animated film “Moana”.
The main street called Lenin Avenue, here, near the building of city Department stands the founder of the Soviet Union.
“All of what we have achieved shows that we rely on the most wonderful force in the world — on the strength of the workers and peasants,” is written in bronze letters under the big statue of Lenin.
The right hand of Lenin is elongated in the direction of the large luminous advertising predlojeniem MacBook’s trips to Thailand and new apartments cost from 750 thousand DKK. There are boutiques fashion: Armani, Hugo Boss, van Laack, DKNY. A young woman illegally parks his blue Porsche at Leninskiy prospect and receives a ticket from two cops gbdd.
Recall the past only the names of the streets
25 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union Ural Ekaterinburg, the fourth largest city of Russia, with a population of 1.4 million people, was largely completely unrecognizable. This is a live, modern, comfortable and friendly town situated on the border between Europe and Asia. It resembles a large Western European city.
But for a small exception: the streets are so called as they were called Communists in the twenties.
The same can be said of almost every Russian city, where the Central streets named after Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx (Karl Marx), Friedrich Engels (Friedrich Engels), the German Communists Karl Liebknecht (Karl Liebknecht) and Rosa Luxemburg (Rosa Luxemburg), the Communist party and its youth organization the young Communist League, October revolution and so on.
If the Communists immediately rename the street and place names, the “new” rulers of Russia are moving in this area much more careful. Partly this can be explained by pragmatism, because there are certain difficulties associated with changing place names that have been used for generations, in part — a General uncertainty in how to relate to the Soviet era, which existed for 74 years.
Is this bad? Well? You can say so and so. But, in any case, it is a part of contemporary history of Russia, which is impossible to ignore.
“We are very careful. Revolution in the name of streets is not, but it is not supposed to happen”, — says Deputy mayor of Yekaterinburg Sergey Tushin. He emphasizes that “the names of the streets do not play a major role for the quality of life of the population.”
“But, nevertheless, the mood in society is changing. Changing perspective on a particular historical figure. Attitude towards history, be it the revolution with Lenin’s name or pre-revolutionary times, is also changing. It’s a process. It would therefore be wrong to say only that “we will change everything”, or “no, we’ll keep everything as is,”” he explains.
The murder of the king causes difficulty with the names
The city of Ekaterinburg named in honor of Catherine the First wife of Peter the Great, became his successor, was renamed by the Communists. In 1924, it was called Sverdlovsk after the name of Yakov Sverdlov, one of Lenin’s revolutionary comrades and according to many sources, the person who gave the order to kill the Tsar’s family on 17 July 1918. But in the autumn of 1991 the city regained its former name, almost simultaneously with the renaming of Leningrad to St. Petersburg again.
The area in which is located in Yekaterinburg, called, however, continues to Sverdlovsk, and in the city there is a street of Sverdlov. It is the murder of the Royal family, which in modern Russian history called tragedy and a crime, made the issue of street names is particularly sensitive in Yekaterinburg. Because who do we need to honor the king or his executioners?
The street where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were shot, was renamed street Tolmacheva on behalf of one of the local Communist leaders Nikolai Tolmachev; he was involved in planning this murder. After the erection of the Temple-on-Blood representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church asked if we could find any other name for this street. But the survey of the local population most of the residents voted against changing the name.
“Why do I suddenly another name of the street where I have lived all my life?” — asks Natalia, 54 years old, living in a one bedroom apartment on the street Tolmacheva, along with her daughter, son-in-law, two kids and two dogs.
“I respect the Royal family, but the Communist party of the Soviet Union is also part of our history,” she says.
It was decided to call that part of the street, where the temple, the king’s street. The rest called still street Tolmacheva.
Similarly, a small section of the street in the center where there is a beautiful Church Dating back to 1886, received the old name, street Holy cross. On both sides the Church is still the street of Karl Marx.
“We don’t make decisions on renaming of streets without interviewing people associated with it,” said Tushin. He believes that the objections of the people against the new names of streets are rarely associated with politics or ideology, it’s likely the problems and costs associated with the production of documents, identity cards, changes in real estate documents and so on.
The following: “street Sverdlovsk rock band”
Some activists are trying to get city leaders to change their policies and return entire streets of their old names. One of them is Nikolai Vorobiev, his Patriotic and monarchical blog called the “White Tsar”. He believes, for example, that Lenin’s prospectus shall again be called the Main street as before the revolution.
“Leninsky prospect — quite the original name, because today it is hardly possible to find a town or village, where there would be no streets with the same name. Lenin has absolutely no connection with this street or this city. To the extent that, as before classified material about him begin to publish more and more people change their opinion about it. It is increasingly beginning to be considered a man suffering from syphilis, speakers with crazy ideas,” — says Vorobyev.
Deputy mayor Tushin did not want to think, it will be called 25 years from Leninsky Prospekt and ulitsa Karla Marksa. But he says the city has the Commission for local names, which is constantly studying the situation. Examines the question of what can be called Leninsky Prospekt to write “former Main street”, next time will change plates with street names. And what was the solution to every year to return an old name of the street in the period before the celebration of the tercentenary of Yekaterinburg in 2023.
The first victim should be Volodarsky’s street, named in honor of revolutionary, with no connection to the city. But a new name has not yet been determined. Perhaps it will be street “Sverdlovsk rock club”. Here in the period from 1986 to 1991, started its activity are well known in the Soviet Union of the group “Nautilus Pompilius”, “Chaif” and “Agatha Christie”.