Poland Triggers Kremlin's Fury By Renaming Russian City In Official Documents

Benzinga · 05/11/2023 04:09

The Kremlin described Poland’s decision to change the name of the Russian city Kaliningrad in its official documents as a “hostile act,” as tensions between Moscow and Warsaw intensify amid the Ukraine war. 

What Happened: Poland’s development minister, Waldemar Buda, on Wednesday announced that Kaliningrad would be officially renamed Królewiec, which was its name during the 15th and 16th centuries when Poland ruled it, reported The Guardian. 

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Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the decision "bordered on madness."

"We know that throughout history Poland has slipped from time to time into this madness of hatred towards Russians," he told media.

Kaliningrad, which shares borders with Lithuania and Poland, was formerly known as Königsberg during German rule. However, it was annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II and renamed in honor of politician Mikhail Kalinin.

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"We do not want Russification in Poland and that is why we have decided to change the name in our native language of Kaliningrad and the Kaliningrad region," Buda said. 

According to Warsaw, Kalinin’s association with the 1940 Katyn massacre, where Soviet forces executed thousands of Polish officers, had negative implications.

"The current Russian name of this city is an artificial baptism unrelated to either the city or the region," Poland's committee on geographical standardization said. 

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