July 29, 2022 Special Dispatch No. 10106

Contradictions In Russia's Ukraine Policy Surface In Debate Over Renaming Moscow's Kyiv Rail Station

July 29, 2022
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 10106

As Russia's Special Military Operation in Ukraine has entered its sixth month, Russia has not yet resolved the contradictions of its view of Ukraine. Is Ukraine the enemy or a country held hostage by narcotic addicts and Nazis that will return to brotherly relations with Russia or even join Russia, once Russia's forces have achieved victory. This contradiction resurfaces in a debate in the Duma reported by Moskovskiy Komsomolets columnist Andrei Kamakin. Kirill Kabanov, a  member of the ultranationalist "Liberal Democratic" Party founded by the late Vladimir Zhirinovsky was incensed by Ukraine's policy of renaming streets associated with Russia. In retaliation Kabanov proposed renaming Moscow's Kyiv rail station. He received pushback on his proposal. One reason being that the names were not alien names but Russian names, and Kyiv itself was the mother of all Russian cities.

Kamakin's article follows below:[1]

Moscow's Kyiv rail station (Source:

"Arguably, no one has yet described a representative of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (hereafter - LDPR) leadership with such insulting words. Kirill Kabanov, a member of the Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, commenting on the proposal by Vasili Vlasov, First Deputy Chairman of the LDPR faction in the Duma, to rename Moscow Kyievsky railway station, said: 'Such proposals put us on a par with these embittered, brainwashed humanoid-like creatures. It’s even more offensive that Kabanov is far from alone in this assessment.

"'Stupid and unoptimistic,' wrote Vlasov's colleague, the [State] Duma deputy from the CPRF party, Mikhail Matveev in his telegram channel, 'It’s the lot of peoples with national psychological complexes to rename everything to get back at their neighbor. Russians, on the other hand, are a great nation and aren't afflicted with this. All the 'Ukrainian' names [i.e., the ones associated with Ukraine] must remain, including 'Kyiv cake' and 'Chicken Kyiv' cutlet (not to mention the names of railway station and of streets). These aren’t foreign names; they are our names because Kyiv is the mother of Russian cities.'

'(Moscow's) Kyivsky railway station shouldn’t be renamed, because the word "Kyivsky" refers to a direct route to Kyiv,' seconds the UR deputy, Maria Butina. Tatiana Pop, a Russo-Ukrainian social activist reproaches the author of the initiative

in an interview with the newspaper Izvestia:

 "'The cancel culture is an uncharacteristic phenomenon for the multinational Russian world that respects the cultures of all peoples living in Russia.' "

"Let’s clarify that the LDPR deputy justified his proposal by the actions of the Ukrainian side. 'As a response to the actions of the Ukrainian authorities to rename Moscow Avenue in Kyiv, I believe it’s necessary to deliberate on the possibility of restoring the historical name of Bryansk railway station to Kyivsky railway station,' said Vasily Vlasov in an interview with Podyem magazine.

"The appropriate official appeal to this effect has been filed by the deputy to the capitol's mayoralty. The deputy suggests to the Moscow authorities that they leave this issue to the judgement of Moscow's residents themselves, i.e. to conduct a vote via the 'Active Citizen' system. At the time of writing this article, the Moscow authorities had not reacted. But even without it, it’s clear that Vlasov’s idea, to put it mildly, has a miniscule chance of being implemented.

"Well, that is, unless they heed the arguments of Sergei Mironov. Sergei Mikhailovich [Mironov] is so far the only public figure, who hasn’t spoken out categorically against the renaming.

"However, he didn’t support the 'Bryansk railway station' alternative either, 'As a rule of thumb, railway stations in the capitals [major cities] of the Russian Empire were named after the trains' final destination... I’m sure we will victoriously conclude the Special Military Operation... If there is a strong urge to rename it, let’s call the Kyivsky railway station, the Odessky [after Odessa] railway station, or even Kishinevsky [referring to Moldova's capital Chișinău] railway station.'

"There may be some logic in Mirnov’s approach. However, in this case too, renaming should not be rushed. First, if one rushes, he might inadvertently give away our ‘strategic’ plans, and second one could jinx the good news. 'Don’t boast when you go to battle, boast, when you leave the battle,' warns a well-known proverb.

"To the aforesaid arguments against this initiative, one should also add the lack of a 'mirror' characteristic. The renaming of streets should, if anything, be answered by renaming of streets, although the difficulty of this task may have prevented the deputies from doing so.

"Be that as it may there is only one Kyiv railway station in Russia, but there are plenty of Kyiv streets, squares and lanes. In Moscow, for reference, Kyivskaya street, Kyiv highway, Kyiv railway station square, and several Kyiv lanes exist. And then there are Poltavskaya, Sumskaya, Kharkovskaya, Kirovogradskaya streets...

"Governed by the same deputy's logic, should all these names also be erased from the map. What other conclusion could there be? The principle enunciated is strict and doesn’t tolerate double standards. An eye for an eye, a train station for a train station, a street for a street (well, or station for street, it doesn't matter). Technically speaking it’s quite feasible. But it must be understood that it’s impossible to win in such a 'squabble.' An imaginary victory would actually mean an admission of defeat, a boast of one, who 'returns from the war,' (the saying in the version is without justification, however)."

Andrei Kamakin (Source:


[1], July 25, 2022.

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