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  2. Saratov authorities want to change the name of a street because of its association with the United States

Saratov authorities want to change the name of a street because of its association with the United States

Saratov administration has launched a poll on a proposal to rename Sacco and Vancetti Street, called so in memory of two American workers' rights advocates. However, users can't vote against renaming. City Hall posted the poll on its official Telegram channel on January 26

By renaming the street the authorities intend to get rid of any associations with American activists and workers' movements on the city streets. Earlier, chairman of the Saratov region Public Chamber, Boris Shinchuk, said that the names of American revolutionaries in the street name is "the brightest example of geographical cretinism."

However, members of the City Preservation Council have objected to the proposal. They refer to the fact that when a street in Saratov was named in memory of Sacco and Vancetti it resonated across the USSR. Olga Alimova, a member of the State Duma, has also opposed the idea.

For the new name, people can vote for writers Mikhail Bulgakov or Konstantin Simonov, or the name Dmitrievskaya (in honor of a local patron of the arts). There is no option for rejecting the proposal, but in their online comments, Saratov residents demand to keep the street’s old name.

Screenshot with objections against renaming from the City Administration website.

Nikola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vancetti were two Italian immigrants and anarchists convicted of murder in a controversial trial and executed in 1927. Poet Konstantin Simonov while living in Saratov wrote poems about them, and the first man in space, Yuri Gagarin, went to a technical school located on Sacco and Vancetti Street.

After the outbreak of Russian aggression in Ukraine, Russian cities began changing street names with foreign associations. In late July, Vladimir city council voted to rename Paris Commune Street after Roman Kutuzov, a military killed in Ukraine. Local residents asked the governor, Alexander Avdeev, to cancel the vote. They claimed that only three people voted in favor of renaming the street with the rest strongly opposing the change. According to them, the street should "bear the proud name of the first communards, who embody the idea of social equality.”

Later, fifty protestors filed a collective lawsuit demanding to reverse the City Council’s decision. However, the court sided with the authorities.


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