Poland officially changed the name of Kaliningrad and recalled the crimes of the Soviet statesman after whom the city was named

Lilia RagutskaWorld
Poland refused to use the Russian name Kaliningrad, because the city was named after the co-organizer of the execution of over 20 thousand Poles in Katyn

Poland has officially forbidden to call Russian Kaliningrad by this Soviet name. Now for Poles it will be called by its former Polish name Królewiec, it is not recommended to use the word combination Kaliningrad region as well.

The corresponding decision was taken by the Committee on Standardization of Geographical Names Outside the Republic of Poland at the Chief Inspector of the country on April 12, 2023. The decision takes effect from the date of publication, May 9. The reason for the decision was the involvement of Soviet statesman Mikhail Kalinin, after whom the city was renamed in the USSR, in the mass murder of Polish officers in Katyn in 1940, Rzeczpospolita writes.

The edition quoted the communiqué of the Committee for Standardization of Geographical Names Outside the Republic of Poland, published on May 9, which noted that at the 125th meeting on April 12 the members of this committee decided that in Poland the Russian Kaliningrad will be called by the former Polish name of this city - Królewiec (Królewiec).

To use the Soviet name Kaliningrad in reference to this city in the Polish language is not recommended from now on, as well as use of a word combination Kaliningrad region, now Poles will call it Królewiec.

According to the document, the new rules come into force from the date of publication of the communiqué, that is from May 9, 2023.

"The Committee on Standardization of Geographical Names Outside the Republic of Poland noted that when making the changes it took into account that "the city currently bearing the Russian name Kaliningrad is known in Poland under the traditional name Królewiec" and the current Russian name of this city is "artificial baptism, not connected with either the city or the region," - writes the publication.

At the same time, Poland was reminded of the Soviet statesman Mikhail Kalinin, who was responsible, among other things, for the execution of over 21,000 Poles, most of whom were Polish prisoners of war. NKVD officers executed them in the Russian Katyn in the spring of 1940.

"The fact of assigning the name of Kalinin to a major city near the borders of Poland - the criminal-executor responsible, among other things, for the mass murder of Poles (the Katyn mass shooting), has an emotionally negative perception in Poland," the newspaper quotes the text of the communiqué.

However, the decision of the Committee was influenced not only by historical events, but also by today's realities, in particular, the Russian aggression against Ukraine and its hostile policy towards the Western countries, including Poland.

The commission emphasized that geographical names, in addition to their identification function, can also have symbolic functions, and "the current Russian city name is an element of the symbolic space of Russia, also imposed on recipients from outside the country.

"Events related to Russia's attack on Ukraine, the imposition of the so-called 'Russian world,' and Russia's waging of an information war force us to look at the issue of imposed names, which are highly controversial and not acceptable in Poland," the communiqué noted.

The Commission on Standardization of Geographical Names Outside the Republic of Poland emphasized that no state can be forced to use unacceptable names in its native language.

Earlier it was reported that a Russian X-55 missile fell in Poland in late April. Earlier it was assumed that a large missile fragment found in the woods near the Polish city of Bydgoszcz could have been part of a Soviet air-to-ground missile still in service with the Polish army. The analysts were prompted to this idea by the fact that a military training area, where military exercises and weapons tests take place, is located not far from where the wreckage was found.

However, the findings of experts refuted this version. It was also revealed that the Polish military had detected an air object in the sky over Poland during a massive Russian missile strike against Ukraine in mid-December, but it disappeared from the radar near Bydgoszcz. Contrary to the legal requirements, the military did not notify the prosecutor's office about the violation of Polish airspace.

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