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MOSCOW, July 14 /TASS/. The renaming of populated localities as part of Ukraine’s infamous de-communization campaign is a bluff, which distracts the Ukrainian people’s attention from society’s real problems, Frants Klintsevich, the first deputy head of the Russian Federation Council Committee for Defense and Security, said on Thursday.
"The renaming campaign is an obvious attempt to deceive the Ukrainian people and distract them from the real problems, which are tearing the society apart. It is just an imitation of change," the lawmaker told journalists on Thursday commenting Verkhovna Rada’s decision to rename the city of Kirovograd into Kropivnitsky [after Ukrainian actor and playwright Mark Kropivnitsky].
According to Klintsevich, de-communization is another campaign to substitute serious, meticulous, unhurried but consistent work to take Ukraine out of the grave crisis. He believes that this imaginary and narrow-minded reformation work is a direct way to conservation of the worst things from the past in Ukrainian society.
"I do not want to be a prophet, but the enormous moral and even economic effects of the renaming campaign will be inevitable in Ukraine," Klintsevich stressed.
Two hundred thirty Rada deputies out of the required 226 voted for renaming the city of Kirovograd after Ukrainian playwright Mark Kropivnitsky despite the fact that only 4% of the city’s residents had welcomed that decision. Speaker Andrei Parubiy said after the vote that the parliament had finished its part of de-communization.
Kirovograd was named after Sergei Kostrikov (Kirov), a Soviet state and political figure and a member of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Communist Party in 1939.
A law "On Condemnation of the Communist and Nazi Regimes" came into effect in Ukraine in May 2015. It provides for renaming cities and streets named after Soviet state leaders and politicians. The institute of national memory has published a list of 520 historical figures whose names should disappear from geographical names on the map of Ukraine. Rada’s decision to rename the city of Dnepropetrovsk into Dnepr has been one of the most high-profile renamings in recent months.