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Ukraine's Kirovograd locals rally against town’s name change

July 15, 16:04 UTC+3 KIEV
The town was renamed Kropivnitsky after the Ukrainian playwright despite the fact that 56.6% of the locals were against the change
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© Valery Matytsin/TASS

KIEV, July 15. /TASS/. Hundreds of Kirovograd local residents have rallied against renaming their town to Kropivnitsky, the Ukrainian online newspaper Strana.ua said on Friday.

According to the report, the number of participants at the rally came to roughly 500.

Kirovograd was renamed Kropivnitsky after the Ukrainian playwright, Mark Kropivnitsky, whose theatrical works were composed in Ukrainian. This is despite the fact that just four percent of local residents backed this idea. A few hours after the decision was made, lawmakers from both the opposition and President Poroshenko’s ruling party introduced two draft bills to halt the decision in parliament.

An opinion poll showed more than half, or precisely 56.6% of the local residents, were against the name change. Kirovograd’s mayor, Andrey Raykovich, has suggested holding a referendum on this matter.

Kiev adopted decommunization legislation in May 2015 aimed at denouncing the Communist regime and outlawing Soviet symbols. The decommunization crusade requires that all facilities bearing the names of Soviet figures regardless of status be renamed. Also in the crosshairs, anything mentioning communism, Soviet power, or its institutions, is deemed illegal as well. One of the greatest uproars of late was fueled by Ukrainian parliament members, when they decided to rename the city of Dnepropetrovsk to Dnepr.

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