[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 15 December 2005, 12:06 GMT
Chechnya wants Grozny name change
By Steve Rosenberg
BBC News, Moscow

Ahmad Kadyrov (in hat) flanked by other top officials
Akhmad Kadyrov was killed by rebels last year
Chechnya's new parliament has called on the Russian government to change the name of the capital, Grozny, to honour its former president, Akhmad Kadyrov.

It has been sitting for less than a week and already Chechnya's new parliament is trying to change history.

MPs voted unanimously to ask Moscow to alter the city's name to Akhmadkala.

The word Grozny dates back to the early 19th century: originally it was the name of a military outpost on the edge of the Tsar's Russian empire.

But according to the speaker of parliament, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, Grozny is associated with the "darkest pages of history of the Chechen people".

Lenin replaced

Instead, MPs want the city renamed in honour of pro-Moscow Mr Kadyrov, who was killed by a rebel bomb last year.

Chechnya map

He was a man, the speaker said, who gave his life to help Chechens become free and prosperous.

Since his assassination, something of a cult of personality has grown up around the figure of Akhmad Kadyrov.

All the streets in Chechnya which had been named in honour of Vladimir Lenin back in Soviet times have now been renamed Kadyrov Street, and his portrait hangs in towns and villages across the republic.

His son Ramzan is currently the deputy prime minister and, as head of the local security forces, is the most powerful man in Chechnya today.

Chechnya's gun-toting strongman
26 Nov 05 |  Europe
In pictures: Chechnya buries president
10 May 04 |  In Pictures
What next for Chechnya?
10 May 04 |  Europe
Regions and territories: Chechnya
04 Dec 05 |  Country profiles

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific