Grozny street renamed in honour of Pskov paratroopers
By Ruslan Isayev
GROZNY, Chechnya – A solemn atmosphere surrounded the renaming of a street in the Chechen capital today in honour of the Pskov paratroopers who were killed in the mountains of Chechnya in the year 2000.
The unveiling of a memorial plaque bearing the names and surnames of 84 servicemen on the wall of a five-storey block on the thoroughfare formerly known as Zhigulyovskaya Street was attended by the leadership of the Chechen Republic, representatives of the Pskov administration, and colleagues, relatives and friends of the fallen soldiers and officers.
Many Zhigulyovskaya Street residents who observed the proceedings quietly expressed their displeasure, regarding the event as a personal insult. At the beginning of the second Chechen war Russian soldiers used a store in the building to whose wall the memorial plaque is affixed as a place of execution where they shot civilians whom they had dragged from their houses and places of refuge.
"They can name the street after anyone they like, we don’t mind – just as long as they don’t name it after the Russian soldiers who murdered our neighbours,” a female resident who does not wish to be named told Prague Watchdog’s correspondent.
The street originally earmarked for renaming as “84 Pskov Paratroopers Street” by the Grozny mayor’s office was the so-called “Ninth Line Street”. By a strange coincidence, this is situated next to Shakespeare Street, where Dzhokhar Dudayev, first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, once lived. However, a few days before the official ceremony it was decided instead to rename Zhigulyovskaya Street, which adjoins the Staropromyslovsky Road.
(Translation by DM)
(T) RELATED ARTICLES:
· Pskov paratroopers memorial plaque unveiled in Grozny (Chechnya.gov.ru, 22.2.2008)
· Enemy Street (PW, 29.1.2008)