Poland Officially Renames Kaliningrad and Kaliningrad Oblast

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

The Commission on Geographical Names Standardisation Outside of Poland, which operates under the country's main geodetic service, has decided to no longer call the Russian city of Kaliningrad by its Russian name, but instead to use the Polish name Królewiec.

According to Rzeczpospolita, the Commission also recommends using the Polish name Królewiecka oblast instead of Kaliningradskaya oblast for the administrative unit where the city is located. It entered into force on May 9, 2023.

It also considered that the current Russian name is artificial and not related to the city or the region. The city is traditionally known in Poland as Królewiec.

They stated that Soviet statesman Mikhail Kalinin, after whom the city is named, is "a criminal responsible, among other things, for the mass murder of Poles in Katyn" and that mentions of him have a "negative character" in Poland.

The commission points out that geographical names can have a symbolic function in addition to their identification function. The current Russian name of the city is an element of the Russian symbolic space imposed on audiences outside the country.

"The events associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the so-called "Russian world," Russia's information war, force us to look at the issue of imposed names differently, which cause great controversy and are not approved in Poland," stated the Commission on standardisation of geographical names.

Last year, in Prague, a fun "referendum on the annexation of Kaliningrad" to Czechia (Ukr) was used in support of Ukraine outside the Russian embassy.

Read more about how Czechs, through the meme about Königsberg/Kaliningrad, mock the absurdity of Russian propaganda and pseudo-referendums in the occupied territories of Ukraine, in the article "98% for leaving Russia: how Czechs jokingly prepare for 'annexation' of Kaliningrad" (Ukr)

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