On the official documents of Poland the Russian city of Kaliningrad changes its name: it will be called with the name in the native language Krolewiec. However, Moscow does not welcome the decision taken yesterday by the Polish authorities and defines it as a “hostile act”. Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave squeezed between Lithuania and Poland on the Baltic coast, was called Königsberg before the end of the Second World War. However, following the annexation, it was renamed in honor of the politician Mikhail Kalinin. Now, however, the city is changing its toponym again and, as declared by the Polish Development Minister, Waldemar Buda, it will officially be called Królewiec, which is the name it had when it was governed by the Kingdom of Poland in the 15th and 16th centuries. (WAR IN UKRAINE. THE SPECIAL – LIVE UPDATES)
Kremlin: ‘It’s madness’
The initiative is also supported by the Warsaw government. “Poland is returning to the traditional denomination relating to its history and cultural heritage”, explained Minister Buda, who added: “We do not want Russification”. The reaction of the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was not delayed, who condemned the decision stating that “this is no longer even Russophobia, these are processes that border on insanity”. And he added: “We know that throughout history, Poland has slipped from time to time in this madness of hatred towards the Russians”.
The Commission for the Standardization of Geographical Names decided at its April 12 meeting that only the Polish name Krolewiec was recommended for the city of Kaliningrad, according to a statement released on May 9. The name Kaliningrad should not be used in Polish. The statement noted that the change takes effect from the day of the announcement, i.e. Tuesday, May 9, 2023. “Naming a large city near the Polish borders after Kalinin, a criminal jointly responsible for, among other things, deciding on murder mass of Poles (the massacre of 22,000 officers in the Katyn forest), is emotional and negative in Poland”, underlines the commission in a statement.