Here's an item on the ways and byways of symbolic meaning:
The city of Volgograd will be temporarily renamed Stalingrad to commemorate the Soviet Union's victory in the bloody 1943 battle that broke the power of the Nazi invasion, thanks to a decision passed by the city administration.
The famous city on the Volga River is this year marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the definitive World War II battle of Stalingrad. Celebrations on Thursday included a re-enactment of the moment when General von Paulus, who commanded the German forces, emerged from his bunker to surrender.
Volgograd will now be referred to as Stalingrad at official events on Feb. 2, the day on which the last of the Axis forces surrendered; on May 9, Victory Day; on June 22, Day of Mourning and Memory; Sept. 2, marking the end of World War II; on Aug. 23, which commemorates those killed in Nazi bombing raids in Stalingrad; and Nov. 19, the start of Operation Uranus, during which the Nazis in the city were encircled, according to a statement posted on the Volgograd City Duma's website Wednesday.
Known as Tsaritsyn under the tsars, the city was re-named Stalingrad in 1925. It was changed again, to Volgograd, in 1961, eight years after Stalin's death.
The column from The Moscow Times goes on to say that the decision to revert to the name 'Stalingrad' for these commemorative purposes was taken in response to pressure from veterans. It seems right to me. To go on calling the city by that name would be to continue to honour a man responsible for the most terrible crimes and sufferings. But to those who fought in it as well as others, the battle will forever be the Battle of Stalingrad. This honours, not Stalin, but all those who died in contributing decisively in that place to the defeat of Nazism. (Via.)