Latvians Reject Proposal to Rename Dudaev Avenue
The Latvian media has reported that “Riga City Council on Monuments” unanimously rejected Mayor Nils Ušakov’s proposal to rename Dudaev Avenue.
According to the report, Nils Ušakov, the mayor of Riga, proposed to replace the name of the “Avenue of Dzhoxar Dudaev (Džohara Dudajeva gatve)” with the name of “Makhmoud Esambayev”, a well-known Chechen dancer who lived from 1924-2000. Riga City Council on Monuments discussed the proposal and the council members unanimously rejected it. The decision was announced by Ojārs Spārītis, the head of Riga City Council, and he pointed out that the reflection of Russian domestic politics cannot carry over to Riga.
“We are thankful to Dudaev for what he did in 1990s. For this reason the street will keep its name,” said Valdis Gavars, a member of Riga City Council.
“The street was named for Dudaev because in mid-1990s he fought for the independence of Chechnya and he was killed by Russian security services,” said Janis Krastins, an architect and a member of the Riga City Council.
“The name of this street has been given as the result of an evaluation of Dzhoxar Dudaev’s role in the history of Baltic countries and his efforts in Chechen independence. The Chechen nation has suffered from the expulsions, even more than Latvians, because a half million Chechen civilians were deported from their native lands into Central Asia on the order of Stalin. They still managed to survive and Dzhoxar Dudaev, who was an eight day old baby then, managed to gain a high military position. He did a lot of things for the Baltic countries and his homeland. I must also add that we are not the only city which has given his name to a public place,” Eyzhens Upmanis, an architect and a member of the Riga City Council.
On the other hand, Nils Ušakov is dissatisfied with the decision and he told journalists that he will apply once again in May 2012 with a new population survey.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco