The Russian city of Arkhangelsk should be renamed ?Putingrad? because it would speed up development, and money would be properly spent due to fear of doing something wrong, the city's former mayor, Alexander Donskoy, said.
Speaking to local newspaper 29ru, Donskoy floated the idea while announcing a competition for a new coat of arms for the city, noting that changing the name to Putingrad, after current Russian President Vladimir Putin, would be "useful."
"I can confidently say that this will give us a very powerful developmental push, because no officials will do anything wrong in Arkhangelsk. The money will be properly spent," he said, seemingly suggesting that local officials would be scared to cause problems in a city named after the country's long-serving leader.
According to Donskoy, not a single city councilor would vote against the idea.
"Putingrad is the perfect name. No one will mess with that city," he added.
The former mayor also said the new name would create new impetus, hope, and joy for locals after the previous two years of Covid-19 restrictions.
Many Russian cities have been named after former leaders and prominent politicians, especially during the Soviet era. Until 1991, Saint Petersburg was known as Leningrad, after revolutionary leader Vladimir Lenin. His successor, Joseph Stalin, also had a city honoring him - Stalingrad, which was renamed Volgograd in 1961. In the 1980s, the smaller settlement of Naberezhnye Chelny in the country's Tatarstan region was called Brezhnev after the eponymous Soviet leader, Leonid.