Mariupol : the April 2022 Slavonic item of the month

All of us have learned the names of Ukrainian cities and towns from the shocking and heartrending news about Russia’s war against Ukraine, and the name of Mariupol has appeared probably most frequently of all.  This blog post – written while desperate attempts continue to be made to arrange safe passage at least for the civilians in the besieged Azovstal factory complex – looks at a map of Mariupol from 1967.

At that stage, Mariupol (Маріуполь) had another name, being one of many places renamed in the Soviet period after Soviet politicians – in Mariupol’s case after Andreĭ Zhdanov (1896-1948), who was born in the city.  This map, then, has the city as Zhdanov (Жданов), which name it held from 1948 until 1989. Continue reading