Why is it important for Ukraine to restore historical toponyms in Crimea?

February 22, 2023

The Crimean Tatar Resource Center has repeatedly noted the importance of restoring historical toponymy in Crimea. Indeed, the policy of large-scale renaming of various geographical names on the peninsula dealt a huge blow to the indigenous peoples of Ukraine. The restoration of toponyms in Crimea is important not only for indigenous peoples, but also for Ukraine itself as a state and for the entire Ukrainian people.

Firstly, the return of historical toponyms on the peninsula will strengthen the position of the Ukrainian state in Crimea and demonstrate who is the master in Crimea. What names will be according to Ukrainian cartography – such names will be on international maps.

Secondly, the restoration of toponyms is a tool for the de-occupation of Crimea, as well as an important way to fight in the ideological war against the occupiers. Thus, we demonstrate that the Russians have nothing to do with either Crimea or Ukraine as a whole. Because we see how Putin and his supporters each time try to call the Ukrainian lands Russian…

“Let me remind you that in the 30s of the last century, the West actually opened the way for the Nazis to power in Germany. And in our time, they began to make anti-Russia out of Ukraine. The project is actually not new. People who are at least a little immersed in history know perfectly well: this project goes back to the 19th century, it was cultivated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and in Poland, and other countries with one goal – to tear off these historical territories, which today are called Ukraine , from our country”,- Putin said on February 21, 2023 in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

The return of historical names is an important step in the decolonization and decommunization of Ukraine as a whole. Today it is important to get rid of any names containing symbols of Russian-imperial politics.

In addition, by returning historical names, Ukraine will position itself as a European, legal state that is trying to restore justice and take care of the indigenous peoples of our country. Recall that by adopting the Law of Ukraine On the Indigenous Peoples of Ukraine in 2021, Ukraine has already become an example for many countries in the world as a state that protects the rights of indigenous peoples in practice. And the reaction from the Russians, the State Duma and Putin was appropriate, because they tried to do everything to cancel this law.

The campaign is implemented with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation. This poster was designed by the activists and volunteers of the CTRC, and acquired its professional look thanks to the artist Andrii Yermolenko.