12:17 Jun. 7, 2016
Earlier city's toponymical commission proposed to name new bridge after first Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov
Around a thousand Russians protested against naming a new bridge in Saint Petersburg after Chechnya's first president Akhmad Kadyrov. They organised pickets against the decision of the city toponymical commission, which approved the new name on May 30, 2016, RFE/RL reported.
The idea to name the bridge after Akhmad Kadyrov, the murdered father of Chechnya's current head Ramzan, emerged earlier this year in March. The majority of the commission voted in favor of this decision. One of the members later said she was "pressured" to vote, Russian media outlet Slon reported.
This decision triggered protests from the residents of Saint Petersburg. Online petition against the "Kadyrov's bridge" gained votes of around 70,000 people.
The protesters called this proposal a "political order". The demonstrators claimed Akhmad Kadyrov, the murdered father of Chechnya's current head Ramzan, never had any connections to St. Petersburg.
"This is our city! Say no to Kadyrov's bridge", they shouted during their demonstration.
Their claims were backed by several Russian artists.
"Residents of St. Petersburg will be outraged to have a reference to this notorious family in the city that underwent the blockade," film director Alexander Sokurov wrote in a message to the St. Petersburg governor, according to The Moscow Times.
Akhmad Kadyrov became the Chechen President in 2003. A year later he was assassinated. Various human rights group describe him and his son Ramzan as dictators, using tortures and executions against their opponents.