Russians Vote to Rename Major Airports after Historical Figures

Russians participating in a nationwide online poll have chosen to rename Moscow’s gateway international airport after the beloved 19th-century poet Aleksandr Pushkin, local media reported.

According to Interfax, a majority of participants chose to swap the airport’s current name, Sheremetyevo, for Pushkin, whose writings have been adored and memorized by millions of Russians over the decades.

In all, 47 airports were up for renaming under the contest, which was conducted online over several weeks in November as part of a project called Great Names of Russia.

The project was a joint effort by a consortium of state-connected organizations, including the Public Chamber, the Russian Geographical Society, and the Russian Military-Historical Society. Organizers said the goal to promote national unity and patriotism.

Moscow’s second main airport, Domodedovo, will be named after the 18th-century scientist Mikhail Lomonosov.

The leading choice for Vnukovo, Moscow’s third airport, was the father of the Soviet space program, Sergei Korolyov. However, poll organizers said a final decision had not been made yet.

Other airports getting new names are Voronezh (Peter the Great); Krasnodar (Catherine the Great); Magadan (Soviet bard poet Vladimir Vysotsky); Mineralnye Vody (19th-century writer Mikhail Lermontov); and Petropavlovsk-Kamachatsky (Danish explorer Vitus Bering).