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No plans to rename Volgograd as Stalingrad - presidential aide

MOSCOW. Jan 28 (Interfax) - There are no immediate plans to rename Volgograd as Stalingrad, presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky told the Kultura television station on Monday evening.

"The very fact that we are marking the anniversary of one of the most crucial battles of World War II does not mean we are giving the green light to renaming the city," Yastrzhembsky said.

"First and foremost, we need to know what the city's residents think," he said. "As far as I know, the latest polls show that most people are opposed to giving the city its former name of Stalingrad," the presidential aide said.

Commenting on the proposal to return the Dzerzhinsky monument to Lubyanka Square, he noted that "it was silly to dismantle [the monument], but it is even more silly to put it back."

The Volgograd regional legislature submitted a request to rename their city Stalingrad to the president.

February 2, 2003, will mark the 60th anniversary of the Stalingrad battle.

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