Soviet Union: What's in A Name?

What's in A Name?

Leonid Brezhnev is no hero to Mikhail Gorbachev, who has dubbed his predecessor's 18-year reign the "era of stagnation." Still, there are reminders of that reign all over the Soviet Union, where everything from an icebreaker to a whole city bears Brezhnev's name. Last week, in a two- paragraph dispatch, the TASS news agency announced that three of those reminders are being eliminated.

The city of Brezhnev, on the Volga River, returns to the far more poetic Naberezhniye Chelny (Dugout Canoes on the Riverbank). The Moscow suburb of Brezhnev is once again Cheryomushky Rayon (Cherry Tree District). In Leningrad, Brezhnev Square...

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