Russian officials railed against Ukraine’s talk of changing Russia’s official name to Muscovy, after a Ukrainian petition regarding a potential name change garnered 25,000 signatures.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reportedly instructed Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal to “carefully” consider renaming Russia to Muscovy, accounting for consequences under international law and whether it was possible in historical and cultural contexts.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said in a statement posted to Telegram on Saturday that Zelensky is trying to create an “anti-Russia Ukraine.”
Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin and deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, also reacted to the news, saying that they will not consider changing the name, according to The New Voice of Ukraine.
“The Supreme Nazi of Kyiv [Zelensky] instructed to work out the issue of renaming Russia to Muscovy. Well, what can I say … Our answer? No, of course not,” Medvedev said.
The petition notes that the name “Muscovy” was “used in European and some Asian languages” and appeared “on many historical maps of the 16th-19th centuries, which were produced in Europe before and after the renaming of the Muscovite Empire to the All-Russian Empire.”