Ukrainian members of Parliament voted to give back the Eastern Ukrainian town of Novgorodske its old name of New York, before the Soviet authorities changed it.
Over 300 lawmakers of Verkhovna Rada recently backed a proposal to rename a Ukrainian town of Novgorodske to New York in a bid to distance itself from its Soviet past.
The town in the Eastern Donetsk region, home for around 12,000 people, which lies not far from the frontline of Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists of Donbas, campaigned for years to get its old name back.
Congrats to the people of New York, Donetsk Oblast, on the return to their town’s historical name by cross-faction consensus in the Ukrainian Parliament].
Another reason to celebrate our close ties. We’re big fans of your new/old name!US Embassy in Kyiv, Twitter account
Historically, the settlement of New York was in the East of Yekaterinoslav Governorate of the Russian Empire in the mid-19th century. In 1892, German settlers, members of the Mennonite and Lutheran church, who came to Russia under Catherine the Great, bought land plots in the area and established their colony with brick and roof tile production.
A legend says that the settlement was named after the Big Apple because one of the founders had a wife of American origin and chose that name in her honour.
In 1894, the German engineer Jacob Niebuhr created a machine-building plant in New York for manufacturing agricultural machinery. In 1941, a few months into the war with Nazi Germany, the Soviet authorities deported all Germans still living in New York to Kazakhstan.
In 1951, the Soviet authorities decided that having such an American name in Ukraine wasn’t in line with communist party’s policies. Therefore, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR renamed New York as Novhorodske. The new name Nodhorodske meant literally “new city’s”.