The Chechen parliament has decided once again to abandon the Russian name of the capital of the republic, Grozny, and to rename the city "Djohar" in honor of the republic’s first president, Djohar Dudaev. Grozny ("terrible" or "threatening") was a Russian city, founded in 1824 as an outpost of the Terek Cossack line against the Chechens and other Caucasus Muslim nations. It was virtually destroyed by Russian aerial bombardment during the war of 1994-96. Grozny was briefly renamed Djohar-gala by Chechnya’s second president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev. No change was made to the constitution at that time, however. Further, after his election at the beginning of last year, President Aslan Maskhadov said Grozny should retain its Russian name and that, when a new capital was built, that should be named for Dudaev. Parliament yesterday decided to amend the constitution both to change the name of the capital and to rename the republic, which now officially becomes the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. (Russian agencies, March 25)
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