ISSN 2330-717X

Georgia Opens Way For Ethnic Azerbaijanis To ‘De-Russianize’ Their Names – OpEd


Non-Russians living outside their own republics are more likely to have Russianized their names than those living within them, and this situation has been changing more slowly than the situation of their co-ethnics at home because the host governments seldom show much interest in ending this vestige of Russian imperialis


Happily, the Georgian parliament is now considering a measure that will put in place procedures that will make it easier for the ethnic Azerbaijani population in Georgia to drop their Russianized names ( and

 The Azerbaijani civic organization Salam has been pushing for this change, but its earlier efforts, including a petition more than 27,000 people signed, fell short because of what Georgian officials said were technical problems and the fact that the ruling Georgian Dream Party was preparing its own draft law.

That legislation is now before the parliament and is likely to pass given that it has the support of the government.  

Paul Goble

Paul Goble is a longtime specialist on ethnic and religious questions in Eurasia. Most recently, he was director of research and publications at the Azerbaijan Diplomatic Academy. Earlier, he served as vice dean for the social sciences and humanities at Audentes University in Tallinn and a senior research associate at the EuroCollege of the University of Tartu in Estonia. He has served in various capacities in the U.S. State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the International Broadcasting Bureau as well as at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Goble maintains the Window on Eurasia blog and can be contacted directly at [email protected] .

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