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Kazakhs Change Name Of City Linked To Nuke Tests

Kazakhstan shut down the Semipalatinsk test site in 1991 and later demolished its infrastructure in a series of explosions like this one in 2000 (epa) June 21, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Kazakhstan has changed the name of the northeastern city of Semipalatinsk because it is associated with Soviet-era nuclear tests.

President Nursultan Nazarbaev signed a decree today changing the city's name to Semey.

Nazarbaev said earler this month the name "Semipalatinsk" carried negative associations that put off foreign investors.

The Semipalatinsk district was used as a Soviet nuclear test ground between 1949 and 1989.

(RFE/RL's Kazakh Service, Interfax-Kazakhstan)

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