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Kyrgyz Legislation Would 'De-Russify' Names

BISHKEK -- A Kyrgyz lawmaker has initiated legislation on the "de-Russification" of Kyrgyz names.

Nurkamil Madaliev, of the Ar-Namys (Dignity) party, told RFE/RL he sent a bill to parliament on March 4 on changing Kyrgyz names, which were Russified during the Soviet era.

Under the draft law, Kyrgyz men's patronymic names ending with the Russian "vich" would change to the Kyrgyz suffix "uulu" (son of).

Women's patronymics would replace the Russian "ovna" or "evna" with the Kyrgyz suffix "kyzy" (daughter of).

The bill says Kyrgyz would change their surnames from the Russian "ov(a)" or "ev(a)" to the Kyrgyz suffix "tegin" (lineage of).

Many Kyrgyz rid their names of the Russian endings after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but tens of thousands have changed their names back to the Russian suffixes in recent years as they say it makes their lives as labor migrants in Russia easier.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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