Putin says a vote is possible to get Stalingrad name back

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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives for a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace in Paris.  Thursday, June 5, 2014 where U.S. President Barack Obama, French president Francois Hollande and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II will gather in Normandy to remember the more than 9,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded that day. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives for a meeting with French President Francois Hollande, at the Elysee Palace in Paris. Thursday, June 5, 2014 where U.S. President Barack Obama, French president Francois Hollande and Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will gather in Normandy to remember the more than 9,000 Allied soldiers killed or wounded that day. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin says a referendum could be held on restoring the historic name of Stalingrad to the Russian city, where the Red Army defeated Nazi forces in a decisive World War II battle.

The city was renamed Volgograd in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union’s rejection of dictator Josef Stalin’s personality cult.

But regional lawmakers decided last year to use the historic name in some city statements related to the war, angering many in Russia, where Stalin’s name and legacy continues to cause fiery disputes.

Putin made the statement Friday during a meeting with Russian war veterans in Normandy, France, where he attended D-Day commemorations.

Responding to a veteran’s suggestion to restore the name of Stalingrad, Putin said it could be decided by a public vote.

 

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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