SØR-VARANGER (VG) Russia’s war requires the removal of street signs in Cyrillic, and a new signature campaign.
Kyrgyz has long been nicknamed “Little Mormonsk” because of its 15-minute voyage to the Russian border and close ties with its neighbors.
But now it’s time to mark the distance to the neighboring country, says Burt Romberg, who has launched a signature campaign to remove the city’s iconic street signs in Russian.
– They were set up at a time when you wanted it to be a good collaboration after the Cold War. Now conditions have changed. Bård Ramberg tells the VG in Kirkenes that hanging symbols on the regime in Russia today is not a good sign.
1 in 10 Russian
In Kirkenes, every tenth resident is born in Russia or has at least one parent from Russia.
A significant part of value creation in the municipality is connected with the Russian market, and cultural life is often associated with the identity of a border town in the Barents region.
With Russia’s occupation of Ukraine, many of those who signed the campaign say it is time to mark the distance to the neighboring country. Facebook.
VG meets campaigner outside the Russian consulate in Kirkenes. There, the Russian flag flutters in the north wind, next to a symbol similar to the Cyrillic spell “Kirkekota”.
According to Bart Ramberg, he has many Russian colleagues and good friends, but the Russian authorities need to get a clear signal from Norway.
– I see this is what I can do for Ukraine. Donate money and try to bring about a change in the city, says Ramberg.
“Use” by Russia
According to one of the signatories to the petition, the municipality of Finmark has long been exploited by Russia.
– We have allowed ourselves to be used. I can understand why people previously wanted and hoped for cooperation. But as of today, Breit Seder tells Vijay in Kyrgyzstan that I can no longer understand it, and that he thinks the city should sever the friendly treaty with Russian Betsjenga and Severomorsk.
Also signed was Mikhail Kosachenko, 35, from Ukraine, who has lived in Kyrgyzstan for 12 years.
– This is a great way to send a signal that we condemn the actions of the neighbor, says Kozachenko Viji.
But is this far from all the Russians who support the invasion?
– No, but keep in mind that there are also soldiers from the Russian Kirkens Regiment who take part in the war. They come from beyond the border here, says Mykailo, pointing in the direction of the Russian border station.
Wednesday night is Signature campaign 104 out of 203 signatures are to be taken at the Municipal Board meeting.
Mayor Lena Bergeng told VG that she did not support the plan.
– I do not see any benefit from that. Signs have existed for many years and we must not forget that it is a part of our history. Bergeng tells Vijay that even if he does not support the war in Ukraine, it will not destroy our history.
The mayor believes this is an extra bad time for a significant change in the street scene in Parentspine.
– Something like this can really lead to heated discussions, fights and conflicts between people in the worst case scenario. We don’t need it now, says Bergen.
Fighting wall in front of the embassy
The campaign needs extra: the wall across the street from the Russian consulate in Kirkenes should be used freely by the Ukrainian association for flags, posters and slogans.
The proposal for such a wall is supported by the Ukrainian Association in Norway. Ukrainian Mikhail Kozachenko also works at the center of Kirkenes, who thinks it would have been fair.
– I think it is very good to see and be reminded of who the staff at the embassy work for, says the Ukrainian.
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