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What do the names St. Petersburg, Leningrad, and Petrograd have in common

Russia and the Former Soviet States Read more from
Chapter Russia and Eastern Europe

St. Petersburg, Leningrad, and Petrograd were three names for the same city. Located in northwestern Russia along the Gulf of Finland, the city was originally founded as St. Petersburg in 1703 by Czar Peter the Great. Since “St. Petersburg” sounded too German to be the capital city of Russia, the city’s name was changed to Petrograd in 1914. After the death of Communist leader Vladimir Lenin in 1924, the city’s name was again changed, this time to Leningrad. After the change in the Soviet government in 1991, Leningrad once again became St. Petersburg.

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