Mountain Out of a President

Mountain Out of a President


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Yes! That’s what is the latest instead of mountain out of a molehill. Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin got his own mountain in the former Soviet state of Kyrgyzstan, near a holiday spot popular with the communist elite in Soviet times. Soviet cosmonauts also went there for rehabilitation after space flights.


The governor of Issyk-Kul region decided on the name after Yeltsin visited its huge lake earlier in July. Kyrgyz and Russian media reported that the governor wanted “to thank him for his contribution to building democracy on the post-Soviet space.” The governor said a group of climbers would soon mount the 3,500-metre (11,550-foot) peak and plant Russian and Kyrgyz flags at its summit. The name won little praise from climbers, who come from around the world to scale the mountains in the area. The reports quoted Levon Alibegashvili, chairman of Kyrgyzstan’s Mountain Climbing Federation, as saying: “It’s not up to governors to decide what climbers will call the peaks that they scale with their lives at risk.” Another summit with a famous moniker not far away is Lenin Peak, which was only renamed four years after the death of the first Soviet leader.
There is another side to the story also and there have been unlucky ones who have lost their mountains. Stalin Peak in Tajikistan was renamed Communism Peak and later with the rise of Islam got the new name Ismail Samani Peak. (639)

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