MOSCOW – Russia’s Ministry of Defence has decided that an intercontinental missile should be named after a Syrian city.
The nuclear-capable cruise missile – Topol-M (RT-2PM2) – has now been named “Palmyra”, the Russia Today reported.
The idea of a public poll arose after Russian President Vladimir Putin called upon the Russian people to help in choosing names for three new strategic weapons.
After the results of the poll were analysed by the ministry, it was revealed that “Palmyra” had received the most votes. Voters were given several options to choose from.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of the Chechen Republic, had proposed to name the newest Russian cruise missile, to honor Russian servicemen who fought international terrorism in Syria.
“The name of the city of Palmyra can be translated as ‘miracle’. Russia’s victory in Palmyra has become a turning point in the fight against Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS]. Besides, our president is from St. Petersburg, the city that is often called the northern Palmyra. In my view, the name ‘Palmyra’ for this missile recalls the names of everyone who selflessly fought evil,” Ramzan Kadyrov wrote in his Telegram blog.
He emphasized that the Russian servicemen who gave their lives in the counterterrorist operation in Syria were heroes who fought in order to maintain the miracle of peace.
Kadyrov’s proposal came soon after President Vladimir Putin presented several cutting-edge Russian-made weapons in his annual address to the parliament and other dignitaries. The weapons – such as a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a high-power combat laser and an autonomous underwater drone capable of breaching strategic defenses – are so new that they have no official titles yet and Putin suggested that the Defense Ministry could launch a competition to name them.
The Defense Ministry quickly responded by launching a specialized poll on its website.
The idea was also quickly picked up by internet celebrities who proposed various funny variants of weapons’ names – from “Columbus” to “Brezhnev’s Underwear.”
On Friday afternoon, the Defence Ministry’s press service reported that it had received over 63,000 proposals of names for new weapons in just 24 hours, both from Russia and foreign countries.