Angry Russian patriots in Russia's far eastern region of Amur have forced a recently opened pizzeria to change its name from New York Pizzeria to something more patriotic in the face of what locals consider to be anti-Russian sanctions, the Interfax news agency reported Friday.
Russian citizens have been finding interesting ways to denounce the U.S. after Washington imposed sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in March and its subsequent support for pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.
In August, a video of an angry Russian man smashing his iPhone and iPad with a hammer in protest of U.S. Sanctions made waves on the Russian Internet.
Not to be outdone, the citizens of Belogorsk, a small town of almost 70,000 in Amur oblast in the Far East, staged a write-in campaign to the local government, petitioning for authorities to pressure the pizzeria's owner to find a more agreeable name, according to Interfax.
"We, the citizens of Belogorsk," the agency cited the letter as saying, "are deeply angered by the opening of a pizzeria in the center of town with such a 'loud' name as New York."
Such a name conjures up images of U.S. symbols like the Statue of Liberty at a time when the U.S. is pressuring Russia with economic sanctions, the letter says, before asking if there are no Russian names for a pizzeria.
It is not clear if the pizzeria's name drew inspiration from a love of America, or simply specializes in New York style pizza.
Regardless, the pizzeria has changed its name to Amur Pizza.