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No Crimean Babies Named 'Generator' to Protest Power Outages

A customer visits a grocery lit with candles due to a power cut, in Simferopol.

An appeal by a Crimean leader for local residents to name their newborn sons “Generator” to protest power outages did not gain popular support — not a single boy born on the peninsula in recent months received that name, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Tuesday.

Crimea's regional legislature speaker Vladimir Konstantinov also urged local residents in early December to name their newborn daughters Sveta — a homonym of the Russian word “svet,” or “light” — but that proposal did not gain traction either. No female babies born in Crimea in December 2015 through January received that name, regional Deputy Justice Minister Natalya Pelyo was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Sveta — short for Svetlana — had been a common name in Crimea in the 1970s-80s, but its popularity has since faded, Pelyo added, RIA Novosti reported.

Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, has been plagued by power outages since late 2015, after Ukrainian anti-annexation activists disrupted power lines to the peninsula.

The regional legislature “has come up with an original proposal — name boys Generator,” Konstantinov, the speaker, said in December, according to Russian media reports. “This will make for a very good name — Generator Ivanovich, or Gera for short. Not too shabby.”

The Russian practice of naming children in response to social or political events dates back to the early years of the Soviet regime, when it produced such names as “Tractor” or “Electrification.”

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