Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Cracks Down on Parents With ‘Excessively Original’ Ideas About Baby Names

Alexei Druzhinin / AP

This Friday, the State Duma passed the third and final draft of legislation that will protect Russia’s next generation from parents with “excessively original” ideas about how to name their babies. After the Federation Council and President Putin sign the bill, it will become illegal in Russia to name your children using numbers, punctuation, obscenities, or official ranks and titles.

In other words, very soon in Russia you won’t be able to call your kid “Captain F**k 23!”

And that’s not all. The new legislation will also require children to take the surnames of their parents. If parents decide to hyphenate their surnames, the order of the hyphenated surnames must be the same for all full siblings.

In 2002, artists Vyacheslav Voronin and Marina Frolova famously tried to name their son “BOCh rVF 260602” — an acronym denoting, “Biological Human Object of the Voronin-Frolova Genus, Born on June 26, 2002.”

Moscow officials refused to comply with the couple’s wishes, and the boy was never issued a Russian birth certificate. He later obtained a “World Passport’ from the “World Service Authority,” which allowed him to enroll in Russia’s school system, where he’s now a ninth grader.

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.