Support The Moscow Times!

'Goodbye America' — Russians Suggest Names for New Nukes in Online Vote

Kremlin Press Service / Youtube / MT

Viewers may have been too distracted by splashy infographics and animated warheads to notice a naming contest that Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced for his new advanced nuclear weapons. 

The online competition to name an unlimited-range nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-propelled underwater drone and a combat laser weapon was launched after Putin delivered his two-hour speech on Thursday.

“Those interested in military equipment are welcome to suggest a name for this new weaponry,” Putin said in his annual address to the Federal Assembly.

Loyal fans sprang into action, with suggestions on the Russian Defense Ministry’s Facebook page ranging from the patriotic “Palmyra,” “Slavyanka,” and “Kremlin’s Hand” to the ironic “Peace Envoy,” “Boomerang,” “She Drowned” and “Goodbye America.” 

The editor in chief of the pro-Kremlin RT news network Margarita Simonyan was among the first high-profile figures to suggest naming the cruise missile “Volodya,” a shorthand for “Vladimir,” in honor of Putin.

“It’s both Russian, polite, with humor and with a hint,” she tweeted.

Long-time presidential aide and one-time gray cardinal of the Kremlin Vladislav Surkov offered to name the missile after an assassinated pro-Russian guerrilla commander in eastern Ukraine. 

Foreigners had their own suggestions, many of them offering names reminiscent of the British research vessel that voters overwhelmingly chose to name “Boaty McBoatface” in 2016.

The ministry said that it had received 63,000 name suggestions on its website in the first 17 hours after the competition was announced, the RBC business portal reported on Friday.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more