The southern Russian city where the Red Army turned back Nazi forces in a pivotal second world war battle will once again be known as Stalingrad - at least on the days commemorating the victory. The city was renamed Volgograd in 1961 as part of the Soviet Union's rejection of dictator Joseph Stalin's personality cult. But the name Stalingrad is inseparable from the battle, which was among the bloodiest in history with combined losses of nearly 2 million people.
The decision by regional lawmakers to use the historic name in city statements on 2 February, the day of the Nazi defeat, as well as on several other war-related dates each year, has angered many in Russia where Stalin's name andlegacy continues to cause fiery disputes nearly 60 years after his death. Russia's human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin, sharply criticised the move, saying it should be declared void in the courts.