President Vladimir Putin has instructed the Russian Geographical Society (RGO) to create a new atlas of the world under the guidence of the Russian Defense Ministry.
“With the most active participation of the RGO, it is proposed to prepare a new geographical atlas of the world … I ask the experts of the Russian Geographical Society, with the participation of the Defense Ministry,” Putin said on Friday at a meeting of the Russian Geographical Society’s Board of Trustees.
He noted that the Ministry of Defense should ensure the availability of its cartographic materials for the compilers of the atlas, as well as for travelers, tourists, motorists, including “in the format of modern computer technologies”, online.
According to Putin, Russia is not going to “impose anything on anyone”, but it is not ready to condone the distortion of historical geographic data, which, in his opinion, is largely due to the lack of modern Russian maps in the public domain.
The head of state paid special attention to the fact that the classification of secrecy on many maps is now outdated and looks archaic.
Earlier at the meeting, Putin said that Russian-language toponyms were unfairly removed from the world map. According to the president, this is especially noticeable in Antarctica, where some place names given by the discoverers of the continent, Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, almost ceased to exist.
The head of state noted that today only a few people know that the original historical name of Smith Island in Antarctica is Borodino, that Snow Island is originally Maloyaroslavets, and Livingstone is actually Smolensk.
The President stressed that in 2020 the anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, made possible by Russian seafarers, will be celebrated.