Tim Hamlett, commenting in his column (Sunday Morning Post, October 25) on the current 'Beijing v Peking' debate, stated that St Petersburg is called Petrograd in Russian.
This is incorrect. 'St Petersburg' (German for 'Peter's city') was the name given to the city in honour of its founder, Peter the Great. It was changed to 'Petrograd' (which is Russian for 'Peter's city') when Russia joined World War I against Germany, in order to get rid of any German associations.
Petrograd existed for a few years during and after World War I, before being re-named Leningrad. It is now once again called St Petersburg and no Russian would ever refer to it as Petrograd.
NATASHA ROGAI New Territories