A proponent of westernising Russia, Peter the Great, who established the city, originally named it Sankt-Peterburg (Russian: Санкт-Петербург;[a] note the Russian name lacks the letter s between Peter and burg). On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd (Russian: Петрогра́д[a], IPA: [pʲɪtrɐˈgrat]), meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German words Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad (Russian: Ленингра́д, IPA: [lʲɪnʲɪnˈgrat]), meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, the original name, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents often refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter (Russian: Пи́тер, IPA: [ˈpʲitʲɪr]).
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