Russian Embassy In Washington Now Sits On Street Named After Murdered Putin Critic

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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The Russian embassy in Washington, D.C., is in the process of getting an address change — one unlikely to sit well with the Kremlin.

A section of Wisconsin Avenue, where the embassy is located, is officially being renamed Boris Nemtsov Plaza to honor the pro-democracy activist and Russian President Vladimir Putin critic gunned down outside the Kremlin three years ago, according to the Associated Press Tuesday.

The DC City Council voted unanimously last month to rename the Russian embassy-marked street after public hearings, according to multiple outlets. The decision was made on an “emergency basis” pending the passage of permanent legislation.

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Nemtsov was shot and killed in February 2015 outside the Kremlin only a few hours after he called for marches to protest Russia’s military involvement in the Ukraine. The murder is largely considered the most prominent political assassination since Putin took power in the U.S.S.R. Thousands assembled in Moscow over the weekend to commemorate Nemtsov’s murder and call for Putin’s removal from office.

The Russian government denies any involvement in Nemtsov’s death.

Tuesday’s address change is not the first time a U.S. street has been named to honor an activist or dissident. A section of 16th street in front of the old Soviet embassy was renamed in the 1980s to commemorate Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov.

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