Putin's Birthday Gift: A Street?

The lane in St. Petersburg where Vladimir Putin spent his childhood may be renamed in his honor next year.

A group called National Committee 60 is calling for Baskov Pereulok to be renamed Ulitsa Vladimira Putina as a present for Putin's birthday, news site Fontanka.ru reported Thursday.

The committee, comprised of St. Petersburg residents and headed by former city lawmaker Vladimir Kucherenko, was specially created to prepare celebrations for Putin's 60th birthday on Oct. 7, 2012.

An official request to rename the street has been sent to the St. Petersburg governor and praises Putin as a great reformer.

But the proposal faces opposition from the City Hall department that oversees the renaming of city streets and sites. It said Baskov, a 19th-century merchant, was an important part of the city's history and the law only allows the city to honor a person 10 to 15 years after his or her death, Argumenti i Fakti reported.

Nevertheless, Putin has been honored in another city: Grozny. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov named an avenue after Putin in 2008.

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