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Washington May Rename Russian Embassy Address After Assassinated Putin Critic

Boris Nemtsov Wikicommons

The U.S. Senate may rename the street outside the Russian Embassy in Washington in honor of slain opposition activist Boris Nemtsov.

The bill, submitted on Monday by Republican Senator Marco Rubio, hopes to change the embassy’s address change from 2650 Wisconsin Avenue to 1 Boris Nemstov Plaza.

In a statement, Rubio described Nemtsov as “just one of Vladimir Putin’s critics who have wound up dead or hospitalized as the regime cracks down on any opposition.”

“The creation of 'Boris Nemtsov Plaza' would permanently remind Putin’s regime and the Russian people that these dissidents’ voices live on, and that defenders of liberty will not be silenced,” Rubio said.

In order to become law, the bill must be passed by both the House and Senate and signed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Nemtsov would not be the first Russian opposition leader to be immortalized in Washington. An intersection outside the former residence of the Soviet ambassador in the U.S. capital was named Sakharov Plaza in honor of dissident and physicist Andrey Sakharov in 1987.

Russian politicians have also been unable to resist taking an occasional swipe at the U.S. embassy in Moscow. Officials put forward plans to build a memorial dedicated to the “genocide of the American Indians,” close to the embassy building on Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok just last year.

Officials described the memorial as “silent reproach to the modern American elites.” The memorial happened to be erected when U.S.-Russia ties were in the midst of a dramatic downturn. The plans were ultimately rejected.

Boris Nemtsov was fatally shot in the back in a drive-by shooting while walking across Moscow's Bolshoi Moskvoretsky Bridge on Feb. 27, 2015.

Nemtsov, who had held various senior positions in the Russian government during the 1990s, joined the opposition against Vladimir Putin in the 2000s. 

Five men are currently set to stand trial for taking part in his murder.

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