Local authorities in the U.S. capital of Washington have voted to rename a square in front of the Russian Embassy in honor of the murdered opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, leading to angry reactions from Russian lawmakers.
Nemtsov was gunned down on Feb. 27, 2015, while crossing a bridge overlooking the Kremlin. Supporters of the opposition politician say that the masterminds behind his assassination have not been brought to justice despite lengthy prison sentences given to five accomplices.
“The portion of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy [will be renamed] to honor slain democracy activist Boris Nemtsov,” the District of Columbia Council said on its website Tuesday.
The section in front of 2650 Wisconsin Avenue will be renamed “Boris Nemtsov Plaza” on February 27, the third anniversary of the politician’s murder, Nemtsov’s close associate Vladimir Kara-Murza wrote in a Facebook post.
Despite a muted reaction to the move by the Kremlin, Russian lawmakers have called the decision “amoral” and an attempt to undermine Russia, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported.
One deputy suggested that the address of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow should be renamed as “Severoamerikansky Tupik, 1,” translated from Russian as “North American Dead End, 1.”
“We should rename the driveway in honor of the intrusive foreign policy of the U.S.,” Mikhail Degtyaryov, a State Duma deputy, was cited as saying by the state-run TASS news agency Wednesday.
Authorities in Moscow have resisted repeated attempts to install a memorial plaque on the wall of the apartment building where Nemtsov last resided, while pro-Kremlin vandals have removed makeshift plaques dedicated to the politician at least twice in the past year.