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Moscow Renames Area Near U.K. Embassy ‘Luhansk Square’ After Ukraine Separatists

British Embassy in Moscow. Sergei Vedyashkin / Moskva News Agency

Moscow authorities will rename a stretch of land outside the British Embassy in honor of one of eastern Ukraine's pro-Moscow breakaway republics, the Moscow Mayor’s Office said Monday. 

The area — which runs along Smolenskaya Naberezhnaya between Protochny Pereulok and the exit onto Ulitsa Novy Arbat — will now be known as “Luhansk People’s Republic Square,” the Mayor’s Office said.

The announcement follows Russian forces’ capture of the strategic city of Lysychansk, effectively securing control over eastern Ukraine’s Luhansk region four months after the start of Moscow’s invasion.

City residents chose the location for the new “Luhansk People’s Republic Square” in a poll on state-run voting portal “Active Citizen.”  

Of the roughly 109,000 Moscow residents who participated in the poll, 56.85% supported renaming the area near the U.K. embassy. Other possible locations were areas near the German, Lithuanian and Belgian embassies.

The U.K. Embassy in Moscow has not yet commented on the announcement. 

In June, Moscow authorities renamed an open area in front of the U.S. Embassy to “Donetsk People's Square,” formally changing the embassy's address. U.S. officials have since removed the embassy’s address from its website, only referring to the location by its geographic coordinates.  

Government workers in Moscow were allegedly ordered to vote in favor of renaming the area near the U.S. embassy after separatist Donetsk by their employers, according to information obtained by independent news outlet Mediazona.

The U.K. and U.S. have been some of Kyiv's closest allies since the start of Russia's war.

President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” as independent states shortly before he invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.  

But most of the international community recognizes the separatist-held territories as part of Ukraine.

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