“Free Ukraine Street”: Russian embassies get new addresses

The unassuming intersection outside the Russian embassy in central Oslo didn’t really have a name until Tuesday, when its local council ...


The unassuming intersection outside the Russian embassy in central Oslo didn’t really have a name until Tuesday, when its local council gave it a particularly pointed one: “Ukrainas Plass”, or Place de l ‘Ukraine.

“We wanted to state that we find Russia’s actions totally unacceptable,” said Tore Walaker, a councilor in Frogner, the neighborhood where the embassy is located, which has been the scene of heated protests since the Russian invasion.

Russian embassy staff will soon have to pass a sign identifying the area as Ukraine’s place on their way to work, said Jens Jorgen Lie, Frogner Borough Council chairman.

“It doesn’t help to stop the war,” he said. “But we are doing what little we can and must.”

As Russian embassies have become the focus of protests in Europe and around the world against President Vladimir V. Putin, officials in some European cities are expressing outrage at the invasion of Ukraine by trying to change the names of streets.

In the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, an unnamed street leading to the Russian Embassy was officially named “Ukrainian Hero Street” on Wednesday, according to the city’s mayor, Remigijus Simasius, who added that the mail might not be delivered to the embassy if he did not. use the new address. “Anyone who writes a letter to the embassy should think of the victims of Russian aggression and the heroes of Ukraine,” he said in a statement. Publish on Facebook.

Tirana, the Albanian capital, said it would name a street segment that houses the Russian embassy “Free Ukraine”. In Latvia, the Russian Embassy in Riga will now be on “Ukrainian Independence Street”, according to a local deputy mayor. And in Copenhagen, city officials will next week discuss changing the name of the street where the Russian embassy is located from “Kristianagade” to “Ukrainegade”.

In England, lawmakers lobbied to change the address of the Russian Embassy in London to “Zelensky Avenue”, after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky swore in a speech to the British House of Commons this week he would never surrender to Russian forces. “Britain must shame Putin at every possible opportunity,” noted Layla Moran, Foreign Affairs Critic for the Liberal Democrats.

The borough of Kensington and Chelsea, an affluent area that contains the Russian, Ukrainian and other embassies, said it supported the Ukrainian community but had yet to receive any official request to change the street name.

“We share the world’s anger at Putin’s assault on Ukraine and are horrified by the plight of the men, women and children caught up in the conflict,” the borough said in a statement, but added “It’s actions rather than symbolism that they desperately need now.

The name change proposals have received largely positive reactions from supporters of Ukraine, although some question the effectiveness of such symbolic measures. Others said the renaming of streets should be even more extensive.

In Oslo, Eugenia Khoroltseva, an activist with family in Ukraine and Russia who has been protesting near what is now Ukraine Square since the invasion began, said of the name change “I fully support him on behalf of the pro-democracy Russian community living in Norway. .”

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Russian Embassy in Oslo said the move would be “considered an anti-Russian action, whether by the government or the district authorities. Norwegians should think about it.

In Copenhagen, the Russian Embassy Noted that its street – Kristianiagade – bore the old name of the Norwegian capital, a symbol of “historic ties and good relations between Denmark and Norway”.

“I think Norwegians will understand,” said Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, a Danish lawmaker who is leading the proposal to rename Ukrainegade Street. “I think there are a lot of things we should do to help Ukrainians. There is no action that is too small.

The inspiration, he added, came from name of a place in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington after Boris Nemtsov, the Russian opposition leader and outspoken critic of Mr Putin who was assassinated in 2015. A similar proposal to rename a square outside a Russian consulate was made by a politician last year in the town of Kirkenesnear the Russian-Norwegian border, but encountered resistance.

“This is a war we will never forget and a war the Russians should never forget,” Mr Ellemann-Jensen said.

Isabelle Kwai reported from London, Henrik Pryser Libell from Oslo and Christine Anderson from Stockholm.



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Newsrust - US Top News: “Free Ukraine Street”: Russian embassies get new addresses
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