In a display of possible municipal trolling, the Washington D.C. city council voted unanimously to rename the street in front of the Russian embassy after slain activist (and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin) Boris Nemtsov. The street, previously Wisconsin Avenue, will be renamed 1 Boris Nemtsov Plaza, and street signs will be updated.
Nemtsov was shot and killed in Moscow in February 2015. At the time of his death, he was working on a report regarding Russia’s military presence in the Ukraine. In June 2017, five Chechen men were convicted of the murder. One of the working theories is that the murder was ordered by Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a brutal tyrant who is fiercely loyal to Vladimir Putin.
Previously, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. Chris Coons attempted to rename the street after Nemtsov through an act of Congress, and reached for comment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested the new change was further proof of the deteriorating relationship between Russia and the U.S. “I would probably have left this without comment, stressing only that it is up to the city authorities at the time but at a time when the state of bilateral relations between our two countries still leaves much to be desired, to put it mildly,” he said.