Citizens vote on pro-war names for plaza near US Embassy; 3 preselected options
Muscovites are expected to vote for pro-Russian nom de guerre for a spot outside the city’s US Embassy. Residents shortlisted three potential names for the untitled square at the intersection of Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane and Konyushkovskaya Ulitsa, which houses the US Embassy.
Citizens of Moscow are considering naming the square one of three shortlisted options – “Defenders of Donbass Square”, “Donetsk People’s Republic Square” and “Hero of Russia Vladimir Artyomovich Zhoga Square”, in honor of the commander of the separatist battalion who was killed by Ukrainian troops in March, Moscow time reported.
Vote held digitally via Moscow City Hall’s Active Citizen platform
Voting takes place digitally via the Moscow City Hall’s Active Citizen platform. No less than 25,000 votes have already been cast. The decision to name the square can also be delegated to local authorities.
“The administration of the city of Moscow received many requests from citizens with different names [for the square], so we decided to put the matter to a citywide vote,” Active Citizen said on its website. “Therefore [of the vote], the city plan will be immortalized in memory of the defenders of Donbass by neo-Nazis,” he added. The platform echoed claims by Russian President Vladimir Putin who had justified his military invasion of Ukraine by saying the special operation would “denazify” Kyiv.
The appointment of the US embassy part comes after the Moscow City Council asked earlier in May to dedicate the land to “defenders of Donbas Square”. In its response, the US Embassy said it was “surprised, but not offended” by Russia’s decision. “‘Defenders of Donbass Square’ is presumed to be in honor of Ukrainian soldiers who bravely defended their homeland against Kremlin aggression,” the US Embassy in Moscow wrote on Telegram.
Lithuania renames road to Russian Embassy in Ukraine Heroes Street
The Lithuanian authorities had also changed the address of the Russian embassy in the capital Vilnius to “Ukrainian Heroes Street”. In a statement, the mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Simasius, had informed that the business card of each employee of the Russian embassy will include a note to “honor the heroes of Ukraine”. Simasius added that when writing the letter to the embassy, people will think about the actions of the Russian administration against neighboring Ukraine.
Vilnius Mayor Simasius took to his official Twitter account to share the picture of the street name sign, now changed to honor the victims of Ukraine’s invasion. In the statement, he noted that until now the street leading from the Latvian street to the embassy had no name, however, now they have decided to call it “the street of heroes of Ukraine to honor the victims of war. He mentioned that he had spoken to Transport Minister Marius Skoodzis about it.