Ukraine war: Russian embassy road in Vilnius to be named 'Ukrainian Heroes Street'

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By Matthew Holroyd
People take part in a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022
People take part in a protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022   -   Copyright  Credit: AP

The mayor of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius says a street leading to the Russian embassy will be named "Ukrainian Heroes Street" to honour the country following Moscow's invasion. 

"Everyone who writes a letter to the embassy will have to think about the victims of Russian aggression as well as the Ukrainian heroes," Remigijus Šimašius wrote on Facebook.

"From now on, the business card of every employee of the Russian Embassy will have to pay tribute to Ukrainian heroes," he added.

"The only address on Ukrainian Heroes Street will be that of the Russian Embassy."

Šimašius said on Thursday that Vilnius authorities will soon complete the formal name change next week "in accordance with the law".

Meanwhile, the mayor of a district in Prague has also called for a similar initiative.

Ondřej Kolář, an MP from the TOP09 party, confirmed on Twitter that he has asked the Czech capital's city hall to rename the street near the Russian Embassy.

"We have approved [a] request to rename part of Coronation Street along the Russian Embassy to "Ukrainian Heroes" [Street]," he wrote on Monday.

Kolář had also asked for a nearby bridge to be named after a Ukrainian soldier who was reportedly killed while destroying a bridge near the Ukrainian city of Kherson, in an effort to stop Russian troops from advancing.

In 2020, Prague had already renamed a square near the Russian Embassy after Boris Nemtsov, a political activist murdered in Moscow in 2015. Vilnius and Washington DC had previously made the same move.

Last year, EU countries were also urged to join a Romanian campaign to rename streets outside Belarusian embassies after dissident journalist Roman Protasevich.