Calls for London's Russian embassy street to be renamed 'Zelenskyy Avenue'

8 March 2022, 15:25 | Updated: 8 March 2022, 15:27

Protests outside London's Russian embassy
Protests outside London's Russian embassy. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

There are calls for the road in London on which the Russian embassy in located to be renamed Zelenskyy Avenue in solidarity with Ukraine.

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Kensington Palace Gardens, one of the most expensive streets in the capital, is also home to Chelsea owner and close Vladimir Putin ally Roman Abramovich.

It has been the centre of protests since the Russian president began his brutal invasion of Ukraine.

READ MORE: Left in the cold: Ukraine refugees locked out of UK visa centre in -3C weather

READ MORE: Hand-to-hand combat breaks out as Russia shells civilians and mines escape routes

The Liberal Democrat Party has proposed the name change to show solidarity with the country and its president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

It pointed out that a number of cities in Europe are changing the names of roads where Russian embassies are based.

Vilnius, Lithuania, will change the name of the street which the Russian embassy is on to Heroes of Ukraine Street.

Tirana, Albania, will call their street Free Ukraine Street; another in Riga, Latvia, is due to be called Independent Ukraine Street.

The party's foreign affairs spokesperson Layla Moran MP said: "Britain must shame Putin at every possible opportunity. Everyone visiting or writing to the embassy should be reminded of Putin's murderous and destructive invasion of Ukraine.

"This small but meaningful gesture would match the outpouring of support from Londoners. Their offers to help refugees fleeing the horror of war has been truly inspiring and shown the capital to be a beacon of solidarity with Ukrainian people.

"By changing this road name we are showing yet again that London stands with Ukraine. I hope now the Government will do their part and ensure refugees from Ukraine are given safety here in Britain."

The road is located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

A council spokesperson said: "We share the world's anger at Putin's assault on Ukraine and are horrified at the plight of the men, women and children caught up in the conflict. It is actions rather than symbolism that they desperately need now.

"Kensington and Chelsea already shares a special bond with the people of Ukraine, with the country's rich culture and history represented on our streets through the likes of the Ukrainian Social Club and Statue of Saint Volodymyr on Holland Park Avenue.

"Our borough is also home to the Ukrainian embassy and we have written to the ambassador to offer any support we might be able to provide."

Later today, Mr Zelenskyy will give an history address to MPs in the House of Commons.

Last year, Tower Hamlet Liberal Democrat councillors called for the areas around the proposed new Chinese embassy to be renamed Tiananmen Square and Hong Kong Road.

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