Sadiq Khan backs campaign to rename Russian embassy street after Zelenskyy

10 March 2022, 11:00 | Updated: 10 March 2022, 11:16

By Asher McShane

Sadiq Khan has told LBC he “supports the initiative” to rename Kensington Palace Gardens Zelenskyy Avenue in honour of the Ukrainian president.

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The Mayor of London said he backs the idea to rename the street in London where the Russian Embassy is located, but added: "The most practical thing we can do to help the people of Ukraine is to donate generously.

"The three things people in Ukraine need is: 1 - urgent medical supples, 2 - urgent accessible food they can be using, 3- defensive weapons.”

Calls have been growing for the road in London on which the Russian embassy in located to be renamed Zelenskyy Avenue in solidarity with Ukraine.

Sadiq Khan, inset, said he backs the initiative - main picture shows protesters outside the Russian embassy in London
Sadiq Khan, inset, said he backs the initiative - main picture shows protesters outside the Russian embassy in London. Picture: LBC/Alamy

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, who has now been sanctioned by the government.

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

Read more: Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich among seven oligarchs hit with sanctions

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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.

A Kensington and Chelsea 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. Just like we did for Afghanistan last summer, this Council stands ready to support people fleeing conflict and persecution.”

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.