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Firebrand MP blasts US plan to name street after late politician as act to ‘spite Russia’

January 10, 12:50 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There should be an objective assessment of a name before giving it to a street, Vladimir Zhirinovsky said

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Vladimir Zhirinovsky

Vladimir Zhirinovsky

© Mikhail Japaridze/TASS

MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party and presidential candidate Vladimir Zhirinovsky has slammed a recent US decision to rename a street outside the Russian Embassy in Washington DC in honor of late Russian politician Boris Nemtsov as a step aimed against Moscow.

"This is deliberately done to spite us in front of our embassy," the outspoken politician, who will run in the upcoming March presidential election for the sixth time, told reporters.

The lawmaker noted that any city has the right to name streets after any person. "But there should be an objective assessment…There were a lot of crimes committed when he [Nemtsov] was the governor [of Nizhny Novgorod Region]. You should assess what name you give to a square in America’s capital," he said.

On Tuesday, Washington DC’s city council passed a bill on renaming the block in front of the Russian embassy in honor of Nemtsov. Vladimir Kara-Murza, who chairs the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom, told TASS the bill was backed unanimously in the first reading and a speedy legislative process will take place to make sure it will be officially named once the third anniversary of Nemtsov’s death rolls around on February 27.

Boris Nemtsov, former deputy prime minister under then-President Boris Yeltsin, co-chairman of the Parnas party and lawmaker from the Yaroslavl regional legislature, was gunned down in downtown Moscow on February 27, 2015.

Five individuals were arrested on suspicion of murdering the politician: Zaur Dadayev, Anzor and Shadid Gubashev, Temirlan Eskerkhanov and Khamzat Bakhayev. In July 2017, the convicted perpetrators received sentences ranging from 11 to 20 years in a maximum security penal colony.

According to investigators, Ruslan Mukhudinov, a former officer of the Chechen Sever (or North), is the mastermind and organizer of the murder. Mukhudinov was charged in absentia. He has been on an international wanted list since November 2015. A criminal case against him is being investigated separately.

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