Moscow took a page from Washington's playbook and trolled both the U.S.A. and U.K. by renaming streets in front their embassies in Moscow.
Officially, the streets are named after the two separatist areas of eastern Ukraine, where the fighting is fiercest. Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged their independence in February, just before sending troops to "liberate them" from Ukraine.
Although the U.S. and Britain are not yet recognizing the Donetsk or Luhansk "people’s republics", officials from Moscow said that they will at the very least recognize the new addresses in order to receive mail.
A sign was posted Friday to rename the street located in front of the British Embassy as the Luhansk People's Republic Square. Since last month, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has been located at Donetsk People's Republic Square.
This game has been played by the U.S. for a much longer time. The Soviet Embassy in Washington's 16th Street section was symbolically renamed Andrei Sakharov Plaza in 1980 in memory of the leading human rights activist, and dissident Soviet nuclear physicist.
The section of Wisconsin Avenue that is in front of the Russian Embassy has been called Boris Nemtsov Plaza since 2018. Nemtsov was an opposition leader who led anti–Putin demonstrations and exposed official corruption. He was killed near the Kremlin on 2015.
For now, the Russian Embassy in London has kept Kensington Palace Gardens, its more elegant address, as it is.