D.C. could rename street outside Russian embassy after Putin opponent

Local officials in Washington, D.C., are considering renaming the street in front of the Russian Embassy after a prominent political opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin who was assassinated in 2015. 

The block of Wisconsin Avenue in northwest would be renamed “Boris Nemtsov Plaza" if the legislation passes.

Councilmember Mary M. Cheh (D), whose council ward jurisdiction includes the Russian embassy, rolled out the legislation to rename the street, telling The Washington Post in an article published Tuesday that it was important for the U.S. to honor Russia's democracy movement. 

“The man was assassinated, and he was someone fighting for democracy in Russia, and he is a hero,” Cheh told the publication, adding, “But, of course, he is not being treated as a hero in Russia.”

Cheh is not the first public official to call on renaming the street after Boris Nemtsov.

The councilwoman said it is not the decision of the embassy to determine the name of the street. 

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioRubio's pragmatic thinking on China The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump feuds heat up Rubio to introduce legislation to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats MORE (R-Fla.) introduced legislation in February that was aimed at renaming the road, but it has not made headway in Congress's upper chamber. 

Nemtsov's killing sent shockwaves through the international community and democratic activists around the world. 

Nemtsov, who had been a thorn in Putin's side since he came to power in 1999, was gunned down on a bridge in Moscow in 2015. 

Suspicion has swirled around whether the Kremlin and Putin ordered the attacks, which took place days before Nemtsov was set to spearhead a rally against Russian military involvement in Ukraine. 

The Kremlin denied wrongdoing, and Putin said the killings were "brazen" and politically motivated. 

The U.S. and Russia currently find themselves at a crossroads with each other, in the wake of the intelligence community's assessment that Moscow meddled in the 2016 presidential election. 

Various congressional panels and special counsel Robert Mueller are currently probing alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia's election meddling. 

President Trump has been hesitant to lay blame on Russia for election meddling.