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DC renames street in front of Russian embassy after slain Putin critic

The Washington, D.C., City Council voted Tuesday to rename part of the street in front of the Russian Embassy after one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's slain political opponents.

The D.C. Council said in a statement it voted unanimously to rename the block of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the embassy in northwest Washington as "Boris Nemtsov Plaza."

The move was negatively received among Russia's political class, with one politician calling it a "dirty trick," according to BBC News.

Council member Mary M. Cheh (D) introduced legislation in the D.C. Council to rename the stretch of road last year.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) introduced legislation last year in the Senate that was also aimed at renaming the road after Nemtsov before D.C. Council took up the issue.

Nemtsov, who had been a Putin critic since the late 1990s, was shot in Moscow in 2015.

U.S.-Russian relations have been strained in recent months, with federal and congressional investigators still probing Russian efforts to meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections.

The Trump administration, last month, also approved the sale of lethal arms to Ukraine's government in their fight against pro-Russian separatists to the east, while Washington and Moscow continue to grapple with differing sides in the ongoing civil war in Syria.

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