US Embassy reacts to Donbass-themed address change
The US Embassy in Moscow has removed from its website the building’s old street address, which was “nullified” by the city authorities, while also failing to indicate the new address, Donetsk People’s Republic Square.
The embassy replaced the traditional address with the geographical coordinates: 55,75566° N, 37,58028° E.
The former address – 8 Bolshoy Deviatinsky Pereulok – can still be found in a tab listing all US diplomatic missions in Russia, even though it was renamed by authorities in the Russian capital on June 22.
On that day, Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin’s official website published a statement announcing the change.
“The US Embassy in Russia has received a new official address. Now the diplomatic mission is located at: Building 1, blocks 1–9, Donetsk People's Republic Square, Presnensky District, Moscow, Russian Federation,” the mayor’s office announced.
According to the document, the new name of the square along with several alternatives had been put to a vote via the city’s online portal, Active Citizen. A total of 278,684 Moscow residents took part, the statement said. The Donetsk People’s Republic Square option garnered the support of 45% of respondents.
Both Donbass republics – the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics – declared their independence back in 2014 following the Maidan coup in Kiev. After an eight-year conflict, which the German- and French-brokered Minsk agreements sought to resolve without success, the republics claimed in early 2022 that Ukraine was poised to retake them by force.
Days later, the leaders of the DPR and LPR asked Russia to officially recognize them. Both chambers of the Russian parliament adopted a bill calling on President Vladimir Putin to do so, and on February 21, the Russian head of state signed the recognition documents.
Over the last eight years, Moscow has consistently accused Washington of destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. Since the beginning of its so-called “special military operation,” Russian authorities have warned the West against “pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, claiming it will only prolong the fighting.
Moscow is not the first city to name or rename a square or street outside a foreign power’s embassy in a symbolic manner.
Back in February 2018, Washington authorities named the square outside the Russian embassy after murdered Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down on a bridge outside the Kremlin on February 27, 2015.
Russian law enforcement later apprehended the hitmen involved in the crime, who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms. However, the people who ordered the killing of Nemtsov have not been identified to date.