Sofia city councillors voted on April 7 to name a lane in front of the Russian embassy in Bulgaria’s capital “Heroes of Ukraine”.
The vote was 36 in favour and 16 against, with no abstentions.
The council voted, in a separate agenda item, to name the square between Dragan Tsankov Boulevard and Latinka, Konstantin Shtarkelov and FJ Curie streets after Boris Nemtsov.
A critic of Vladimir Putin, Nemtsov was murdered near the Kremlin in February 2015.
The vote to name the square after Nemtsov was 33 in favour, 12 against, with two abstentions.
The proposals for the “Heroes of Ukraine” and the Boris Nemtsov street naming were tabled by two city councillors from GERB, Malina Edreva and Borislav Borislavov, and one from Democratic Bulgaria, Vesselin Kalanovski, and were among several put forward in recent weeks for renaming of public places in Sofia in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine.
In a further vote on April 7, Sofia city council voted that the Ukrainian flag will be flown on Sofia municipality’s headquarters, for the duration of the war in Ukraine.
The vote on the flag was 36 in favour and 14 against.
Ahead of the city council vote, the Bulgarian Socialist Party spoke against the renaming initiatives, describing them as populist and claiming that because proper procedures had not been followed, they were illegal.
The city council votes came a few hours ahead of a planned peaceful procession in Sofia, starting at 6.30pm in Alexander Nevsky Square, in support of Ukraine against Russian aggression. Further details of the procession are available on the event’s Facebook page.
For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, please click here.
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