Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How to make sure the Kremlin remembers Boris Nemtsov; Washington Post, March 15, 2017

Vladimir V. Kara-Murza, Washington Post; How to make sure the Kremlin remembers Boris Nemtsov

"Nemtsov did not become president. But for many people in my country, he became the symbol of a different Russia — more democratic, more hopeful, more European, one at peace with itself and with its neighbors.

The renaming of diplomatic addresses has a precedent that was also set by Congress and that was also connected with Russia. In 1984, an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill offered by Sen. Alfonse M. D’Amato (R-N.Y.) changed the address of the then-Soviet Embassy on 16th Street NW to 1 Andrei Sakharov Plaza, in honor of the Russian dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was being kept in internal exile in Gorky (the Soviet-era name for Nizhny Novgorod). Few could have thought then that less than a decade later, Russian diplomats would display a bust of Sakharov in the embassy itself.

There will come a day when Russia takes pride in having Boris Nemtsov’s name on its embassy letterhead. It will also be grateful to those who, in difficult times, did not allow it to forget."

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