Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) has introduced legislation on Monday that will name the street in front of the Russian Embassy in the U.S. after one of the Russian government's opposition leaders, naming it Boris Nemstov Plaza.
Nemtsov was a Russian opposition activist who was gunned down in view of the Kremlin on a Moscow bridge two years ago at 55 years old. He was apparently something of a star among Russians, as 1,000 people gathered in Moscow to protest in his honor on Sunday.
It is unclear if the murder was carried out by the Kremlin itself, or if it was done at the hands of Putin supporters, without Putin's approval. Rubio apparently believes the former view over the latter.
“Putin may hope Nemtsov’s murder deters dissent,” Rubio said in a statement sent out on Monday, “but we must continue to support Russia’s pro-democracy movement so that does not happen.” The statement continues, “The creation of ‘Boris Nemtsov Plaza’ would permanently remind Putin’s regime and the Russian people that these dissidents’ voices live on, and that defenders of liberty will not be silenced. It will also help raise awareness among the American people about the ongoing abuses in Putin’s Russia.”
The suggestion seems to have garnered some appreciation among Russian opposition figures, including Mikhail Kasyanov who tweeted “Senator Rubio makes a strong move.”
Сенатор Рубио делает сильный ход - площадь Бориса Немцова в Вашингтоне перед российским посольством https://t.co/C4RgFjheDz— Михаил Касьянов (@Михаил Касьянов)1488266533.0
Deputy Chairman of the movement "Open Russia" Vladimir Kara-Murza also tweeted out Rubio's plan on his Twitter as well.