Mar 07, 2024

Prague 7 Considers Naming Viewpoint After Alexei Navalny

Prague 7 is considering naming a viewpoint after Alexei Navalny, the prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, died on February 16th while imprisoned in a Siberian penal colony.

The Prague 7 administration is proposing to name the viewpoint near the Governor’s Summer Palace in Stromovka after the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The proposal will be sent to the municipality’s local history commission for approval. If approved by the commission, the recommendation will then need to be voted on by the city council.

“Alexei Navalny’s death is a significant loss not only for Russian society but also for the global fight for democracy and human rights,” said Mayor Jan Čižinský (Praha 7 Sobě). “While a sign bearing his name was placed at the Governor’s Summer Palace in 2021, naming the viewpoint after him wasn’t possible at the time as Prague only allows naming public spaces after deceased individuals.”

Several locations around the Russian embassy in Prague already bear the names of prominent figures who opposed the Russian government.

Since 2020, the square in front of the embassy has been named after Boris Nemtsov, a murdered Russian opposition politician.

The same year, the Stromovka promenade was named after Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist who was assassinated.

In 2022, part of Coronation Street near the embassy was renamed Ukrainian Heroes Street, and the adjacent bridge over the railway was named after Ukrainian war hero Vitaliy Skakun.

Alexei Navalny, the longtime Russian opposition politician and critic of Vladimir Putin — often considered to be a vocal and prominent thorn in the side of the Russian government — died in prison at age 47.

Navalny, a former nationalist politician, helped foment the 2011-12 protests in Russia by campaigning against election fraud and government corruption, investigating Putin’s inner circle and sharing the findings in slick videos that garnered hundreds of millions of views.

The high-water mark in his political career came in 2013, when he won 27% of the vote in a Moscow mayoral contest that few believed was free or fair. He remained a thorn in the side of the Kremlin for years, identifying a palace built on the Black Sea for Putin’s personal use, mansions and yachts used by the ex-president Dmitry Medvedev, and a sex worker who linked a top foreign policy official with a well-known oligarch.

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