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Road signs at Russian embassies around the world are getting a pro-Ukraine makeover

A “President Zelensky Way” sign at the entrance to the Russian Embassy on March 8 in Washington. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

“President Zelensky Way,” “Ukrainian Heroes’ Street” and “Free Ukraine Street.”

In the United States, Lithuania and beyond, streets close to Russian embassies are beginning to look a little different following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A mock road sign paying tribute to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky sprang up outside the Russian embassy in D.C. on Wisconsin Avenue on Sunday, with activist Claude Taylor telling HuffPost that the temporary sign was erected as a “small symbolic act” to show solidarity with Ukraine.

The first high-level talks between Ukraine and Russia since the invasion began failed to produce an agreement on Thursday.

While the D.C. “road sign” was a symbolic act by protesters, some European countries are officially changing the current addresses of Russian embassies on their turf.

In Lithuania’s capital Vilnius, the Russian embassy can now be found on “Ukrainian Heroes’ Street.” On Wednesday, workers were photographed erecting new street plates with the name written in Lithuanian and Ukrainian.

In Latvia, the road leading directly to the Russian embassy has been officially renamed “Independent Ukraine Street,” the Independent reported.

Other countries are also facing calls to formally rename the streets outside their embassies.

In Scotland, Alex Cole-Hamilton, who leads the Scottish Liberal Democrats, wants Melville Street in Edinburgh to be renamed “Zelensky Street.”

Meanwhile, in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, campaigners want the street where the Russian Embassy is located to be called “Zelensky Avenue” to showcase Britain’s support of Ukraine and its people.

“Britain must shame Putin at every possible opportunity,” Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Layla Moran told the Evening Standard. “Everyone visiting or writing to the embassy should be reminded of Putin’s murderous and destructive invasion of Ukraine.”

It’s not clear if the campaigners’ wishes will materialize into official action. A spokesperson for the Kensington and Chelsea council in London told the Evening Standard: We share the world’s anger at Putin’s assault on Ukraine and are horrified at the plight of the men, women and children caught up in the conflict. It is actions rather than symbolism that they desperately need now.”

Since the invasion began, activists have flocked to London’s Russian Embassy, scrawling messages such as “Putin is a killer” and “No to imperialism” onto the brick in multicolored chalk. Others have attached sunflowers — Ukraine’s national flower — to railings outside the embassy in another show of solidarity.

The sunflower, Ukraine’s national flower, is becoming a global symbol of solidarity

And it’s not just street names around the world that are undergoing temporary and permanent makeovers.

A popular bar on Jaffa Street in Jerusalem, where many Russians and tourists drink, recently rebranded, changing its name from “Putin’s Pub” to just “Pub.”

“We don’t want anything to do with an occupier,” one of the pub’s owners, Leonid Teterin, told Israel’s Channel 12 news. “We condemn the war and support Ukraine and its people,” he said, adding that after 15 years, the pub would no longer be named after Putin.

On social media, many applauded the pub’s decision to rebrand, with many united in their hope that the owners would heed their new name suggestion: “Zelensky Pub.”

War in Ukraine: What you need to know

The latest: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed decrees Friday to annex four occupied regions of Ukraine, following staged referendums that were widely denounced as illegal. Follow our live updates here.

The response: The Biden administration on Friday announced a new round of sanctions on Russia, in response to the annexations, targeting government officials and family members, Russian and Belarusian military officials and defense procurement networks. President Volodymyr Zelensky also said Friday that Ukraine is applying for “accelerated ascension” into NATO, in an apparent answer to the annexations.

In Russia: Putin declared a military mobilization on Sept. 21 to call up as many as 300,000 reservists in a dramatic bid to reverse setbacks in his war on Ukraine. The announcement led to an exodus of more than 180,000 people, mostly men who were subject to service, and renewed protests and other acts of defiance against the war.

The fight: Ukraine mounted a successful counteroffensive that forced a major Russian retreat in the northeastern Kharkiv region in early September, as troops fled cities and villages they had occupied since the early days of the war and abandoned large amounts of military equipment.

Photos: Washington Post photographers have been on the ground from the beginning of the war — here’s some of their most powerful work.

How you can help: Here are ways those in the U.S. can support the Ukrainian people as well as what people around the world have been donating.

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