How countries across the world renamed streets in solidarity with Ukraine
20 cities in 17 countries have already renamed streets in solidarity with Ukraine
The Ukraine Street campaign was launched as a reaction to Russia’s cynical attempts to threaten Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence. In response, Ukraine has bravely resisted, inspiring the world with its fight for democracy and freedom. As an act of solidarity with the Ukrainian people who are currently defending their independence in the unprovoked war started by Russia, cities all over the world have made a move to rename their streets to put Ukraine on their maps.
The initiative first launched in spring 2022 inspired by the European countries who renamed the streets with Russian Embassies and consulates after Ukraine in early March. Soon after, on March 28, 2022, inhabitants of 34 countries in Europe, North America, and Australia were urged to sign a petition to rename streets, which house the Russian Embassies and consulates in their cities, to Ukraine Streets as a symbolic act of support for the Ukrainians. The project was initiatited by Be–it Agency of One Philosophy consulting group with support provided by the We Are Ukraine platform and DForce IT. The campaign is officially endorsed and supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
“A daily reminder that Ukraine is a sovereign state that will prevail and always exist, no matter how hard Russia tries to deny our right to exist,” Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said about the campaign.
Our We Are Ukraine team is also calling on people around the world to join and support the initiative. A number of countries successfully joined the initiative.
On October 2022, Warszawa city council, Poland, passed a resolution to name the pedestrian and cycle path created along Belvedere Street near the Russian embassy as the Alley of the Victims of Russian aggression. The motivation for the decision states that the new name is in line with the proposed position given the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine.
In September 2022, the city of Sofia, Bulgaria named the alley in front of the Russian Embassy
— “Heroes of Ukraine” on it with fresh flowers planted by the city municipality next to it.
On Sept. 12, 2022, as a result of the joint efforts of the Embassy of Ukraine to North Macedonia, the Lesya Ukrainka Ukrainian Community, and the Centar Municipality of Skopje, a Ukrainian Alley was opened in the heart of the capital of North Macedonia. The alley is decorated with the Ukrainian flag and the slogan “Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Heroes!”
Ukraine Street campagin also inspire activists around the world to joint this initiative and start their owns. For example, on August 24 2022, the 31st anniversary of Ukraine’s independence, and the six-month milestone since the start of Russia’s invasion in February, the corner of Brighton Beach Avenue and Coney Island Avenue in New York, USA, had been given an alternative name of Ukrainian Way. This initiative was submitted to the NYC Mayor’s Office by a local activist.
In the process of uniting around the campaign on July 15, The College of Mayors and Aldermen of Luxembourg decided to name a new road Boulevard de Kyiv. It will connect the central railway station to the municipality and become a new gateway to the capital by 2023.
Following its condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Woollahra Council (Sydney, Australia) has come up with a unique and colourful way to “put Ukraine on the map.” The Council placed street blades featuring a strong message of support ‘We Stand with Ukraine’ on Fullerton Street where the Russian Consulate is located.
In June 2022, a Ukraine Square was established in the Lembitu Park behind the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tallinn, Estonia. This location is rather symbolic as the historic buildings of the area were almost completely destroyed in the March 1944 bombings of Tallinn by the Soviet Union. This fact parallels the similar destruction brought by the Russian military to Ukrainian cities today.
In May 2022, two Ukrainian “centers of gravity” appeared on the map of Cannes, France – namely, the Taras Shevchenko Square and the Ukrainian House.
In April 2022, four Polish cities named squares in honor of Ukraine: the Defenders of Ukraine 2022 Square in Poznan, the Free Ukraine Square in front of the Russian consulate in Krakow, the Heroic Mariupol Square near the Russian consulate general in Gdansk and the Free Ukraine Square in Gdynia.
On April 28, 2022, Stockholm, Sweden officially renamed the park next to the Russian embassy in Sweden to “Fria Ukrainas plats”/ “Place of free Ukraine”.
On April 27, 2022, a landmark located only 50 meters away from the Russian embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland, had been given the name of Kyiv Square. Officially, the square now has a double name in Old Icelandic and Icelandic – Kænugarður / Kýiv-torg, respectively. The inclusion of the Old Icelandic version of the name Kænugarður is intended to emphasize the thousand-year history of Kyiv.