This small European country renamed the road to the Russian Embassy “Free Ukraine Street”
No matter how small or important, countries around the world are finding ways to hold on to Vladimir Putin after Russia’s horrific invasion of Ukraine. From harsh economic sanctions to provocative graffiti, nations large and small are making their opposition to Putin very clear – and expressing their solidarity with Ukraine in every way possible.
Today, Albania, a Balkan country, is getting in on the act. On Monday, the city council of the capital Tirana unanimously approved the renaming of a large part of the street where the Russian embassy is located in Rruga Ukraina e Lirë, or “free Ukraine street”. .
Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj said the city wanted to show support for Ukraine and demoralize embassy staff, who “will have to work, live and receive mail at a public Free Ukraine address”. The same road also houses the embassies of Ukraine, Serbia and Kosovo.
Of course, this stuff is just gestural politics. Stunts like this are unlikely to actually change Putin’s mind, but they might just get away from him a bit. It is a way, even for a small country like Albania, to express its support for the Ukrainian people and to condemn Putin’s invasion.
Furthermore, Albania has also gone further than simple gestures. Although not a member of the EU (yet – it is currently in the process of applying), the country has implemented sanctions similar to those of the EU, focusing mainly on Russian financial industries , energy, transport and technology.
Tirana joins several other cities around the world seeking to denounce the Russian invasion. Lithuania stepped up anti-Putin gestures, renaming the street of the Russian Embassy in Vilnius “Ukrainian Heroes Street”, while Riga in Latvia also named the equivalent street “Independent Ukraine Street”.
In any case, Albania’s audacity is an example for all of us and shows that you don’t have to be an economic or military superpower to stand up to a much bigger aggressor.
Want to do your part to help? Here are 17 ways to support the Ukrainian people right now.