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Striking at Putin’s ‘continued aggression,’ Rubio helps honor murdered dissident Boris Nemtsov

Rubio played key role in naming a street for Nemtsov - and Russian diplomats in Washington can't avoid seeing it.
Sen. Marco Rubio speaks at the unveiling of Boris Nemtsov Plaza outside the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27, 2018. (Alex Leary | Times)
Sen. Marco Rubio speaks at the unveiling of Boris Nemtsov Plaza outside the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 27, 2018. (Alex Leary | Times)
Published Feb. 27, 2018
Updated Feb. 27, 2018

WASHINGTON – Calling it an "enduring reminder to Vladimir Putin," Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday helped designate a street outside the Russian Embassy in honor of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was gunned down on a Moscow bridge in 2015.

"This street sign directly outside of the Russian embassy will serve as an enduring reminder to Vladimir Putin, to those who support him, that they cannot use murder, violence, and intimidation to silence the voices of freedom and dissent. The voices of the defenders of liberty will live on," Rubio said.

"To continue to honor Boris' legacy, we must never stop calling out Vladimir Putin's repressive policies in Russia, but also his continued aggression around the world. His support for war criminals, like Assad in Syria, and we must never stop speaking out or guarding ourselves against his efforts to interfere in our democratic process here in the United States and in nations across the world."

Rubio's language and tone was a stark contrast to that of President Donald Trump, who has inaccurately claimed he's been tougher on Putin that President Barack Obama and continues to rail against the probe into Russian meddling.

The Florida Republican played a key role in the designation of Boris Nemtsov Plaza, even though it was carried out by the District of Columbia. Rubio in February 2017 introduced legislation but it did not progress, with the city stepping in.

A number of city officials were on hand plus members of Congress, including Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami. Members of Nemtsov's family also attended.