Albania renames street in capital Tirana as Free Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: A member of a civil society lights a candle during a protest in solidarity with the Ukrainian people after Russia’s military operation against Ukraine, front of the Russian embassy in Tirana, Albania. February 24, 2022. REUTERS/Florion Goga/File Photo

TIRANA (Reuters) – Albania will rename a street in its capital Tirana where the Russian and Ukrainian embassies are located as Free Ukraine to honor Ukraine’s resistance to war, the mayor said on Sunday.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, NATO member Albania has joined other European countries in introducing economic sanctions and banning Russian aircraft from its air space.

“Our generation will be marked by this bloody Russian aggression, and the heroic resistance of #Ukraine should be remembered in our public places,” Tirana Mayor Erion Veliaj told Reuters.

The street was previously named after Donika Kastrioti, who was the wife of Albania’s national hero Skanderbeg. The embassies of Serbia and Kosovo are also located on the street.

Mayor Veliaj said the new name would be a reminder for the Russian embassy staff. “The Russians will have to work, live and get their mail on a Free Ukraine street address.”

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation” that it says is not designed to occupy territory but to destroy its southern neighbour’s military capabilities and capture what it regards as dangerous nationalists.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci and Florion Goga; Editing by Daria Sito-Sucic and Jane Merriman)

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