Reform city council member proposes Tallinn street rename to honor Nemtsov

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Memorials to Boris Nemtsov placed at the spot where he was killed, in Moscow.
Memorials to Boris Nemtsov placed at the spot where he was killed, in Moscow. Source: Urmet Kook / ERR

Tallinn City Council Member Eerik-Niiles Kross, a member of the Reform Party, has proposed renaming a street or square in the capital city in memory of Boris Nemtsov, a Russian politician and outspoken critic of the Putin regime who was shot dead in Moscow in February 2015.

Kross put forward the proposal, pointing out the Nemtsov was a friend of Estonia, and built bridges between it and the Russian Federation.

One possible location the Reform Party has in mind is a small square adjacent to Maiasmokk Café in Tallinn's Old Town, at the intersection of Pikk and Pühavaimu Streets. The location is also close to the Russian Embassy, though alternative locations might be offered, ERR's Estonian-language online news reports.

Kross noted that there is already a square in Washington D.C. named after Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister of Russia under the Boris Yeltsin administration, but later harsh critic of current president Vladimir Putin.

Andrei Novikov (Centre), one of six Tallinn deputy mayors, however, was more lukewarm about the idea.

"If such a proposal was made to the city government, it should be discussed by the relevant committee," Novikov told ERR's Russian-language news.

"You may say Eerik-Niile Kross called Nemtsov a great friend of Estonia; it is hard for me to imagine every friend of Estonia getting a street or a square [named after them] in Tallinn," Novikov added.

Nemtsov was shot dead as he was crossing the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow late on February 27, 2015. He was murdered less than two days before he was due to take part in a protest against Russian involvement in the war in Ukraine, as well as the financial crisis in Russia. He was 55.

In 2017, five men of Chechen origin were found guilty of Nemtsov's assassination, though the identity of who hired them for the paid job remains unknown.

Eerik-Niiles Kross is a politician, diplomat and entrepreneur. He is a former Riigikogu MP and former chief of intelligence. He is the son of Estonian writers Jaan Kross and Ellen Niit, and is married to American filmmaker and environmentalist Mary Jordan.

The Reform Party is currently in opposition, both in the Riigikogu and in Tallinn city government.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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