On April 5 2022, a screenshot of a Facebook post circulated on various platforms, claiming that Lithuania had imposed “an inexpensive sanction on Russia” by renaming a road the “Street of Ukrainian Heroes”:
Lithuania has imposed an inexpensive sanction on Russia by deploying the very effective, if not-so-deadly weapon of humour.
The street in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, where the Russian embassy is located, was renamed “Street of Ukrainian Heroes”, forcing the embassy to change its postal address and thus pay tribute to Ukraine with every letter and card.
A popular version was shared to LinkedIn in late March 2022. None of the posts included a source, and all featured the same photograph of a letter addressed as follows:
Embassy of Russian Federation
Ukrainian Heroes Street – 2
Vilnius 08111, Lithuania
On March 9 2022, The Guardian published, “Lithuania names road leading to Russian embassy ‘Ukrainian Heroes’ Street’,” reporting:
The Lithuanian capital Vilnius has given the Russian embassy a new address on “Ukrainian Heroes’ Street” to protest Moscow’s invasion of its pro-western neighbour.
“From today, the business card of every employee of the Russian embassy will be decorated with a note honouring Ukraine’s fighting, and everyone will have to think about the atrocities of the Russian regime against the peaceful Ukrainian nation when writing this street name,” Vilnius mayor Remigijus Simasius claimed in a statement.
Until now, the Russian embassy has taken its address from nearby Latvian Street, whose name remains unchanged.
The outlet noted that “Ukrainian Heroes Street” was “not the first time Vilnius has used signs and symbols to get its point across to Russia,” citing a 2018 name change to honor slain opposition leader Boris Nemtsov. On March 28 2022, USA Today mentioned the Vilnius street name change alongside similar actions in other nations:
In Oslo, Norway, an intersection near the Russian Embassy was recently given a new name: “Ukrainas Plass,” which translates to “Ukraine’s Square” according to The New York Times.
The Russian Embassy in Lithuania is now located on Ukrainian Heroes Street. Albania’s capital Tirana said it would rename part of the street where the Russian Embassy is located Free Ukraine, the Times reported.
Activists in Scotland and England have asked for similar changes, The Washington Post reported. For instance, advocates in London’s Chelsea and Kensington areas have pushed for the Russian Embassy to now sit on “Zelensky Avenue.”
A popular claim across social media platforms held that in Vilnius, Lithuania, the street on which the Russian embassy was located was renamed “Ukrainian Heroes Street.” While the posts did not include links, news organizations mentioned the name change in March 2022 stories, citing multiple sources — including the Vilnius mayor.