Ukraine support

Re-name consulate road ‘Zelensky St’ says LibDem leader

Russian flag at the Consulate in Melville Street

Businesses and residents in one of Edinburgh’s best known central addresses could find themselves on Zelensky Street.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton wants Melville Street, home to the Russian Consulate, to be renamed in honour of the Ukraine president.

The Edinburgh Western MSP has written to Edinburgh City Council calling for the change as a mark of solidarity with the Ukrainian people “and a reminder to all those writing to or visiting the Consulate about the crimes committed by Putin over recent weeks”.

Melville Street is home to the Scotland Office and businesses such as the accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael, the wealth manager St James’s Place and architecture firm Oberlanders. It has been the scene of demonstrations in recent weeks in protest at the Russian invasion.

A number of cities in Europe are currently changing the names of streets which are home to Russian embassies including Vilnius in Lithuania, where a street will become “Heroes of Ukraine Street”. Tirana, Albania, has introduced “Free Ukraine Street”, and Riga in Latvia has an“Independent Ukraine Street”.

Mr Cole-Hamilton MSP said: “Britain must shame Putin at every possible opportunity. Everyone visiting or writing to the consulate should be reminded of Putin’s murderous and destructive invasion of Ukraine. 

Dundas monument Melville Street
Melville Street was targeted during the Black Lives Matter protests (pic: Terry Murden)

“This small but meaningful gesture would match the outpouring of support from Kyiv’s twin city Edinburgh. It mirrors the kind of protest that was used against South African embassies during Apartheid, and speaks to the proud tradition of solidarity shown by scots to oppressed and persecuted people the world over.

“Edinburgh has responded with horror and compassion to the images coming out of Ukraine. The offers to house those fleeing the horror of war in capital homes has been truly inspiring. This would be a further beacon of solidarity for the people of Ukraine. 

“At every level of government, we must do more to help those affected by the invasion. The UK Government must immediately waive visa requirements for refugees, the Scottish Government must do more to identify Russian land interests and the city can play its part in readying itself for refugees and in small acts of defiance to Russian aggression like this.”

Melville Street was a target of demonstrations during the Black Lives Matter campaign in 2020 when protestors demanded the removal of statues of those with links to the slave trade.

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