“No matter what is going on in this country, we should still be the beacon for fighting democracy,” Cheh told the Washington Post last November, after Rubio turned the Nemtsov effort over to her. “Once this was presented to me, it seemed so right.” The Council approved Cheh’s bill unanimously last week, clearing the way for new street signs outside the Russian Embassy.Even if Trump did not figure directly into Rubio’s and Cheh’s plans, renaming a street after one of Putin’s staunchest critics prompted a reaction from some of Moscow’s staunches partisans. The “North American Dead End” initiative comes at the urging of Mikhail Degtyaryov, a member of the Duma and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, a fringe group whose name belies its ideology. (It advocates for an ultranationalist restoration of the Russian Empire.) Moscow’s City Hall plans to take up Degtyaryov’s request later this month, RT reports.

A State Department official tells Washingtonian that renaming the location of the US Embassy to “North American Dead End,” is a matter for local authorities in Moscow. But renaming foreign embassies’ addresses to troll other nations is a common enough in modern diplomacy. A couple years before Rubio suggested renaming the Russian Embassy’s block to tweak Putin, Senator Ted Cruz proposed a federal bill that would’ve named International Place, the side street off Connecticut Avenue on which the Chinese Embassy sits, after Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident who died in a Chinese prison in 2016. (The White House said at the time that President Barack Obama would veto the move if it ever got to his desk, to avoid irking China.)More than anything, though, the efforts to rename DC streets after Nemtsov and Liu are a revival of a Cold War tactic in which diplomatic missions would find their addresses changed to reflect criticism from host nations or cities. In the 1980s, Congress passed legislation renaming a stretch of 16th Street, Northwest, where the Soviet Embassy then sat, after the physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. It was good for public criticism of the Soviet Union’s internal repression, but most likely did little to actually hasten the fall of Communism.Still, we can probably thank Communists for coming up with diplomatic-address trolling in the first place. In 1969, after Communists swept local elections in the Indian state of West Bengal, the new officials promptly decided to throw their co-partisans in North Vietnam a token of support by renaming the street where the US consulate in Calcutta (now Kolkata) after Ho Chi Minh. The Communists held on to power in West Bengal until 2011; and the US consulate’s mailing address is still named for Ho.

North American Dead End, while a bit more drab and uninspired than renaming a street after a presidential critic, would carry on a flashy, albeit toothless, tradition of local governments dipping into diplomacy.