News & Politics

Protesters Installed a “President Zelensky Way” Sign Outside the Russian Embassy. 24 Hours Later, It’s Still There

Photograph by Anna Spiegel.

An unofficial sign that designates the road outside Russia’s embassy to the US as “President Zelensky Way” remains in place, a full day after it was installed in protest to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The sign is “really meant to be temporal,” said Claude Taylor, the veteran DC-area activist and prankster who installed the “political protest art,” when Washingtonian reached him by phone Monday. “It doesn’t matter if it stays there for a day or a year.”

In 2018, Taylor installed a similar sign on New Hampshire Avenue, Northwest, outside the Saudi Embassy. It designated the road “Khashoggi Way” after a journalist murdered by the Saudi government. The DC government made that name permanent late last year. There’s a long tradition in DC of trolling foreign governments with street-name changes—the Russian embassy currently occupies a stretch of Wisconsin Avenue named Boris Nemtsov Plaza for a critic of Vladimir Putin who was assassinated in 2015.

A Washingtonian reporter who visited the sign Monday afternoon saw a handful of pro-Ukraine protesters outside the embassy as well. Attempts to reach the Russian embassy by phone were unsuccessful.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.