Polish city dedicates square to Ukraine

The city of Krakow in Poland has christened a strip of sidewalk near the Russian consulate ‘Free Ukraine Square’. The gesture comes after several other Polish cities renamed plazas for Ukraine, but Russia has indulged in some creative renaming of its own.

Krakow Mayor Jacek Majchrowski officially named the square – which consists of a small area of tiles and trees beside a parking lot – in a ceremony on Monday. 

“By opening this square, we want to show that we are with you … as you fight for your freedom and ours,” said Majchrowski. “You can show that David can defeat Goliath,” he added, with David in this case supported by tens of billions of dollars worth of Western weaponry.

At least four Polish cities have now named public squares after their eastern neighbor. An intersection in Gdansk became ‘Heroic Mariupol Square’ earlier this month, while Poznan christened ‘Defenders of Ukraine 2022 Square’ in June and Gdynia got its own ‘Free Ukraine Square’ in April.

Moscow has also renamed two key public squares in recent weeks. The plaza outside the US embassy in the Russian capital was renamed ‘Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Square’ in June, prompting the US State Department – which does not recognize the DPR – to replace the building’s address with its GPS coordinates on its website. 

A previously unnamed square in Moscow was then named after the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), which along with the DPR declared independence from Ukraine in 2014 and was recognized by Russia two days before the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in February. The square is home to the British embassy.

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