Boris Nemtsov Square in Prague

Czech Republic

By Contested Histories Initiative

On February 27, 2016, several Czech citizens started a petition to rename Prague’s Under the Chestnuts Square, the site of Russia’s Embassy in the Czech Republic, in honour of the murdered Kremlin critic, Boris Nemtsov. The Prague City Council finalised the renaming on February 27, 2020. In response, the Russian Embassy changed its address to the nearby Coronation Street, which was renamed the Street of Ukrainian Heroes in 2022. The square’s renaming was met with local approval and spurred protests against Putin’s regime. It also inflamed tensions between the Czech Republic and Russia over the Kremlin’s foreign policy and the memory of Soviet rule in Czechoslovakia, likely contributing to the attacks on the Czech Embassy in Moscow in April 2021. This case study examines how the contested legacies of Communism in East-Central Europe influence contemporary politics, mapping the diplomatic dimensions of the struggle for public space.

For the case study click here.