The Russian Embassy in Prague formally changed its official address, "moving" from Nemtsov Square, named after the murdered Russian politician. Now the diplomatic mission will use the address of its consular department, located about 400 meters from the official residence on 34 Korunovační Street.
At the same time, as reported by the Czech news outlet Aktuálně.cz referring to the letter sent by the Russian diplomatic mission to the Czech Foreign Ministry, the physical location of the embassy will not change, its main building will still be located in the Petschek palace, which, after it was renamed from Pod Kaštany Náměstí (Under the Chestnuts Square) in February this year, is located at the address 1 Boris Nemtsov Square.
The Russian Embassy did not respond to a request from the Czech publication as to why it had changed its official residence to another address. Prague's mayor, Zdeněk Hřib, told reporters that such moves seemed strange to him, given that politician Boris Nemtsov was Russia's deputy prime minister at the time.
"It seems strange to me, because Vladimir Putin called Nemtsov's murder vile and cynical and said that the organizers should be punished," Hřib said.
The Petschek Palace building was built in 1927-1930 and is one of the palaces owned by the famous Czech businessman of Jewish origin, Otto Petschek. It was built near the main entrance to the former royal hunting grounds, now Prague's Stromovka Park.
There are four such palaces in Prague. During the Second World War, one of them housed the main prison of the Nazi Gestapo in Prague. Shortly before the occupation of Czechoslovakia, Petschek sold his palaces and emigrated from the country. After the war, the Czech government donated one of the mansions to the Soviet Union, the other to the United States (now the residence of the U.S. Ambassador). One of the mansions is now used by the Chinese Embassy.
Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister of the Russian government and later one of the opposition leaders, was killed in Moscow on the night of February 28, 2015. Five people, natives of Chechnya, including former members of the security forces, were convicted of murder. The perpetrators of the murder have not been established, and Nemtsov's lawyers and relatives doubt many of the conclusions of the investigation, pointing to the apparently political nature of the murder.
Various objects in a number of world cities were named in honor of Nemtsov, including Vilnius, Kyiv, Washington. In Moscow, the Russian authorities refused to rename the bridge on which the murder took place in honor of Nemtsov, and even to install a memorial plaque on it.
In Prague, the Under the Chestnuts Square was named after Nemtsov in February this year,on the fifth anniversary of his murder. However, on its official website, the Russian Embassy still indicates its official address as the Under the chestnuts square, which no longer exists.