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2022-03-31 01:31:06 By : Ms. Gilian Dong

The road in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC, was given an unofficial new name on Sunday: President Zelensky Way.

It was a defiant tribute to the leader of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky, who has been hailed as a hero around the world as he fends off an unprovoked Russian invasion.

The street sign was placed in front of the embassy as a form of silent protest against Russian President Vladimir Putin's full-scale assault on Ukraine, the man behind the stunt said.

"It's a symbolic gesture. It's really just meant to symbolize what we and lots of Americans feel about what's going on in Ukraine," Claude Taylor, a political activist, told Insider in a phone interview on Sunday. "It's obvious the depth and the extent of the war crimes and the tragedy that has befallen Ukraine thanks to one man, thanks to Putin."

Taylor founded the anti-Trump Mad Dog PAC in 2017. He said the group had done several sign stunts in the past, and that symbolically renaming the street in front of the embassy was a small action they could take to protest the war in Ukraine.

The sign looks somewhat professional, with a large cement base and sturdy pole. Taylor said they placed the sign at around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. It's unclear how long it will remain there.

Mad Dog PAC put up similar signs in the past named after Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist and Washington Post columnist who was assassinated by Saudi officials in 2018. Shortly after, Taylor's group put up a "Khashoggi Way" sign in front of the Saudi Embassy in DC, as well as in other locations.

For the Zelensky sign, Taylor said he had a sign base and pole left over from that project and just needed to order the actual sign, attach it, and drop it off in front of the embassy.

It's also not the first time Taylor's group has taken aim at Russia. In 2019, the PAC put up a billboard in Palm Beach that said "GOP," with the O formed by a hammer and sickle, a common symbol in Russia that was on the Soviet Union flag. The group said the billboard, located not far from Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort, was meant to highlight "the GOP's corrupt and treasonous cooperation with Putin and his Russian mob."

Taylor said he had no idea whether the Zelensky sign would stay up for a while or be removed by embassy staff. But he said that as long as attention was drawn to the sign, it had accomplished its goal.

He continued, "This is just a peaceful, nonviolent, silent form of protest."

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