Kyiv City Council on April 4 voted to rename Ivan Kudrya Street in central Kyiv John McCain Street: the council decision was passed with a vote of 71 for, to four against.

John McCain, a U.S. senator who was a member of the Republican Party, was a strong supporter of the EuroMaidan protests in 2013-2014. He also visited the front lines in Ukraine near Mariupol after Russia launched its war on Ukraine in the Donbas in 2014.

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The senator died in August 2018 from brain cancer.

At home, McCain was a firm supporter of Ukraine in the U.S. Congress, and was one of the first to call for the United States to provide Ukraine with lethal weaponry, in particular anti-tank rocket launchers.

However, Ukraine’s military only received Javelin anti-tank missiles from the United States in early 2018.

In a tweet in December 2017, McCain welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to send Javelins to Ukraine.  McCain called this move “a strong signal that the United States will stand by its allies and partners as they fight to defend their sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko suggested naming a street in Kyiv after the late senator, and his family supported the idea.

The person the street was formerly named after, Ivan Kudrya, was a World War II hero and Soviet intelligence officer in Nazi-occupied Kyiv in 1941 and 1942.  He was twice imprisoned by the Germans and was most probably assassinated during his second imprisonment. His body was never found and his activities during the war were only declassified by the Soviet authorities in the 1960s.

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According to the New York Times, the CIA has built a series of secret listening posts in Ukraine to tracks Russian troop movements, air and missile attacks.

Beside military intelligence gathering and attacks on strategic infrastructure, Kudrya was involved in operations to infiltrate the Ukrainian nationalist movement in the occupied territories, and supervised assassinations of leading members of the movement.  Kudrya was also claimed to have destroyed part of central Kyiv by planting mines in major buildings and setting them off days after the Nazis captured the city.

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The street connects two major thoroughfares in Kyiv – Velyka Vasylkivska Street and Lesya Ukrayinka Boulevard.  It is a quiet street, a part of which is residential, while the rest is lined by dilapidated industrial buildings.  There are two schools on the street, and one of them, which specializes in foreign languages, is also named after Ivan Kudrya.

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