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Kyiv Renames Street in Honor of Late US Senator McCain

FILE - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko greets Cindy McCain at the Presidential Palace in Kyiv, Ukraine, April 1, 2019.

Kyiv on Thursday renamed one of its streets after John McCain, in a gesture of honor to the late U.S. senator who supported Ukraine's pro-Western leadership in the standoff with Russia.

McCain, who died last year at age 81, backed Kyiv's popular uprising which in 2014 ousted Ukraine's pro-Kremlin president as well as supported sanctions over Moscow's annexation of Crimea.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko praised McCain, who was a frequent visitor to the country, as "a great friend and advocate of Ukraine."

He noted McCain's "historic importance" in building a "new independent Ukraine" during the meeting with his widow Cindy McCain on Monday in Kyiv.

On Thursday, Kyiv City Council decided to rename one of the streets in the Ukrainian capital after McCain.

Seventy-one Kyiv lawmakers voted to rename Ivana Kudri street — a Soviet security service officer — after McCain. Four voted against.

The celebrated Republican politician and Vietnam War veteran was a sharp critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and irked Moscow with his support for pro-Western leaders in ex-Soviet Georgia and Ukraine.

In particular, McCain urged President Donald Trump to provide Ukraine with defensive weapons to counter the Russian-backed insurgency in the country's east, which has claimed more than 13,000 lives.