The City Council voted unanimously to rename the northwest Washington street in honour of Boris Nemtsov, who was shot and killed outside the Kremlin in 2015.
The segment of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian embassy will be renamed Boris Nemtsov Plaza on 27 February, the third anniversary of his death, according to Vladimir Kara-Murza, chair of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation for Freedom.
In a statement the council said the decision was made to honour the "slain democracy activist."
Russian politicians called the move "immoral" and said it was an attempt to "plague" Russia.
Vladimir Jabarov, a Russian senator, told RIA he thought the decision was taken to "irritate Moscow," while Vladimir Zhirinovsky, head of the nationalist LDPR party, said US authorities "want to play dirty tricks in front of the Russian embassy."
Last year, Russia sent five Chechen men accused of killing Mr Nemtsov to prison, but the late politician's allies said the investigation had been a cover-up and those who had ordered his killing remained at large.
Mr Nemtsov was shot four times in the back with a pistol while walking across the Bolsho Moskovoretsky Bridge with his girlfriend.
His killer then sped off in a getaway car.
Mr Nemtsov, who was pronounced dead at the scene, was a key opponent of the Russian President and his murder sent shockwaves through Russia's opposition supporters.
Hours before his death he had denounced Mr Putin's policies as "mad, aggressive and deadly" and was scheduled to lead an anti-government march in protest of the Kremlin's military intervention in Ukraine.
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