To write Kyiv, not Kiev. Why is it important?

Писать Kyiv, а не Kiev. Почему это важно?

How to spell Kyiv in English

The European Union changed the spelling of the name of the capital of Ukraine from Kiev to Kyiv in the email addresses of its employees. After him it’s doing some media and airports.

In Ukraine turned the whole campaign correct spelling of the name of the capital in English transliteration.

The fact that for a long time used the spelling with the Russian transliteration of Kiev. Now the urge to write in Ukrainian style – Kyiv.

The Ministry of foreign Affairs of Ukraine, even special campaign began – CorrectUА, part of which will be to disseminate information about the correct spelling of the names of Ukrainian cities in the English language.

And she already has the first results.

The argument

According to the rules of Ukrainian orthography, the spelling “Kyiv”, however, many foreigners still use the option “Kiev”, which is entrenched in the English language during the Soviet era.

The problem of using the correct form of transliteration of the Ukrainian Latin cities cannot be solved within 27 years of independence of Ukraine. In 2010 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine at the normative level fixed rules of transliteration of the Ukrainian alphabet with Latin letters.

The world is still the established practice of using forms, Kiev, which has not changed even after adoption of the relevant decision of the 10th UN conference on the standardization of geographical names. And it has a definite negative impact on the image of Ukraine.

Писать Kyiv, а не Kiev. Почему это важно?


The foreign Ministry of Ukraine has stated that it will appeal to foreign media to correct the spelling of the name of Kiev in English.

“During the campaign on the pages of the foreign Ministry of Ukraine on Facebook and Twitter will show posts that contain incorrect use of the name Kiev as Kiev leading foreign media such as The New York Times, BBC, Reuters and others”, – reported the foreign Ministry.

The campaign was supported by thousands of Ukrainians, and the hashtag #KyivNotKiev saw about 10 million users of social networks.

Why is it necessary?

Change transliteracy Kiev it is important first and foremost for the Ukrainians themselves, as this question has ripened for nearly 30 years, said on Radio NV Professor, doctor of philological Sciences, Director of Institute of linguistics named after Alexander Potebnya of the national Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Bohdan Azhnyuk.

Besides, there have been many examples where names of towns changed the transliteration to move away from the colonial past, explained Azhnyuk.

“It is the absorption of the international community of the Ukrainian forms in the phonetic chart. It was at all times. This happened at the time and called Tiflis, and with the name of Vilnius and with many other proper names. And this is especially true for those situations where it involved the language of the former colonizer. And today, this colony is also in the East of Ukraine the war, annexed the Crimea and so on. Today, the urgency of this issue escalated,” said Azhnyuk.


The Guardian will write in their articles the name of the capital of Ukraine in accordance with the spelling in English is Kyiv.

The word of Kyiv will use the journalists of the Observer, which is part of one media group from The Guardian.

Twitter followers have often pointed out the publication to use the word Kyiv.

In December 2018, the international airport named after Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw changed the spelling of the names of Ukrainian cities in accordance with the official standards of transliteration of the Ukrainian – Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Lviv, Zaporizhzhia.

Recently they changed the spelling of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv to the airports of London, Budapest and Tallinn.

The European Union changed the spelling of the name of Ukraine’s capital “Kiev” to “Kyiv” in the electronic addresses of employees.

MAU vs

At the same time domestic airline UIA stated that it will continue to use the city’s name in English as Kiev, not Kyiv in order not to confuse passengers.

The company noted that the use of Kiev, since that is the official transliteration of the International air transport Association IATA.

“As the official transliteration IATA – Kiev, we use this variant in order not to confuse foreign passengers. While the official transliteration, IATA Kiev, we do not use other spellings of the town in English,” – said in a statement.