KyivNotKiev is an online campaign to persuade English-language media and organizations to exclusively use Kyiv (derived from the Ukrainian-language 'Київ') instead of Kiev (derived from the Russian-language 'Киев') as the name of the Ukrainian capital. It was started on 2 October 2018 by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and StratCom Ukraine, and it is run by the MFA's Department of Public Diplomacy.
It is part of the wider CorrectUA campaign, which intends to internationally assert a Ukrainian identity and remove linguistic relics of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union by promoting the exclusive use of Ukrainian-language transliterations for Ukrainian place names.
The CorrectUA campaign lobbies for changes to Ukrainian city names whose English names are derived from their Russian spellings. Examples of Russian and Ukrainian spelling differences include: Odessa and Odesa, Kharkov and Kharkiv, Lvov and Lviv, Nikolaev and Mykolaiv, and Rovno and Rivne.
The campaign also advises against using the definite article "the" before the name of the country, i.e. "the Ukraine". The definite article is rarely found before the names of independent states, most stemming from the name either being a compound of a noun and an adjective or from a geographical region. For Ukraine, the addition of "the" is hypothesized to either derive from its time as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (compare with 'the Russian Federation') or due to the "Ukraine" being derived from "borderland", and "the Ukraine" meaning "the borderlands" (compare with 'The Netherlands'). Many Ukrainians regard the use of "the Ukraine" as questioning Ukrainian sovereignty, especially after the beginning of the Russian military occupation of parts of Ukraine beginning in 2014.
Spelling of Kyiv prior to KyivNotKiev
In English, Kiev was used in print as early as 1804 in John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities" which appeared in Cary's New Universal Atlas published in London, as well as in Mary Holderness's travelogue New Russia: Journey from Riga to the Crimea by way of Kiev, published in 1823. The Oxford English Dictionary included Kiev in a quotation by 1883, and Kyiv in 2018. Transliterations based on Russian names became common practice because of aggressive Russification policies from the Russian Imperial and later Soviet governments.[better source needed]
The transliteration Kyiv was legally mandated by the Ukrainian government in 1995. The transliteration was approved by the Tenth United Nations Conference on Standardization of Geographical Names in 2012, but did not catch on internationally. Prior to 2019, there were few cases of organizations switching to the "Kyiv" spelling. After the Russo-Ukrainian War began in 2014, some Western media outlets opted to switch spellings.
Origin of the KyivNotKiev campaign
The "KyivNotKiev" campaign began with a fortnight-long "marathon". Every one or two days, the MFA published the title of foreign news outlets; on social media, Ukrainians would ask them to use Kyiv instead of Kiev. Ukrainian social media users also added "#KyivNotKiev" frames to their avatars. According to the MFA, ten of the most influential English-language global news outlets were affected: Reuters, CNN, BBC News, Al Jazeera, Daily Mail, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal and Euronews. Among the top Ukrainian officials who took part were: Minister of Healthcare, Ulana Suprun; Representative of Ukraine at the Council of Europe, Dmytro Kuleba; and the Member of the Verkhovna Rada, Yehor Soboliev. Thousands of Ukrainians participated, and the hashtag "#KyivNotKiev" was seen by more than 10 million social media users. During or shortly after the marathon, the BBC and The Guardian started using Kyiv. Later, the campaign shifted its attention to foreign airports, which used Kiev almost exclusively.
Results of the KyivNotKiev campaign
After the campaign began, the name Kyiv became more common on English-speaking outlets including the BBC, The Guardian, Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Economist, The Daily Telegraph, and The New York Times.[additional citation(s) needed]
In June 2019, at the request of the United States Department of State, the Embassy of Ukraine to the United States, and Ukrainian organizations in America, the name Kyiv was officially adopted by the United States Board on Geographic Names as the only correct name, resulting in the federal government of the United States solely using 'Kyiv'. Before that, both names were used.
One of the objectives of the campaign was to convince international airports to switch from Kiev to Kyiv. Previously, most airports refused to do so, saying that Kiev was specified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). However, in October 2019, IATA switched to Kyiv, following the decision of the US Board on Geographic Names. Since the campaign's launch, 63 airports and 3 airlines worldwide (as of January 2020) have begun using the name Kyiv, even before it was adopted by IATA. Among them were Toronto Pearson, Luton, Manchester, Frankfurt, and Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat.
As of 2022, the remaining major news websites that continue to use "Kiev" are mostly Russian-linked sites funded by the Russian government, such as TASS, Sputnik News and RT. These channels also habitually use Russian transliteration for all Ukrainian proper names, such as Kharkov, Chernigov, Krivoy Rog, current Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky and former Ukrainian president Pyotr Poroshenko.
Results in non-English-speaking countries
On 31 March 2022, the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that they would switch the Japanese translation of Kyiv from the Russian-derived キエフ to the Ukrainian-derived キーウ. This had been requested by the Embassy of Ukraine in Japan in 2019.
- "МЗС України звертається до світу – вживай #KyivNotKiev" [MFA addresses the World – use #KyivNotKiev] (in Ukrainian). MFA of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 2 October 2019.
- "#KyivNotKiev: МЗС закликає світ коректно писати Київ" [#KyivNotKiev: MFA asks the World to correctly spell Kyiv] (in Ukrainian). BBC News Ukrainian. 3 October 2018. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Писати Kyiv, а не Kiev. Чому це важливо?" [Writing Kyiv, but not Kiev. Why this is important?] (in Ukrainian). Korrespondent. 15 February 2019. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- Dickinson, Peter (21 October 2019). "Kyiv not Kiev: Why spelling matters in Ukraine's quest for an independent identity". Atlantic Council. Archived from the original on 19 January 2020. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
- Bloedner, Dominik (30 July 2019). "Kiew oder Kyjiw? Die Ukraine kämpft für die Rückkehr des Ukrainischen" [Kiew or Kyjiw? ("Kiev or Kyiv?" in German romanization) Ukraine fights for return of the Ukrainian] (in German). Badische Zeitung. Archived from the original on 31 December 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2020.
- "Official guidance on the correct spelling and usage of Ukrainian place names". MFA of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019.
- "Ukraine or the Ukraine: Why do some country names have 'the'?". BBC News. 7 June 2012. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
- Zhuhan, Viktoriia (28 August 2019). "Як Kiev перетворюється на Kyiv" [How Kiev transforms into Kyiv] (in Ukrainian). BBC News Ukrainian. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- Holderness, Mary (1823). Journey from Riga to the Crimea, with some account of the manners and customs of the colonists of new Russia. London: Sherwood, Jones and co. p. 316. LCCN 04024846. OCLC 5073195.
- "I, n.1". OED Online. Oxford University Press. September 2019. Archived from the original on 17 September 2020. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
2017 Thai News Service (Nexis) 21 Apr. Kyiv filed a lawsuit against Russia at the ICJ for intervening militarily.
- ""Kyiv not Kiev" – довідка для вболівальника" ["Kyiv not Kiev" – a guide for a fan] (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 25 May 2018. Archived from the original on 6 April 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- Khalimova, Elzara; Yakutenko, Anna; Sedlerova, Alina (29 February 2020). "Kyiv, Not Kiev. Why Ukrainians care so much about their capital's spelling". Kyiv Post. Archived from the original on 31 October 2020. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
- "Tenth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names" (PDF). United Nations. 9 August 2012. Archived (PDF) from the original on 19 April 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
- Bozhko, Yurii (22 August 2012). "В ООН схвалили українську систему латинізації географічних назв" [UN adopted Ukrainian system of latinization of geographical names] (in Ukrainian). UNN. Archived from the original on 2 September 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- Zraick, Karen (13 November 2019). "Wait, How Do You Pronounce Kiev?". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 14 November 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "Kyiv not Kiev: Why spelling matters in Ukraine's quest for an independent identity". The Atlantic Council. 21 October 2019. Archived from the original on 19 January 2020. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- Dovbenko, Mariia (22 October 2018). "Чи змінився Kiev на Kyiv? Результати кампанії, спрямованої на міжнародні медіа" [Did it change from Kiev to Kyiv? Results of the campaign, aimed at international media] (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Kyiv not Kiev: ВВС змінює написання столиці України" [Kyiv not Kiev: ВВС changes spelling for Ukrainian capital] (in Ukrainian). BBC News Ukrainian. 14 October 2019. Archived from the original on 14 October 2019. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Kyiv замість Kiev: агентство Associated Press змінило написання назви української столиці" [Kyiv instead of Kiev: Associated Press agency changed spelling of the name of Ukrainian capital] (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 14 August 2019. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- Voitovych, Ilona (16 October 2019). "Kyiv not Kiev: The Washington Post змінив написання столиці України" [Kyiv not Kiev: The Washington Post changed spelling of Ukrainian capital] (in Ukrainian). Voice of America. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "The Economist starts using 'Kyiv' instead of 'Kiev'". Ukrinform. 30 October 2019. Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "Британська газета The Telegraph писатиме Kyiv замість Kiev" [British newspaper The Telegraph will write Kyiv instead of Kiev] (in Ukrainian). Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 22 October 2019. Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "The New York Times starts using 'Kyiv' instead of 'Kiev'". Ukrinform. 19 November 2019. Archived from the original on 18 January 2020. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "У США пояснили, що означає зміна написання Kiev на Kyiv" [USA explained what the change of spelling from Kiev to Kyiv means] (in Ukrainian). BBC News Ukrainian. 15 June 2019. Archived from the original on 17 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- "Kyiv Not Kiev: США виправили написання назви столиці України у міжнародній базі" [Kyiv Not Kiev: USA corrected spelling of the capital of Ukraine in the international database] (in Ukrainian). Yevropeiska Pravda. 12 June 2019. Archived from the original on 12 June 2019. Retrieved 18 January 2020.
- "United States Board on Geographic Names. Foreign Names Committee. Statement Regarding the Name of the Capital of Ukraine" (PDF). National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. 11 June 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
- Antoniuk, Daryna (18 September 2020). "Kyiv not Kiev: Wikipedia changes spelling of Ukrainian capital". KyivPost. Archived from the original on 18 September 2020. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
- "[우크라 침공] 정부, 키예프→키이우…현지어 발음 표기로 바꾼다" (in Korean). YNA. 2 March 2022. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
- "ウクライナの首都等の呼称の変更" (in Japanese). MOFA. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 28 January 2023.
- "ウクライーナの地名の正しいスペルと使用法に関する公式ガイド". Embassy of Ukraine in Japan. 17 July 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2023.