Difference between Kyiv and Kiev

The Difference Between Kyiv and Kiev


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Are you confused by the spelling of Ukraine’s capital city? Sometimes you’ll see it spelled “Kiev” (pronounced in two distinct syllables: key-ev) and other times “Kyiv” (pronounced keev).

The following short videos explain the difference.

The Difference Between Kyiv and Kiev
The Difference Between Kyiv and Kiev

So in short, because Russia exerted influence for so long over Ukraine (it was after all a part of the U.S.S.R.), the Western world adopted the Russian way of saying Ukraine’s capital city (Kiev) whereas, in the Ukrainian language, the city name is pronounced a little differently (Kyiv).

This may not seem like such a big issue for Westerners, but to Ukrainians who are fiercely patriotic, it really matters. It shows respect to Ukraine to get it right and Ukrainians really appreciate the effort.

So now you know the difference!

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Random Quote about Kyiv:

"For me it's very important to turn Kyiv into one of the main centers of contemporary art in the world. There is New York. There's London. And there will be Kyiv. Everyone will come and say, 'Wow!'"
-- Victor Pinchuk
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