Difference between Kyiv and Kiev

The Difference Between Kyiv and Kiev

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.

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!

If you’d like to learn more about the strength, bravery, and grit of the Ukrainian people, I’d highly recommend watching the Netflix film Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. It’s about the Revolution of Dignity (aka the Maidan Revolution) that took place in Ukraine in 2014, the genesis for the ongoing conflict happening now. I promise that if you watch this, you’ll never see Ukraine the same way.

"Kyiv is a bilingual capital, something unusual in Europe and unthinkable in Russia and the United States."
-- Timothy Snyder, The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America

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1 thought on “The Difference Between Kyiv and Kiev”

  1. I live in the US of A. What is the perspective you find regarding religion and the supernatural? In Ukraine of course! Or have you not explored that issue?

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