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KyivNotKiev is an online campaign started by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) together with the 15 member centre for strategic communications "StratCom Ukraine" on 2 October 2018. Its goal was to persuade English-language media and organizations to exclusively use Kyiv (derived from the Ukrainian language name Київ) instead of Kiev (derived from the Russian language name Киев) as the name of the Ukrainian capital. It is a part of the wider CorrectUA campaign. It is also part of a global trend of city name changes.
The organization intends to internationally assert a Ukrainian identity and help shed linguistic relics of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union by promoting the exclusive use of Ukrainian-language transliterations for Ukrainian place names. The campaign is run by the Department of Public Diplomacy of the MFA.
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, because many people outside Ukraine did not see the need or thought that the issue was "imposed by nationalists on purpose". After the Russo-Ukrainian War began in 2014, many Western media outlets opted to switch spellings. The war and international political opinions only intensified with Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
The "KyivNotKiev" campaign is part of the broader "CorrectUA" campaign, which advocates a change of name in English; not only for Kyiv, but also for other Ukrainian cities whose English names are derived from their Russian spellings. Examples of settlement names derived from Russian include: Odessa instead of Odesa, Kharkov instead of Kharkiv, Lvov instead of Lviv, Nikolaev instead of Mykolaiv, and Rovno instead of Rivne. 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.
The campaign also includes advice on the usage of the definite article (the) before the name of the country, i.e. "the Ukraine". The definite article is rarely used before the names of independent states but is often used before the names of regions of countries. Many Ukrainians regard the use of "the Ukraine" as tantamount to questioning Ukrainian sovereignty, especially after the beginning of the Russian military intervention into Ukraine. Others[who?] hold that this campaign is nothing more than populism and was started to make it look like something was being done to divert attention from more important problems.
Beginning of the KyivNotKiev campaignEdit
The "KyivNotKiev" campaign began with a fortnight-long "marathon" where every one or two days the MFA published the title of foreign news outlets. Ukrainians would, en masse, request them on social networks to use Kyiv instead of Kiev, which was also followed by numerous Ukrainian social networks users putting "#KyivNotKiev" frames on their avatars. Ten of the most influential (in the opinion of the MFA) 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. The campaign won the support of thousands of Ukrainians, and the hashtag "#KyivNotKiev" was seen by more 10 million social network users. During or shortly after this "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 campaignEdit
After the campaign began, the name Kyiv became more common on such Anglophone outlets as the BBC, The Guardian, Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Economist, The Daily Telegraph, The New York Times and other foreign media. It was also adopted by some international organizations.
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 one, which resulted 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 around the world to switch from Kiev to Kyiv. Previously, most airports refused to do so, saying that in lists of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) the name Kiev was specified. However, in October 2019, IATA, following the decision of the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, switched to Kyiv. 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.
- "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.
- 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" – 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.
- "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.
- "Official guidance on the correct spelling and usage of Ukrainian place names". MFA of Ukraine. Archived from the original on 25 November 2019.
- 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.
- "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.
- 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.
- Map of organizations which switched to "Kyiv" in Google Maps
- List of organizations which switched to "Kyiv"
- Kyiv Not Kiev page on Facebook
- CorrectUA page on Facebook
- CorrectUA page on Twitter
- Hashtag #KyivNotKiev on Twitter
- Hashtag #KyivNotKiev on Facebook
- Hashtag #CorrectUA on Twitter
- Hashtag #CorrectUA on Facebook