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“KYIV,” NOT “KIEV”

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We appeal to your editorial staff to use “Kyiv,” not “Kiev” when writing about the capital city of Ukraine.

Ukraine became an independent nation in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Ukrainian was immediately adopted as the official language, and in 1995 national rules were established for the transliteration of Ukrainian geographic names into English. Under the official transliteration rules, the Ukrainian capital city of Київ becomes Kyiv, Львів becomes Lviv, Харків becomes Kharkiv, Дніпропетровськ becomes Dnipropetrovsk, and Одеса becomes Odesa.   

The spellings you are currently using represent transliterations from the Russian language. The people of Ukraine have fought hard for their independence from the Russian and Soviet empires for over three hundred years. Twenty-five years ago we won this fight.  Your continued use of Russian transliterations sends an implicit message that your news organization does not recognize the choices and preferences officially adopted by the sovereign nation of Ukraine.  This lends tacit support to the Russian efforts to maintain linguistic domination in Ukraine which, in turn, has been used by the Russian expansionists as a justification for invading territory in eastern Ukraine. 

"Kyiv" is transliterated from Ukrainian, the official language of Ukraine and the language of historic Ukraine, of which Kyiv has been the capital since the Ninth Century.  "Kyiv" is the way the internationally recognized government of Ukraine spells the name of its capital when publishes information in English.  The Embassy of Ukraine in USA (http://usa.mfa.gov.ua/en Consulate General of Ukraine in New York (http://ny.mfa.gov.ua/ua US Embassy in Ukraine (http: / /ukraine.usembassy.gov/) and all Ukrainian-American organizations (US-Ukrainian Foundation, The Washington Group (TWG) Cultural Fund, The Shevchenko Scientific Society, Washington DC) use the correct spelling “Kyiv”.

Ukrainian Service "Voice of America" and "Radio Liberty" has clarified many times the question of translation in its reports (link below):

 http://ukrainian.voanews.com/content/a-49-2006-10-21-voa2-86831492/219982.html

http://www.radiosvoboda.org/content/news/953201.html

It is time to change; it is time to leave the past behind!  



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