Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry has launched a social media campaign to try to persuade international media to write “Kyiv” for the name of Ukraine’s capital name instead of the traditional English spelling of “Kiev.”

With the Center for Strategic Communications StratCom Ukraine, the ministry plans to post on its pages on Facebook and Twitter a request to international media, such as Reuters, the New York Times, the BBC and others, to use in English versions of Ukrainian place names transliterated from Ukrainian, not Russian.

The campaign, named CorrectUA, will sign all of the requests with its hashtag #KyivNotKiev. It is planned to publish a post every day, tagging international media and asking them to change their usage style.

“Ukraine has been an independent sovereign nation for more than 27 years, but the Soviet-era versions of many geographic names stubbornly persist in international practice,” the ministry Facebook page says. “The usage of Soviet-era place names – rooted in the Russian language – is unacceptable to the people of Ukraine.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has started its #KyivNotKiev social media campaign.

Among the English-language international media, one of the few news sources that use Kyiv is the United States government-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Apart from Kyiv, the ministry requests that media use the Ukrainian names of other cities, like Kharkiv, Odesa, Mykolaiv, Lviv, and Ukraine, instead of “the Ukraine.”

The erroneous “the Ukraine” can be seen in the foreign press, and heard on television and radio. U.S. President Donald Trump even made the error during his meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2017.

While using it, “the Ukraine” refers to the time when Ukraine was a part of Soviet Union and was not an independent state. However, using it today is more than a grammatical mistake — it is inappropriate and disrespectful for Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Read the Kyiv Post Honest History Episode on why saying “the Ukraine” is more than a mistake.


To support its claim, the ministry refers to a resolution adopted at the 10th United Nation Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in 2012. It recommends using the Ukrainian Romanization system for transliteration to the Latin alphabet.

“I have a dream: to live in a world where the capital of my country is spelled correctly,” Twitter user Olha Izhyk tweeted in support of the campaign.

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