Counterclockwise (from upper right): Verkhovna Rada, Kiev Pechersk Lavra, Red University Building, House with Chimaeras, Independence Square, statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Kiev is located in Ukraine
Kiev in Ukraine
Kiev is located in Europe
Kiev (Europe)
Coordinates: 50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E / 50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E / 50.45000; 30.52333
MunicipalityKiev City Municipality
Founded482 A.D. (officially)[2]
City councilKiev City Council
 • Mayor and Head of City State AdministrationVitali Klitschko[3][4]
 • City with special status839 km2 (324 sq mi)
179 m (587 ft)
 (1 November 2015)
 • City with special status2,900,920[1]
 • Density3,299/km2 (8,540/sq mi)
 • Metro
3,375,000[5] of the Kiev metropolitan area
Demonym(s)Kievan,[6] Kyivan[7]
GDP (2016)
 • TotalUS$20 billion
 • Per capitaUS$7,000
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)+380 44
FIPS codeUP12

Kiev or Kyiv (v/ KEE-ef, -⁠ev;[9] Ukrainian: Київ, romanizedKyiv [ˈkɪjiu̯] (About this soundlisten); Russian: Киев, romanizedKiyev [ˈkʲi(j)ɪf]) is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is located in the north-central part of the country along the Dnieper River. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974[1] (though higher estimated numbers have been cited in the press),[10] making Kiev the 7th most populous city in Europe.[11]

Kiev is an important industrial, scientific, educational and cultural center of Eastern Europe. It is home to many high-tech industries, higher education institutions, and historical landmarks. The city has an extensive system of public transport and infrastructure, including the Kiev Metro.

The city's name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of its four legendary founders. During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city probably existed as a commercial centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars,[12] until its capture by the Varangians (Vikings) in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state. Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasions in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come. It was a provincial capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours; first by Lithuania, followed by Poland and ultimately Russia.[13]

The city prospered again during the Russian Empire's Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century. In 1918, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from Soviet Russia, Kiev became its capital. From 1921 onwards Kiev was a city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was proclaimed by the Red Army, and, from 1934, Kiev was its capital. During World War II, the city was almost completely ruined, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian independence in 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukraine and experienced a steady migration influx of ethnic Ukrainians from other regions of the country.[14] During the country's transformation to a market economy and electoral democracy, Kiev has continued to be Ukraine's largest and wealthiest city. Kiev's armament-dependent industrial output fell after the Soviet collapse, adversely affecting science and technology. But new sectors of the economy such as services and finance facilitated Kiev's growth in salaries and investment, as well as providing continuous funding for the development of housing and urban infrastructure. Kiev emerged as the most pro-Western region of Ukraine where parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union dominate during elections.[15][16][17][18]


Fragment of the New Universal Atlas by John Cary, London, 1808. The city was situated on the borderline between the former Polish (left) and Russian (right) zones of influence, with the name being Russified to Kiev.

Kiev is the traditional and most commonly used English name for the city.[19] The Ukrainian government however uses Kyiv as the mandatory romanization where legislative and official acts are translated into English.[20]

As a prominent city with a long history, its English name was subject to gradual evolution. The early English spelling was derived from Old East Slavic form Kyjevŭ (Cyrillic: Кꙑєвъ).[21] The name is associated with that of Kyi (Кий), the legendary eponymous founder of the city.

Early English sources use various names, including Kiou, Kiow, Kiew, Kiovia. On one of the oldest English maps of the region, Russiae, Moscoviae et Tartariae published by Ortelius (London, 1570) the name of the city is spelled Kiou. On the 1650 map by Guillaume de Beauplan, the name of the city is Kiiow, and the region was named Kÿowia. In the book Travels, by Joseph Marshall (London, 1772), the city is referred to as Kiovia.[22] The form Kiev is based on Russian orthography and pronunciation [ˈkʲijɪf], during a time when Kiev was in the Russian Empire (from 1708, being the seat of a governorate).[citation needed]

In English, Kiev was used in print as early as in 1804 in John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities" in Cary's new universal atlas published in London. The English travelogue titled New Russia: Journey from Riga to the Crimea by way of Kiev, by Mary Holderness was published in 1823.[23] By 1883, the Oxford English Dictionary included Kiev in a quotation.

Kiev City State Administration official request for Wikimedia Foundation to switch Kiev to Kyiv

Kyiv is the romanized version of the name of the city used in modern Ukrainian. Following independence in 1991, the Ukrainian government introduced the national rules for transliteration of geographic names from Ukrainian into English. According to these rules, the Ukrainian Київ is transliterated as Kyiv. This has established the use of the spelling Kyiv in all official documents issued by the governmental authorities since October 1995. The spelling is used by the United Nations, the European Union,[24] all English-speaking foreign diplomatic missions,[25] several international organizations,[26] Encarta encyclopedia, and by some media in Ukraine.[27] In October 2006, the United States Board on Geographic Names (or BGN) unanimously voted to change its standard transliteration to Kyiv, effective for the entire U.S. government, although Kiev remained the BGN conventional name for this city[28][29][30] until June 2019.[31] The alternative romanizations Kyyiv (BGN/PCGN transliteration) and Kyjiv (scholarly) are also in use in English-language atlases. Many major English-language news sources, including The New York Times[32] continue to use Kiev, but others have adopted Kyiv in their style guides, including The Economist[33], The Guardian,[34] the Associated Press news service,[35][36] the Wall Street Journal,[37] the Globe and Mail,[38] the BBC,[39] and the Washington Post.[40]