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Kiev or Kyiv (Ukrainian: , Kyiv, ; see also Cities' alternative names), is the capital and the largest city of Ukrainemarker, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press.

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

The name Kiev is said to derive from the name of Kyi, one of four legendary founders of the city (brothers Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and sister Lybid'). During its history, Kiev, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city may have been founded in the 5th century as a trading post, perhaps part of the land of the early Slavs. It gradually acquired eminence as the centre of the East Slavic civilization, becoming in the tenth to twelfth centuries a political and cultural capital of Rus', a medieval East Slavic state. Completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion 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 neighbors: first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland and Russiamarker.

The city prospered again during the Russian Empiremarker's industrial revolution in the late 19th century. After the turbulent period following the Russian Revolution of 1917, from 1921 onwards Kiev was an important city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and, from 1934, its capital. During World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Unionmarker. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian independence of 1991, Kiev remained the capital of Ukrainemarker.



Geographically, Kiev belongs to the Polesia ecological zone (a part of the European mixed woods). However, the city's unique landscape distinguishes it from the surrounding region.

Kiev is located on both sides of the Dnieper River, which flows south through the city towards the Black Seamarker. The older right-bank (western) part of the city is represented by numerous woody hills, ravines and small rivers. It is a part of the larger Dnieper Upland adjoining the western bank of the Dnieper in its mid-flow. Kiev expanded to the Dnieper's lowland left bank (to the east) only in the twentieth century. Significant areas of the left-bank Dnieper valley were artificially sand-deposited, and are protected by dams.

The Dnieper River forms a branching system of tributaries, isles, and harbors within the city limits. The city is adjoined by the mouth of the Desna River and the Kiev Reservoirmarker in the north, and the Kaniv Reservoirmarker in the south. Both the Dnieper and Desna rivers are navigable at Kiev, although regulated by the reservoir shipping locks and limited by winter freeze-over.

In total, there are 447 bodies of open water within boundaries of Kiev, which include Dnieper itself, its reservoirs, and several small rivers, dozens of lakes and artificially created ponds. They occupy 7949 hectares of territory. Additionally, the city boasts of 16 developed beaches (totalling 140 hectares) and 35 near-water recreational areas (covering more than 1000 hectares). Not all water bodies are allowed for swimming.


Kiev has a continental humid climate. The warmest months are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of . The coldest are December, January, and February, with mean temperatures of . The highest ever temperature recorded in the city was on 31 July 1936. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was on 7 & 9 February 1929. Snow cover usually lies from mid-November to the end of March, with the frost-free period lasting 180 days on average, but surpassing 200 days in recent years.


Monument to the Founders of Kyiv, erected 1982
Kiev is one of the oldest and most important cities of Eastern Europe and has played a pivotal role in the development of the medieval East Slavic civilization as well as in the modern Ukrainian nationmarker.

Kiev was founded in the 5th century by East Slavs. The legend of Kyi, Schek and Khoryv speaks of a founder-family consisting of a Slavic tribe leader Kyi, the eldest, his brothers Schek and Khoriv, and also their sister Lybid, who founded the city. Kyiv/Kiev is translated as "belonging to Kyi".

The non-legendary time of the founding of the city is harder to ascertain. Scattered Slavic settlements existed in the area from the 6th century, but it is unclear whether any of them later developed into the city. Eighth century fortifications were built upon a Slavicmarker settlement apparently abandoned some decades before. It is unclear whether these fortifications were built by the Slavs or the Khazars. If it's the former, it is also uncertain when Kiev fell under the rule of the Khazar empire or whether the city was, in fact, founded by the Khazars. The Primary Chronicle (a main source of information about the early history of the area) mentions Slavic Kievans telling Askold and Dir that they live without a local ruler and pay a tribute to the Khazars in an event attributed to the 9th century. At least during the 8th and 9th centuries Kiev functioned as an outpost of the Khazar empire. A hill-fortress, called Sambat (Old Turkic for "High Place") was built to defend the area. At some point during the late ninth or early tenth century Kiev fell under the rule of Varangians (see Askold and Dir, and Oleg of Novgorod) and became the nucleus of the Rus' polity. The date given for Oleg's conquest of the town in the Primary Chronicle is 882, but some historians, such as Omeljan Pritsak and Constantine Zuckerman, dispute this and maintain that Khazar rule continued as late as the 920s (documentary evidence exists to support this assertion — see the Kievian Letter and Schechter Letter.) Other historians suggest that the Magyar tribes ruled the city between 840 and 878, before migrating with some Khazar tribes to Hungarymarker.

During the eighth and ninth centuries, Kiev was an outpost of the Khazar empire. Starting in the late ninth century or early tenth century Kiev was ruled by the Varangian nobility and became the nucleus of the Rus' polity, whose Golden Age (eleventh to early twelfth centuries) has from the nineteenth century become referred to as Kievan Rus'. In 968, the nomadic Pechenegs attacked and then besieged the city. In 1203 Kiev was captured and burned by Prince Rurik Rostislavich and his Kipchak allies. In the 1230s the city was sieged and ravaged by different Moscovite princes several times. In 1240 the Mongol invasion of Rus led by Batu Khan completely destroyed Kiev, an event that had a profound effect on the future of the city and the East Slavic civilization. At the time of the Mongol destruction, Kiev was reputed as one of the largest cities in the world, with a population exceeding one hundred thousand.

In 1321, the greatly diminished city and surrounding area was conquered by Gediminas for the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. From 1569 the city was controlled by the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, as a capital of Kijów Voivodeship, transferred by then to the Polish Crown. In the 17th century, Kiev was transferred under rule of Russiamarker. In the Russian Empiremarker Kiev was a primary Christian centre, attracting pilgrims, and the cradle of many of the empire's most important religious figures, but until the 19th century the city's commercial importance remained marginal.

In 1834, St Vladimir University was established; it is now known as the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kyiv). The poet Taras Shevchenko cooperated with its geography department as a field researcher and editor.

During the 18th and 19th centuries city life was dominated by the Russian military and ecclesiastical authorities; the Russian Orthodox Church formed a significant part of Kiev's infrastructure and business activity. In the late 1840s, the historian, Mykola Kostomarov (Russian: Nikolay Kostomarov)), founded a secret political society, the Brotherhood of Saint Cyril and Methodius, whose members put forward the idea of a federation of free Slavic people with Ukrainians as a distinct and separate group rather than a subordinate part of the Russian nation; the society was quickly suppressed by the authorities.

Following the gradual loss of Ukraine's autonomy, Kiev experienced growing Russification in the 19th century by means of Russian migration, administrative actions and social modernization. At the beginning of the 20th century, the city was dominated by Russian-speaking population, while the lower classes retained Ukrainian folk culture to a significant extent. However, enthusiasts among ethnic Ukrainian nobles, military and merchants made recurrent attempts to preserve native culture in Kiev (by clandestine book-printing, amateur theater, folk studies etc.)

Kiev in 1930.
During the Russian industrial revolution in the late 19th century, Kiev became an important trade and transportation center of the Russian Empire, specializing in sugar and grain export by railroad and on the Dnieper river. As of 1900, the city also became a significant industrial centre, having a population of 250,000. Landmarks of that period include the railway infrastructure, the foundation of numerous educational and cultural facilities as well as notable architectural monuments (mostly merchant-oriented). The first electric tram line of the Russian Empire was established in Kiev (arguably, the first in the world).

Kiev prospered again during the late nineteenth century industrial revolution in the Russian Empiremarker, when it became the third most important city of the Empire and the major centre of commerce of its southwest. In the turbulent period following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Kiev became the capital of several short-lived Ukrainian statesmarker and was caught in the middle of several conflicts: World War I, the Russian Civil War, and the Polish-Soviet War.Kiev changed hands sixteen times from the end of 1918 to August 1920.

From 1921 the city was a part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, a founding republic of the Soviet Unionmarker. Kiev was greatly affected by all the major processes that took place in Soviet Ukraine during the interwar period: the 1920s Ukrainization as well as the migration of the rural Ukrainophone population made the recently Russophone city partly Ukrainian-speaking and propped up the development of the Ukrainian cultural life in the city; the Soviet Industrialization that started in end-1920s turned the city, a former centre of commerce and religion, into a major industrial, technological and scientific centre, the 1932-1933 Great Famine devastated the part of the migrant population not registered for the ration cards, and Stalin's 1930s Great Purge almost eliminated the city's intelligentsia

In 1934 Kiev became the capital of Soviet Ukraine. The city boomed again during the years of the Soviet industrialization as its population grew rapidly and many industrial giants were created, some of which exist to this day.

In World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, becoming once again the third most important city of the Soviet Union. The catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plantmarker occurred only 100 km north of the city. However, the prevailing northward winds blew the most substantial radioactive debris away from the city.

In the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union the Declaration of Independence of Ukraine was proclaimed in the city by the Ukrainian parliamentmarker on August 24, 1991. Kiev is the capital of independent Ukrainemarker.


The municipality of the city of Kiev has a special legal status within Ukraine compared to the other administrative subdivisions of the country. The most significant difference is that the city is subordinated directly to the national-level branches of the Government of Ukraine, skipping the regional level authorities of Kiev Oblastmarker. Additionally, the Head of City Administration—the leading executive position is held by a directly elected, rather than appointed, figure, who is also the Head of City Council—the Mayor of Kiev, and municipal institutions have a higher level of self governance than elsewhere in Ukraine.


See also: :Category:Neighborhoods and raions of Kiev

President's administrative building

The first known formal subdivision of Kiev dates to 1810 when the city was subdivided into 4 parts: Pechersk, Starokyiv, and the first and the second parts of Podilmarker. In 1833-1834 according to Tsar Nicholas I's decree, Kiev was subdivided into 6 police raions; later being increased to 10. As of 1917, there were 8 Raion Councils (Duma), which were reorganized by bolsheviks into 6 Party-Territory Raions.

Over the Soviet time, as city was expanding, the number of raions was gradually increasing. The raions has been also commonly named after Soviet party leaders, and as political situation was changing and some leaders were overturned by the other, so raion names were also changing.

The last raion reform took place in 2001 when the number of raions has been decreased from 14 to 10.

Under Oleksandr Omelchenko (mayor from 1999 to 2006), there were further plans for the merger of some raions and revision of their boundaries, and the total number of raions had been planned to be decreased from 10 to 7. With the election of the new mayor-elect (Leonid Chernovetsky) in 2006, these plans were conducted.

Foreign Ministry building

Formal subdivision

Administratively, the city is divided into "raions" ("districts"), which have their own locally elected governments with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs. Presently, there are 10 raions.

Informal subdivision

The Dnieper River naturally divides Kiev into the Right Bank and the Left Bank areas. Historically located on the western right bank of the river, the city expanded into the left bank only in the twentieth century. Most of the Kiev's attractions as well as the majority of business and governmental institutions are located at the right bank. The eastern Left Bank is predominantly residential. There are large industrial and green areas in both the Right Bank and the Left Bank.

Kiev is further informally divided into historical or territorial neighborhoods, each housing from about 5,000 to 100,000 inhabitants.Raions in Kiev city includes:


the All-Ukrainian Census conducted on December 5, 2001, the population of Kiev is 2,611,300. The historic changes in population is shown in the side table.
Kiev skyline at dusk

According to the census, men accounted for 1,219,000 persons, or 46.7%, and women for 1,393,000 persons, or 53.3%. Comparing the results with the previous census (1989) shows the trend of population aging which, while prevalent throughout the country, is partly offset in Kiev by the inflow of working age migrants.According to the census data, more than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups reside within the territory of Kiev. Ukrainians constitute the largest ethnic group in Kiev, and they account for 2,110,800 people, or 82.2% of the population. Russians comprise 337,300 (13.1%), Jews 17,900 (0.7%), Belarusians 16,500 (0.6%), Poles 6,900 (0.3%), Armenians 4,900 (0.2%), Azerbaijanis 2,600 (0.1%), Tatars 2,500 (0.1%), Georgians 2,400 (0.1%), Moldovans 1,900 (0.1%).Both Ukrainian and Russian are commonly spoken in the city, with Russian being more widely used in the city centre despite the fact that Ukrainian is claimed as their native language by almost three times as many residents as those who claim Russian.According to the official 2001 census data [62910][62911] approximately 75% of Kiev's population responded 'Ukrainian' to the native language (ridna mova) census question, and roughly 25% responded 'Russian'. On the other hand, when the question 'What language do you use in everyday life?' was asked in the 2003 sociological survey, the Kievans' answers were distributed as follows: 'mostly Russian': 52%, 'both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure': 32%, 'mostly Ukrainian': 14%, 'exclusively Ukrainian': 4.3%.

According to a 2006 survey, Ukrainian is used at home by 23% of Kievites, as 52% use Russian and 24% switch between both.Some 1,069,700 people have higher or completed secondary education, a significant increase of 21.7% since 1989.The latest (April, 2007) municipal estimate of the city population is of 2.7 million residents. Other much higher estimates are often published. For instance, the amount of bakery products sold in the city (thus including temporary visitors and commuters) gives a minimum of 3.5 million people (June, 2007).

Modern Kiev

Kiev square (Maidan Nezalezhnosti square).
Modern Kiev is a mix of the old and the new, seen in everything from the architecture to the stores and to the people themselves. Experiencing rapid population growth between the 1970s and the mid-'90s, the city has continued its consistent growth after the turn of the millennium. As a result, Kiev's "downtown" is a dotted contrast of new, modern buildings amongst the pale yellows, blues and grays of older apartments. Urban sprawl has gradually reduced, while population densities of suburbs has increased. The most expensive properties are located in the Pechersk, and Khreshchatyk areas. It is also prestigious to own a property in newly constructed buildings in the Kharkivskyi Raion or Obolonmarker along the Dnieper.

Ukrainian independence at the turn of the millennium has heralded other changes. Western-style residential complexes, modern nightclubs, classy restaurants and prestigious hotels opened in the centre. Music from Europe and North America started appearing on Ukrainian music charts. And most importantly, with the easing of the visa rules in 2005, Ukraine is positioning itself as a prime tourist attraction, with Kiev, among the other large cities, looking to profit from new opportunities. The centre of Kiev has been cleaned up and buildings have been restored and redecorated, especially the Khreshchatyk street and the Independence Squaremarker. Many historic areas of Kiev, such as Andriyivskyy Descentmarker, have become popular street vendor locations, where one can find traditional Ukrainian art, religious items, books, game sets (most commonly chess) as well as jewelry for sale.


See also: :Category:Kiev city culture
Ivan Franko Ukrainian drama theatre
Kiev was the historic cultural centre of the East Slavic civilization and a major cradle for the Christianization for Rus', Kiev retained through centuries its cultural importance and even at times of relative decay, it remained the centre of the Eastern Orthodox Christianity of the primary importance. Its sacred sites, which include the Kiev Pechersk Lavramarker (the Monastery of the Caves) and the Saint Sophia Cathedralmarker are probably the most famous, attracted pilgrims for centuries and now recognized as a UNESCOmarker World Heritage Site remain the primary religious centres as well as the major tourist attraction. The above mentioned sites are also part of the Seven Wonders of Ukraine collection.

An important part of Kiev's culture is the many theatres in the city, which include: Kiev Opera Housemarker, Ivan Franko National Academic Drama Theatre, Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Theater of Russian Dramamarker, the Kiev Puppet Theater, October Palacemarker, National Philharmonic of Ukrainemarker and many others.

Other significant cultural centres include the Dovzhenko Film Studios, and the Kiev Circus. The most important of the city's many museums are the Kiev State Historical Museum, Museum of the Great Patriotic Warmarker, the National Art Museummarker, the Museum of Western and Oriental Artmarker, the Pinchuk Art Centre and the National Museum of Russian art.

In 2005 Kiev hosted the 50th annual Eurovision Song Contest as a result of Ruslana's Wild Dances victory in 2004.


See also: :Category:Sport in Kiev
Dynamo Sports Stadium
Football is the most popular spectator sport in Kiev, followed by basketball and ice hockey. Kiev has many professional and amateur football clubs, including the Kyiv Arsenal and Kyiv Dynamo, which both play in the top division of the Ukrainian Premier League. Other less prominent sport clubs in the city include: the FC Obolon Kyiv soccer club, the Sokil Kyiv hockey club and BC Kyiv basketball club.

During the 1980 Summer Olympics held in the Soviet Unionmarker, Kiev held the preliminary matches and the quarter-finals of the football tournament at its Olympic Stadiummarker, which was reconstructed specially for the event. The complex is the largest Ukrainian stadium among Kiev's 15 stadiums/sport complexes. Initially constructed for audience of 100,000, following the installation of individual seats it can now accommodate 83,053 spectators. Other notable sport stadiums/sport complexes in Kiev include the Lobanovsky Dynamo Stadiummarker, the Palace of Sportsmarker, among many others.

Kiev is the host of field games, indoor sports, and aquatic sports, which take place on the Kiev Reservoirmarker at Vyshhorodmarker, and on Trukhaniv Islandmarker in the Dnieper river, opposite the city centre, where there are many fine beaches and recreational facilities. In addition to that, cross country bicycling is another favourite sport, also taking place on the Trukhaniv Island.

Together with a few other cities of Polandmarker and Ukrainemarker, Kiev will house the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship. Three group matches, a quarter final and the final are scheduled to be played at Kiev NSK Olimpiyskyimarker stadium.


See also: :Category:Buildings and structures in Kiev
Maidan buildings
Kiev's most famous historical architecture complexes are the St. Sophia Cathedralmarker and the Kiev Pechersk Lavramarker (Monastery of the Caves), which are recognized by UNESCOmarker as a World Heritage Site.

Noteworthy historical architectural landmarks also include the Mariyinsky Palacemarker (designed and constructed from 1745 to 1752, then reconstructed in 1870), several Orthodox churches such as St. Michael's Cathedralmarker, St. Andrew'smarker, St. Vladimir'smarker, the reconstructed Golden Gatemarker and others.

One of Kiev's widely recognized modern landmarks is the highly visible giant Mother Motherlandmarker statue made of titanium standing at the Museum of the Great Patriotic Warmarker on the Right bank of the Dnieper River. Other notable sites is the cylindrical Salut hotel, located across from Glory Square and the eternal flame at the World War Two memorial Tomb of the Unknown Soldiermarker, and the House with Chimaerasmarker.

Among Kiev's best-known monuments are Mikeshin's statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky astride his horse located near St. Sophia Cathedralmarker, the venerated Vladimir the Great (St. Vladimir), the baptizer of Rus', overlooking the river above Podilmarker, the monument to Kyi, Schek and Khoryv and Lybid, the legendary founders of the city located at the Dnieper embankment. On Independence Squaremarker in the city centre, two tall columns elevate two modern monuments of the city protectors; the historic protector of Kiev Michael Archangel and a modern invention, the goddess-protector Berehynia.

Architectural monuments
File:StMichaelCathedral.jpg|St. Michael's Golden-Domed Cathedralmarker, 1998 reconstruction.File:Uspensky Sobor.jpg|Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Kiev Pechersk Lavramarker, post-1991 reconstruction.File:Andreevskaja cerkov.jpg|St. Andrew's Churchmarker.File:Kiev Sofiakathedraal.jpg|St. Sophia Cathedralmarker.File:Vladimirsky Sobor.jpg|St. Volodymyr's Cathedralmarker.File:Mariinsky_Palace.jpg|Mariinsky Palacemarker, Front view, August 2005File:Olga Monument.jpg|Monument to Princess OlhaFile:Kiev gate 2001 07 09.jpg|Golden Gatemarker (Zoloti Vorota), 1982 reconstruction.File:Verkhovna Rada Ukrainy.jpg|Verkhovna Rada buildingmarker, the Ukrainian parliament.File:KievOpera.jpg|National Opera of Ukrainemarker.File:National Bank of Ukraine.jpg|National Bank of Ukraine.File:House with chimaeras.jpg|"House With Chimaerasmarker"


Local transportation

Kiev lower station
Kiev metro arriving at the station
Kiev port
Public transportation in Kiev includes the metro (underground), buses, trolleybuses and trams. The publicly owned and operated Kiev Metro system is the fastest, the most convenient and affordable network that covers most, but not all, of the city. The metro is continuously expanding towards the city limits to meet growing demand, while the other kinds of public transport are not that well maintained. In particular, the public bus service has an unreliable schedule. Public electric trolleybus and tram lines are more reliable, but have aged equipment and are underfunded. The historic tram system, which once was a well maintained and widely used method of transport, is now gradually being phased out in favor of buses and trolleybuses.

One unique mode of public transportation Kiev has is the funicularmarker, that climbs up the steep right bank of the Dnieper River. It transports 10,000-15,000 passengers daily.

All public road transport in Kiev is operated by the united Kyivpastrans municipal company. It is heavily subsidized by the city as large groups of passengers (pensioners, etc.) are granted free service on its lines.The Kiev public transport system uses a simple tariff system regardless of distance travelled: tickets for ground transportation must be purchased each time a vehicle boarded. Discount passes are available for grade school and higher education students. Pensioners use public transportation free. Monthly passes, which are sold at the price of 60 rides, are also available in all combinations of public transportation: metro, bus, trolley, tram.Recently, privately owned minibuses, marshrutkas, have appeared on Kiev streets. They provide good coverage of smaller residential streets and have convenient routes. Minibuses take fewer passengers, run faster, stop on demand and are more available, although with an increased frequency of accidents. Ticket price and itinerary of private minibuses are regulated by the city government, and the cost of one ride, while higher than on public buses, is still far lower than in Western Europe.

The taxi market in Kiev is expansive but not adequately regulated. In particular, the taxi fare per kilometer is not regulated. There is strong competition between private taxi companies. Many allow scheduling a pick-up by phone. Also, it is quite common for a local with a car (or even people from other parts of Ukraine) to provide taxi service on the ad hoc basis, generally by picking up people looking for a taxi by the roadside. Traffic jam and lack of parking space are growing problems for taxi services in Kiev. Current regulations allow for parking on pavements, which pedestrians may find inconvenient.

Suburban transportation

Suburban transportation is provided by buses and short-range trains (elektrichkas). There are a few bus stations inside the city providing suburban transportation. Private minibuses (marshrutkas) provide faster and more frequent suburban service, currently winning the competition against large buses.

Elektrichkas are serviced by the publicly owned Ukrzaliznytsia company. The suburban train service is fast, and unbeatably safe in terms of traffic accidents. But the trains are not reliable, as they may fail significantly behind schedule, may not be safe in terms of crime, and the elektrichka cars are poorly maintained and are overcrowded in rush hours.

There are 5 elektrichka directions from Kiev:

More than a dozen of elektrichka stops are located within the city allowing residents of different neighborhoods to use the suburban trains.

The previously extensive riverboatmarker service along the Dnieper featuring the Meteor and Raketa hydrofoil ships is no longer available, limiting Kiev's river transport to cargo and tour boats and private pleasure craft.


Railways are Kiev’s main mode of intercity transportation. The city has a developed railroad infrastructure including a long-distance passenger station, 6 cargo stations, depots, and repairing facilities. However, this system still fails to meet the demand for passenger service. Particularly, the Kiev Passenger Railway Stationmarker is the city's only long-distance passenger terminal (vokzal).

Construction is underway for turning the large Darnytsia Railway Stationmarker on the left-bank part of Kiev into a long-distance passenger hub, which may ease traffic at the central station. Bridges over the Dnieper River are another problem restricting the development of city’s railway system. Presently, only one rail bridge out of two is available for intense train traffic. A new combined rail-auto bridge is under construction, as a part of Darnytsia project.

Air transport

Air passengers arrive in Kiev through one of two airports: the Boryspil Airportmarker which is served by many international airlines, and the smaller Zhulyany Airportmarker, serving mostly domestic flights and limited flights to nearby countries. The international passenger terminal at Boryspil is small, yet modern, being expanded in 2006. There is a separate terminal for domestic flights within walking distance. Passengers flying to other countries from Ukraine usually travel through Boryspil, as other airports in Ukraine such as Donetsk, Simferopol, Odessa, provide very limited international connections. There is also Gostomel cargo airportmarker in Kiev's north-western suburb of Hostomelmarker.

Kiev is notable in the world of aviation industry as the headquarters for Antonov aircraft manufacturing company.


Kiev roads are in poor technical condition and road maintenance is poor. According to the Kyivavtodor municipal road corporation 80% of the road surfaces in Kiev have been in use for 15 to 30 years, which is 1.5 till 3 times more than the standard period (12 years).

Sites of interest

The Museum of the Great Patriotic Warmarker: is a memorial complex commemorating the Great Patriotic War located in the hills on the right-bank of the Dnieper River in Pechersk.

The museum has moved twice before ending up in the current location, where it was ceremonially opened on May 9 1981, Victory Day, by then Sovietmarker leader Leonid Brezhnev. On June 21, 1996, the museum was accorded its current status as a National Museum by a special decree signed by Leonid Kuchma, the then President of Ukraine. It is one of the largest museums in Ukraine with over 300,000 exhibits, and is centered around the 62-meter tall Motherland statue, which has become one of the most well known landmarks in the city. The museum has been visited by over 21 million visitors.

Painted battle tanks at the World War II memorial
The memorial complex covers the area of 10 hectares (approximately 24.7 acres) on the hill, overlooking the Dnieper River. It contains the giant bowl "The Glory Flame", a site with World War II military equipment, and the "Alley of the Hero Cities". One of the museums also displays the armaments used by the Soviet army post World War II. The sculptures in the alley depict the courageous defence of the Soviet border from the 1941 German invasion, terrors of the Nazi occupation, partisan struggle, devoted work on the home front, and the 1943 Battle of the Dnieper.

Kiev fortress is the 19th century fortification buildings situated in Ukrainianmarker capital Kiev (Kyiv), that once belonged to western Russian fortresses. These structures (once a united complex) were built in the Pechersk and neighbourhoods by the Russianmarker army. Now some of the buildings are restored and turned into museum called the Kyiv Fortress, while others are in use of various military and commercial installations.

Having lost their military importance in 20th century, buildings continued to be used as barracks, storage and incarceration facilities. However, some of them played independent historical roles. The Kosyi Kaponir ("Skew Caponier") became a prison for the political inmates in the 1900s–1920s and was later turned into a Sovietmarker museum. Now it is the center of the modern museum. A small fortress built in 1872 on the legendary Lysa Horamarker (Bald Mountain) in 1906 became a place of executions for convicted political inmates. It is now a landscape reserve and part of the museum complex.

Constructed in 1898, by architect Vladislav Gorodetsky, the building was originally designed as the museum for the local society of patrons of arts and antique lovers. The facade of the building conveys a classic architecture form - precise reproduction of a six-column porch of Doric order with entablature, triglyphs, metope and frieze decoration depicting the Triumph of Arts. The architectural composition featuring figures of gryphon and large concrete lions at the top of the stairs were created by an Italian sculptor, Emilio Sala.

National Art Museum of Ukrainemarker is a museum dedicated to Ukrainian art in Kiev, Ukrainemarker.Originally called the Kiev City Museum of Antiques and Art, the founders set out to put together a collection of pieces representative of Ukrainian fine art. Ranging from medieval icons to portraits of military and church leaders during Cossack times, some depicting caricatures of Mamay. Works include those of Taras Shevchenko, Ilya Yefimovich Repin, Vladimir Borovikovsky, Vasily Andreevich Tropinin, Mykola Pimonenko, Mikhail Vrubel, Nikolai Ge, and Oleksandr Murashko.Today, the museum continues to expand its collection. Some new additions include a unique icon relief of St. George and works by the international Kiev born pioneer of Geometric abstract art Kazimir Malevich.

The current exhibition includes over 20 thousand pieces. Among many are works by the constructivist, Vasiliy Yermilov, and Cubo-Futurist Alexander Bogomazov. The Ukrainian side is represented by works by artists such as David Burliuk, Aleksandra Ekster, Vadim Meller, Kliment Red'ko, Solomon Nikritin, Victor Palmov, Maria Sinyakova, Mikhail Boichuk and Mykola Pymonenko.

The Golden Gatemarker: is a historic gateway in the ancient city's walls. The name Zoloti Vorota is also used for a nearby theatre and a station of the Kiev Metro.This gateway was one of three constructed by Yaroslav the Wise, Prince of Kiev, in the mid-eleventh century. It was reputedly modelled on the Golden Gate of Constantinoplemarker, from which it took its name. In 1240 it was partially destroyed by Batu Khan's Golden Horde. It remained as a gate to the city (often used for ceremonies) through the eighteenth century, although it gradually fell into ruins. In 1832 the ruins were excavated and an initial survey for their conservation was undertaken. Further works in the 1970s added an adjacent pavilion, housing a museum of the gate. In the museum one can learn about the history of construction of the Golden gate as well as ancient Kiev. In 1982, the gate was completely reconstructed for the 1500th anniversary of Kiev, although there is no solid evidence as to what the original gates looked like. Some art historians called for this reconstruction to be demolished and for the ruins of the original gate to be exposed to public view. In 1989, with the expansion of the Kiev Metro, the Zoloti Vorotamarker station was opened nearby to serve the landmark. What makes it unique is that its architectural ensemble is very much based on the internal decorations of ancient Ruthenian churches.


See also: :Category:Visitor attractions in Kiev

Attractions in Kiev

It is said that one can walk from one end of Kiev to the other in the summertime without leaving the shade of its many trees. Most characteristic are the horse-chestnut ( ).

Kiev is known as a green city with two botanical gardensmarker and numerous large and small parks. The green nature of the city is probably most notable by the green hills of the right bank along the Dnieper river that have been relatively untouched by development. The World War II Museummarker is located here, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river.

St Michael's Cathedral
Among the numerous islands, Venetsianskyi (or Hidroparkmarker) is the most developed. It is accessible by metro or by car, and includes an amusement park, swimming beaches, boat rentals, and night clubs. The Victory Park (Park Peremohy) located near Darnytsia subway station is a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists.Boating, fishing, and water sports are popular pastimes in Kiev. The area lakes and rivers freeze over in the winter and ice fishermen are a frequent sight, as are children with their ice skates. However, the peak of summer draws out a greater mass of people to the shores for swimming or sunbathing, with daytime high temperatures sometimes reaching 30 to 34 °C (86–93 °F).

Founders of Kiev
The centre of Kiev (Independence Squaremarker and Khreschatyk Street) becomes a large outdoor party place at night during summer months, with thousands of people having a good time in nearby restaurants, clubs and outdoor cafes. The central streets are closed for auto traffic on weekends and holidays.Andriyivskyy Descentmarker is one of the best known historic streets and a major tourist attraction in Kiev. The hill is the site of the Castle of Richard Lionheart; the baroque-style St Andrew's Churchmarker; the home of Kiev born writer, Mikhail Bulgakov; the monument to Yaroslav the Wise, the Grand Prince of Kyiv and of Novgorodmarker; and numerous other monuments.

A wide variety of farm produce is available in many of Kiev's farmer markets with the Besarabsky Marketmarker located in the very centre of the city being most famous. Each residential region has its own market, or rynok. Here one will find table after table of individuals hawking everything imaginable: vegetables, fresh and smoked meats, fish, cheese, honey, dairy products such as milk and home-made smetana (sour cream), caviar, cut flowers, housewares, tools and hardware, and clothing. Each of the markets has its own unique mix of products with some markets devoted solely to specific wares such as automobiles, car parts, pets, clothing, flowers, etc.. There is also a popular book market by the Petrivka metro stationmarker.

At the city's southern outskirts, near the historic Pyrohivmarker village, there is an outdoor museum, officially called the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukrainemarker It has an area of . This territory houses several "mini-villages" that represent by region the traditional rural architecture of Ukraine.

Kiev also has numerous recreational attractions like bowling alleys, go-cart tracks, paintball venues, billiard halls and even shooting ranges. 100-year-old Kiev Zoomarker is located on 40 hectares and carries over 2,000 specimens.


See also: :Category:Economy of Kiev, Economy of Ukraine

Kiev, as the capital of Ukraine, is a major administrative centre housing amongst others ministries responsible for the economy of the country.

Plants in Kiev make equipment for chemical plants, such as conveyor lines for vulcanized rubber, linoleum, fertilizer factories, and also metal-cutting machines. Other engineering products of Kiev area include aircraft (see: Antonov), hydraulic elevators, electrical instruments, armatures, river-and-sea crafts, motorcycles, and cinematography equipment.

Another important sector is the chemical industry, which produces resin products, fertilizers, plastics, and chemical fibers, made at the Darnytsky Raion viscose plant on the left bank of Kiev. The production of bricks and reinforced concrete items are another well developed industry. Consumer manufactured goods include cameras (see: Kiev-Arsenal Kiev is also a large publishing centre.

Power prduction in Kiev is supplied by electricity primary from the Kiev Hydroelectric Power Station, completed in 1968, just upstream of the city at Vyshhorodmarker, on the Kiev Reservoirmarker, and from Trypilliamarker thermal electric station. Following the Chernobyl accidentmarker, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plantmarker located 100 km north of Kiev has been closed. Kiev also receives its power supply in the form of natural gas, piped from Urengoymarker-Pomary-Uzhhorodmarker pipeline.


See also: :Category:Education in Kiev

Kiev hosts many universities, the major ones being Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University, the National Technical University "Kiev Polytechnic Institute", and the Kyiv-Mohyla Academymarker. The total number of institutions of higher education in Kiev approaches 200, allowing young people to pursue almost any line of study. While education traditionally remains largely in the hands of the state there are several accredited private institutions in the city.

There are about 450 general secondary schools in Kiev. Additionally, there are evening schools for adults, and specialist technical schools. Scientific research is conducted in many of the institutes of the higher education and, additionally, in many research institutes affiliated with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences and several of Ukrainian industrial ministriesmarker. Kiev is also noted for its research in medicine and computer science.

There are many libraries in the city with the Vernadsky library affiliated with the Academy of Science being the largest and most important one.

City name evolution

Currently, Kiev is the traditional and most commonly used English name for the city, but since the 1995 adoption of Kyiv by the Ukrainian government as a preferred spelling, the Ukrainianized version Kyiv is gaining usage.

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 Kyjevъ (Cyrillic: Къıєвъ), derived from Kyi (Кий), the legendary 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. While the choice of these spellings have likely been influenced by the Polish name of the city ( ) as until mid-seventeenth century the city was controlled by Poland, the name Kiev that started to take hold at later times, likely originates on the basis of Russian orthography and pronunciation , during a time when Kiev was in the Russian Empiremarker (since 1708 a centre of a Governorate).

In English, Kiev was used in print as early as in 1804 in the John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities" in "Cary's new universal atlas" published in Londonmarker. The English travelogue titled New Russia: Journey from Riga to the Crimea by way of Kiev, by Mary Holderness was published in 1823. By 1883, the Oxford English Dictionary included Kiev in a quotation. Kiev is also based on the old Ukrainian language spelling of the city name and was used by Ukrainians and their ancestors from the time of Kievan Rus until only about the last century.

Kyiv ( ) is the romanized version of the name of the city used in modern Ukrainian. Starting from the twentieth century it has been used in English-language publications of the Ukrainian diaspora and in some academic publications concerning Ukraine. Following the independence in 1991, the Ukrainian government introduced the national rules for transliteration of geographic names from Ukrainian into English. According to the rules, the Ukrainian Київ transliterates into 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, all English-speaking foreign diplomatic missions, several international organizations, Encarta encyclopedia, and by some media, notably in Canadamarker and Ukraine. On October 3, 2006, the United States federal government changed its official spelling of the city name to Kyiv. The proponents of Kyiv are using different ways to promote this spelling. In February 2008 Kyiv was competing for a spot in new Monopoly World Edition game board. The internet voting organized by Monopoly's producer, Hasbro has attracted attention of Ukrainian net users.

The alternate romanizations Kyyiv (BGN/PCGN transliteration) and Kyjiv (scholarly) are also in use in English-language atlases. Most major English-language news sources continue to use Kiev.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Kiev is twinned with:

See also


  1. The most recent Ukrainian census, conducted on December 5, 2001, gave the population of Kiev as 2611.3 thousand ( - Kyiv city URL accessed on August 4, 2007). Estimates based on the amount of bakery products sold in the city (thus including temporary visitors and commuters) suggest a minimum of 3.5 million. " There are up to 1.5 mln undercounted residents in Kiev",, June 15, 2005.
  2. The Pechenegs, Steven Lowe and Dmitriy V. Ryaboy
  3. The Destruction of Kiev, University of Toronto Research Repository
  4. "Kiev: the city, its residents, problems of today, wishes for tomorrow.", Zerkalo Nedeli, April 29 - May 12, 2006. in Russian, in Ukrainian
  5. ULR accessed on July 30, 2006
  6. Retrieved June 20, 2006.
  7. See also: Kyivpastrans official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  8. Retrieved June 20, 2006.
  9. Kyiv Administration: Roads Are In Poor Technical State Because They Have Reached End Of Their Service Lives And Annual Maintenance Volume Is Low, Ukrainian News Agency (June 12, 2009)
  10. See also: Kiev University official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  11. See also: KPI official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  12. See also: Kyiv-Mohyla Academy official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  13. See also: URL accessed on June 20, 2006
  14. See also: NASU official website. Retrieved July 28, 2006.
  15. The Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine
  16. As of 2008, the Oxford English Dictionary includes 19 quotations with 'Kiev' and none with any other spelling. This spelling is also given by Britannica and Columbia Encyclopedia.
  17. The form "Къıєвъ" (Kyiev) is used in old Rus chronicles like Lavretian Chronicle (Мстиславъ Къıєвьскъıи, Mstislav Kyievski; Къıӕне, Kyiene (Kievans)), Novgorod Chronicles and others.
  18. Originally published: London, J. Almon, 1773, .
  19. Edward Burstynsky, former head of the Linguistics department at the University of Toronto, cited by Andrew Gregorovich in Kiev or Kyiv?, FORUM Ukrainian Review, No. 92, Spring 1995
  20. Embassies of Australia, Great Britain, Canada, United States
  21. The list includes NATO, OSCE, World Bank
  22. Kyiv Post, the leading English language publication in Ukraine.
  23. State Department briefing discussing the BGN spelling decision, October 19, 2006.
  24. Kyiv may be included in new Monopoly World Edition game board UNIAN. 28.01.2008

External links


Kiev or Kyiv?Official documents: Non-official documents:

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