Disinfo: The USA gives the Ukrainian capital a “new name”


The USA gives the Ukrainian capital a “new name”.

The United States Board on Geographic Names has decided to make orthographic changes to the word ‘Kiev’. The American authorities unanimously decided to modify the name of the Ukrainian capital. Now, among other things, ‘Kyiv’ is to be written at airports and international organisations instead of ‘Kiev’.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives about the US relations with Ukraine and Ukrainian statehood.

The USA did not give Ukrainian capital a "new name". The United States Board on Geographic Names considered the appeal of Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Valeriy Chaly and unanimously decided to remove ‘Kiev’ as a conventional name and to recognise only one official spelling – ‘Kyiv’, as the correct name for the capital of Ukraine.

The 'Kiev' spelling is transliterated from the Russian language, while ‘Kyiv’ is transliterated from Ukrainian. In October 2018, Foreign Ministry of Ukraine has launched a social media campaign to try to persuade international media, organisations and companies to use ‘Kyiv’ for Ukraine’s capital name instead of the traditional English spelling ‘Kiev’.

The EU has been using the Ukrainian transliteration Kyiv since 18.04.2012.

The Ukrainian government adopted 'Kyiv' as its standard Latinisation in 1995, making ‘Kyiv’ mandatory for use in the legislative and official acts.


  • Reported in: Issue 154
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/06/2019
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: Ukraine, US
  • Keywords: Ukrainian disintegration, The West, Ukrainian statehood


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

see more

Russia will not return South Ossetia and Abkhazia to Georgia and the Crimea to Ukraine because this would violate the principle of self-determination of peoples

Russia will not return South Ossetia and Abkhazia to Georgia and will not return Crimea to Ukraine because this would violate the principle of self-determination of peoples agreed to in Helsinki in 1975.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation on South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Crimea.

Although Russia claimed to act only as a “peacekeeper” between Georgia and the two secessionists republics, Russia provided military, financial and logistical support to South Ossetia and Abkhazia, violating the international norms that regulate the behavior of a peacekeeping force within a country.

West-financed environmental NGOs in Belarus stage a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia

In Belarus, there is a large network of Western and West-financed NGOs which conduct subversive activities against Belarus-Russia relations. An example of far-reaching anti-Russian goals of environmental initiatives is a campaign against the construction of the Astravets nuclear power plant, which is built by Rosatom. Environmental activists argue that the NPP will discourage salmons spawning in its vicinity because of increased river temperature as a result of the nuclear reactor cooling. The contours of a big campaign against Rosatom and Russia are drawn on these assumptions.


This is a conspiracy consistent with a number of Belarus-related pro-Kremlin narratives about West's continuous attempts to disrupt Belarus-Russia relations including through financing Belarusian opposition and NGOs.

The claim that the public campaign against the Astravets NPP is built around the salmon spawning argument is misleading because negative impact for wildlife is just one among a number of other, often more serious arguments against the NPP construction including the station's potential technological vulnerabilities. These arguments were provided by environmentalists years ago (see 2010 assessment) and some of them continue to be voiced (see April 2019 publication) at present.

Russia signed Molotv-Ribbentrop pact because it was threatened by Germany. Today Russia is threatened by Poland.

At some point Russia was threatened by Germany and we signed secret protocols of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, in attempt to create some security for ourselves including in the territory of Poland. And now we see that threats are emanating from the territory of Poland.

Polish people have given their country away to Germans in only two weeks. But today Poland is surely demonstrating aggression towards Russia.


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the West encircling Russia and Poland's allegedly aggressive behaviour in particular. See previous case: Poland has aggressive intentions towards Russia.

The disinformation message is combined with manipulation of historic facts.