Coordinates: 50°27′00″N 30°31′24″E / 50.45000°N 30.52333°E / 50.45000; 30.52333
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Київ (Ukrainian)
City council
Kyiv City Council
List of 10
  • Sviatoshyn Raion

Kyiv, also spelled Kiev,[a] is the capital and most populous city of Ukraine. It is in north-central Ukraine along the Dnieper River. As of 1 January 2022, its population was 2,952,301,[2] making Kyiv the seventh-most populous city in Europe.[11] Kyiv is an important industrial, scientific, educational, and cultural center in 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 Kyiv Metro.

The city's name is said to derive from the name of

Kyi, one of its four legendary founders. During its history, Kyiv, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of prominence and obscurity. The city probably existed as a commercial center as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kyiv 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 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. Coming under Lithuania, then Poland and then Russia, the city would grow from a frontier market into an important centre of Orthodox learning in the sixteenth century, and later of industry, commerce, and administration by the ninenteenth.[1]

The city prospered again during the Russian Empire's

Polish-Soviet wars in 1921, Kyiv was a city of the Ukrainian SSR, and made its capital in 1934. The city suffered significant destruction during World War II but quickly recovered in the postwar years, remaining the Soviet Union
's third-largest city.


pro-Western region of Ukraine; parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union dominate during elections


Latin: Kyovia episcopatus, lit.
'Kyiv episcopate')

Before standardization of the alphabet in the early 20th century, the name was also spelled Кыѣвъ, Киѣвъ, or Кіѣвъ with the now-obsolete letter

Old Ukrainian spelling from the 14th and 15th centuries was nominally *Києвъ, but various attested spellings include кїєва (gen.), Кїєвь, and Киев (acc.), кїєво or кїєвом (ins.), києвє, Кіеве, Кїєвѣ, Києвѣ, or Киѣве (loc.).[18]

Old East Slavic chronicles, such as the

Proto-Slavic *kyjevъ,[20] This etymology has been questioned, for instance by Mykhailo Hrushevsky who called it an "etymological myth", and meant that the names of the legendary founders are in turn based on place names. According to the Canadian Ukrainian linguist Jaroslav Rudnyckyj, the name can be connected to the Proto-Slavic root *kyjь, but should be interpreted as meaning 'stick, pole' as in its modern Ukrainian equivalent Кий. The name should in that case be interpreted as 'palisaded settlement'.[21]

Kyiv is the romanized official Ukrainian name for the city,[22][23] and it is used for legislative and official acts.[24] Kiev is the traditional English name for the city,[22][25][26] but because of its historical derivation from the Russian name, Kiev lost favor with many Western media outlets after the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War in 2014.[27]

The city was known by various names in history. In the Norse sagas it was Kænugarðr or Kœnugarðr,

Old East Slavic: кияне, romanized: kijane),[29] which survives in modern Icelandic Kænugarður. Perhaps the earliest original manuscript to name the city is the Kyivan letter, written c. 930 CE by representatives of the city's Jewish community, with the name written as קייוב׳, Qiyyōḇ.[30]

The historian

Khazar origin, meaning "hill fortress" and "lower settlement" respectively. Brutzkus claims that Sambat is not Kyiv, but rather Vyshhorod
(High City), which is nearby.

In the Byzantine Greek of Constantine Porphyrogenitus's 10th-century

Al-Istakhri's work of 951 AD,[31] and Zānbat according to ibn Rustah and other 10th-century authors.[33] In the medieval Latin of Thietmar of Merseburg's Chronicon it was mentioned for the year 1015 as Cuieva.[29] After it was rebuilt in the 15th century, Kyiv was called by the Turkic (Crimean Tatar) name Menkerman or Mankerman.[33]

As a prominent city with a long history, its English name evolved with the language. Early English sources rendered the city's name as Kiou, Kiow, Kiew, and—as in Latin—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 called Kiovia.[34]

In English, Kiev appeared in print as early as 1804 in John Cary's "New map of Europe, from the latest authorities", and in Mary Holderness's 1823 travelogue New Russia: Journey from Riga to the Crimea by way of Kiev.[35] The Oxford English Dictionary included Kiev in a quotation published by 1883, and Kyiv in 2018.[36]

The Ukrainian version of the name, Kyiw, appears in the Volume 4 of the Geographical Dictionary of the Kingdom of Poland, published in 1883.[37]

A 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 presented as Kiev.

After Ukraine's independence in 1991, the Ukrainian government introduced the national rules for transliteration of geographic names into the Latin alphabet for legislative and official acts in October 1995,[24] according to which the Ukrainian name Київ is romanized Kyiv. These rules are applied for place names and addresses, as well as personal names in passports, street signs, and so on.

In 2018, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry launched #CorrectUA, an online campaign to promote the use of official Ukrainian spellings by countries and organizations, in place of "outdated, Soviet-era" place-names.[38][39] Specifically, for the capital, the campaign KyivNotKiev was developed as part of the broader campaign.

The place name Kyiv is standardized in the authoritative database of Ukraine's toponyms maintained by Ukraine's mapping agency Derzhheokadastr. It has also been adopted by the United Nations GEGN Geographical Names Database,[40] the United States Board on Geographic Names,[41][42][43][44] the International Air Transport Association,[45] the European Union,[46] English-speaking foreign diplomatic missions[47] and governments,[48] several international organizations,[49] and the Encyclopædia Britannica. Some English-language news sources have adopted Kyiv in their style guides, including the AP,[50][51] CP,[52] Reuters,[53][54] and AFP[55] news services, media organizations in Ukraine,[56] and some media organizations in Canada,[52][57][58] the United Kingdom,[59][60][61] and the United States,[62][63][64] despite more resistance to the spelling change compared to others, like Beijing and Mumbai.[65]

Alternative romanizations used in English-language sources include Kyïv (according to the ALA–LC romanization used in bibliographic cataloguing), Kyjiv (scholarly transliteration used in linguistics), and Kyyiv (the 1965 BGN/PCGN transliteration standard).

The US media organization NPR adopted an on-air pronunciation of Kyiv closer to the Ukrainian, responding to the history and identity of the local population, in January 2022.[66][67]


The first known humans in the region of Kyiv lived there in the late paleolithic period (Stone Age).[68] The population around Kyiv during the Bronze Age formed part of the so-called Trypillian culture, as evidenced by artifacts from that culture found in the area.[69] During the early Iron Age certain tribes settled around Kyiv that practiced land cultivation, husbandry and trading with the Scythians and ancient states of the northern Black Sea coast.[68] Findings of Roman coins of the 2nd to the 4th centuries suggest trade relations with the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.[68] Notable archaeologists of the area around Kyiv include Vikentiy Khvoyka.


Scholars continue to debate when the city was founded: The traditional founding date is 482 CE, so the city celebrated

its 1,500th anniversary in 1982. Archaeological data indicates a founding in the sixth or seventh centuries,[70][71] with some researchers dating the founding as late as the late 9th century,[72]

Legendary Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Lybid in the Radziwiłł Chronicle

There are several legendary accounts of the origin of the city. One tells of members of a Slavic tribe (


Hungarians at Kyiv in 830 during the times of the Rus' Khaganate; painting by Pál Vágó (1853–1928)

There is little historical evidence pertaining to the period when the city was founded. Scattered

Slavic settlements existed in the area from the 6th century, but it is unclear whether any of them later developed into the city. On the Ptolemy world map there are several settlements indicated along the mid-stream of Borysthenes, among which is Azagarium, which some historians believe to be the predecessor to Kyiv.[73]

However, according to the 1773 Dictionary of Ancient Geography of Alexander Macbean, that settlement corresponds to the modern city of Chernobyl. Just south of Azagarium, there is another settlement, Amadoca, believed to be the capital of the Amadoci people[74] living in an area between the marshes of Amadoca in the west and the Amadoca mountains in the east.

Another name for Kyiv mentioned in history, the origin of which is not completely clear, is Sambat, which apparently has something to do with the

Constantine Porphyrogenitus mentions a caravan of small cargo boats which assembled annually, and writes, "They come down the river Dnieper and assemble at the strong-point of Kyiv (Kioava), also called Sambatas".[75]

At least three Arabic-speaking 10th century geographers who traveled the area mention the city of Zānbat as the chief city of the Russes. Among them are ibn Rustah,

Abu Sa'id Gardezi, and an author of the Hudud al-'Alam. The texts of those authors were discovered by Russian orientalist Alexander Tumansky. The etymology of Sambat has been argued by many historians, including Grigoriy Ilyinsky, Nikolay Karamzin, Jan Potocki, Nikolay Lambin, Joachim Lelewel, and Guðbrandur Vigfússon

The Primary Chronicle states that at some point during the late 9th or early 10th century Askold and Dir, who may have been of Viking or Varangian descent, ruled in Kyiv. They were murdered by


Other historians suggest that

Carpathian Basin. The Primary Chronicle mentions Hungarians passing near Kyiv. Askold's Grave was previously known as "Uhorske urochyshche" (Hungarian place).[76]

According to the aforementioned scholars the building of the fortress of Kyiv was finished in 840 under the leadership of Keő (Keve), Csák, and Geréb, three brothers, possibly members of the Tarján tribe. The three names appear in the Kyiv Chronicle as Kyi, Shchek, and Khoryv and may be not of Slavic origin, as Russian historians have always struggled to account for their meanings and origins. According to Hungarian historian Viktor Padányi, their names were inserted into the Kyiv Chronicle in the 12th century, and they were identified as old-Russian mythological heroes.[77]

Klavdiy Lebedev

The city of Kyiv stood on the

trade route between the Varangians and the Greeks. In 968 the nomadic Pechenegs attacked and then besieged the city.[78] By 1000 CE the city had a population of 45,000.[79]

In March 1169, Grand Prince

These events had a profound effect on the future of the city and on the

East Slavic civilization. Before Bogolyubsky's pillaging, Kyiv had had a reputation as one of the largest cities in the world, with a population exceeding 100,000 at the beginning of the 12th century.[84]

In the early 1320s, a Lithuanian army led by Grand Duke

Battle on the Irpen' River and conquered the city. The Tatars, who also claimed Kyiv, retaliated in 1324–1325, so while Kyiv was ruled by a Lithuanian prince, it had to pay tribute to the Golden Horde. Finally, as a result of the Battle of Blue Waters in 1362, Algirdas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, incorporated Kyiv and surrounding areas into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.[85] In 1482, Crimean Tatars sacked and burned much of Kyiv.[86]

The 1686 city map of Kyiv ("Kiovia")

With the 1569

Grand Duchy of Rus' within the Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth,[88] but this provision of the treaty never went into operation.[89]

Russian suzerainty

Occupied by Russian troops since the 1654

Treaty of Pereyaslav, Kyiv became a part of the Tsardom of Russia from 1667 on the Truce of Andrusovo and enjoyed a degree of autonomy. None of the Polish-Russian treaties concerning Kyiv have ever been ratified.[90] In the Russian Empire, Kyiv 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.

The Entrance of Bohdan Khmelnytsky to Kyiv in 1649 by Mykola Ivasyuk (1865–1937) depicts events after the Khmelnytsky Uprising against Polish domination.

In 1834, the Russian government established Saint Vladimir University, now called the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv after the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko (1814–1861). (Shevchenko worked as a field researcher and editor for the geography department). The medical faculty of Saint Vladimir University, separated into an independent institution in 1919–1921 during the Soviet period, became the Bogomolets National Medical University in 1995.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, the

Slavic peoples
with Ukrainians as a distinct and separate group rather than a subordinate part of the Russian nation; the Russian authorities quickly suppressed the society.

Following the gradual loss of Ukraine's autonomy, Kyiv experienced growing

folk culture to a significant extent.[citation needed
] However, enthusiasts among ethnic Ukrainian aristocrats, soldiers, and merchants made attempts to preserve the native culture in Kyiv, by clandestine book-printing, amateur theatre, folk studies, etc.

Kyiv in the late 19th century

During the

Dnieper river. By 1900, the city had also become a significant industrial centre, with a population of 250,000. Landmarks of that period include the railway infrastructure, the foundation of numerous educational and cultural facilities, and notable architectural monuments (mostly merchant-oriented). In 1892, the first electric tram line of the Russian Empire started running in Kyiv (the third in the world). Kyiv prospered during the late 19th century Industrial Revolution
in the Russian Empire, when it became the third most important city of the Empire and the major centre of commerce in its southwest.

Soviet era

In the

1917 Russian Revolution, Kyiv became the capital of several successive Ukrainian states and was caught in the middle of several conflicts: World War I, during which German soldiers occupied it from 2 March 1918 to November 1918, the Russian Civil War of 1917 to 1922, and the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921. During the last three months of 1919, Kyiv was intermittently controlled by the White Army. Kyiv changed hands sixteen times from the end of 1918 to August 1920.[91]

From 1921 to 1991, the city formed part of the

Ukrainian cultural life in the city; the Soviet industrialization that started in the late 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 ration cards; and Joseph Stalin's Great Purge of 1937–1938 almost eliminated the city's intelligentsia[92][93][94]

In 1934, Kyiv became the capital of Soviet Ukraine. The city boomed again during the years of Soviet industrialization as its population grew rapidly and many industrial giants were established, some of which exist today.

Until 1936, Kyiv was a city on the west bank of the Dnieper
Ruins of Kyiv during World War II


Battle of Kyiv in 1941. Most of those captured never returned alive.[95] Shortly after the Wehrmacht occupied the city, a team of NKVD officers who had remained hidden dynamited most of the buildings on the Khreshchatyk
, the main street of the city, where German military and civil authorities had occupied most of the buildings; the buildings burned for days and 25,000 people were left homeless.

Allegedly in response to the actions of the NKVD, the Germans rounded up all the local

more than 100,000 people of various ethnic groups, mostly civilians, at Babi Yar during World War II.[98]

The Ukrainian national flag was raised outside Kyiv's City Hall for the first time on 24 July 1990.

Kyiv recovered economically 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 Plant in 1986 occurred only 100 km (62 mi) north of the city. However, the prevailing south wind blew most of the radioactive debris away from Kyiv.


In the course of the

missile attacks



A Copernicus Programme Sentinel-2 image of Kyiv and the Dnieper

Geographically, Kyiv is on the border of the Polesia woodland ecological zone, a part of the European mixed woods area, and the East European forest steppe biome. However, the city's unique landscape distinguishes it from the surrounding region. Kyiv is completely surrounded by Kyiv Oblast.

Originally on the west bank, today Kyiv is on both sides of the

toponyms, such as Podil ("lower"), Pechersk ("caves"), and uzviz (a steep street, "descent"). Kyiv is a part of the larger Dnieper Upland
adjoining the western bank of the Dnieper in its mid-flow, and which contributes to the city's elevation change.

The northern outskirts of the city border the Polesian Lowland. Kyiv expanded into the Dnieper Lowland on the left bank (to the east) as late as the 20th century. The whole portion of Kyiv on the left bank of the Dnieper is generally referred to as the Left Bank (Лівий берег, Livyi bereh). Significant areas of the left bank Dnieper valley were artificially sand-deposited, and are protected by dams.

Within the city the Dnieper River forms a branching system of

Desna River and the Kyiv Reservoir in the north, and the Kaniv Reservoir in the south. Both the Dnieper and Desna rivers are navigable
at Kyiv, although regulated by the reservoir shipping locks and limited by winter freeze-over.

In total, there are 448 bodies of open water within the boundaries of Kyiv, which include the Dnieper itself, its reservoirs, and several small rivers, dozens of lakes and artificially created ponds. They occupy 7949 hectares. Additionally, the city has 16 developed beaches (totalling 140 hectares) and 35 near-water recreational areas (covering more than 1,000 hectares). Many are used for pleasure and recreation, although some of the bodies of water are not suitable for swimming.[99][100]

According to the

UN 2011 evaluation, there were no risks of natural disasters in Kyiv and its metropolitan area.[101]


Kyiv has a warm-summer humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb).[102] The warmest months are June, July, and August, with mean temperatures of 13.8 to 24.8 °C (56.8 to 76.6 °F). The coldest are December, January, and February, with mean temperatures of −4.6 to −1.1 °C (23.7 to 30.0 °F). The highest ever temperature recorded in the city was 39.4 °C (102.9 °F) on 30 July 1936.[103][104]

The coldest temperature ever recorded in the city was −32.9 °C (−27.2 °F) on 11 January 1951.[103][104] 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 some years.[70]

Climate data for Kyiv (1991–2020, extremes 1881–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 11.1
Average high °C (°F) −0.8
Daily mean °C (°F) −3.2
Average low °C (°F) −5.5
Record low °C (°F) −32.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 38
Average extreme snow depth cm (inches) 9
Average rainy days 8 7 9 13 14 15 14 11 14 12 12 9 138
Average snowy days 17 17 10 2 0.2 0 0 0 0.03 2 9 16 73
relative humidity
82.7 80.1 74.0 64.3 62.0 67.5 68.3 66.9 73.5 77.4 84.6 85.6 73.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 42 64 112 162 257 273 287 252 189 123 51 31 1,843
Average ultraviolet index 1 1 2 4 6 7 6 6 4 2 1 1 3
Source 1:,[105] Central Observatory for Geophysics (extremes),[103][104] World Meteorological Organization (humidity 1981–2010)[106]
Source 2: Danish Meteorological Institute (sun, 1931–1960)[107] and Weather Atlas[108]

Legal status, local government and politics

Legal status and local government

The municipality of the city of Kyiv has a

City State Administration – the city's governor – is appointed by the president of Ukraine, while the Head of the City Council – the mayor of Kyiv
– is elected by local popular vote.

The mayor of Kyiv is

2020 Kyiv local election with 50.52% of the votes, in the first round of the election.[110]

Most key buildings of the national government are along

Mykhailo Hrushevskyi, who wrote an academic book titled: "Bar Starostvo: Historical Notes: XV–XVIII" about the history of Bar, Ukraine.[111]
That portion of the city is also unofficially known as the government quarter (урядовий квартал).

The city state administration and council is in the Kyiv City council building on Khreshchatyk Street. The oblast state administration and council is in the oblast council building on ploshcha Lesi Ukrayinky ("Lesya Ukrayinka Square"). The Kyiv-Sviatoshyn Raion state administration is near Kiltseva doroha ("Ring Road") on prospekt Peremohy ("Victory Parkway"), while the Kyiv-Sviatoshyn Raion local council is on vulytsia Yantarna ("Yantarnaya Street").


The growing political and economic role of the city, combined with its international relations, as well as extensive

National Democratic parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union receive most votes during elections in Kyiv.[113][114][115][116] In a poll conducted by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology in the first half of February 2014, 5.3% of those polled in Kyiv believed "Ukraine and Russia must unite into a single state", nationwide this percentage was 12.5.[117]


A view of the left bank neighbourhoods of Kyiv

Traditional subdivision

The Berezniaky neighbourhood in Dnipro Raion


Dnieper River
naturally divides Kyiv into the Right Bank and the Left Bank areas. Historically on the western right bank of the river, the city expanded into the left bank only in the 20th century. Most of Kyiv's attractions as well as the majority of business and governmental institutions are on 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.

Kyiv is further informally divided into historical or territorial neighbourhoods, each housing from about 5,000 to 100,000 inhabitants.

A panoramic view of Right-Bank Kyiv, where the city centre is located (May 2011)

Formal subdivision

Dnipro Raion

The first known formal subdivision of Kyiv dates to 1810 when the city was subdivided into 4 parts:

into 6 Party-Territory Raions.

During the Soviet era, as the city was expanding, the number of raions also gradually increased. These newer districts of the city, along with some older areas were then named in honour of prominent communists and socialist-revolutionary figures; however, due to the way in which many communist party members eventually, after a certain period of time, fell out of favour and so were replaced with new, fresher minds, so too did the names of Kyiv's districts change accordingly.

The last raion reform took place in 2001 when the number of raions was 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 Chernovetskyi) in 2006, these plans were shelved.

Each raion has its own locally elected council with jurisdiction over a limited scope of affairs.[118]


City of Kyiv population pyramid in 2022

According to the official registration statistics, there were 2,847,200 residents within the city limits of Kyiv in July 2013.[119]

Historical population

According to the

All-Ukrainian Census, the population of Kyiv in 2001 was 2,611,300.[122] The historic changes in population are shown in the side table. According to the census, some 1,393,000 (53.3%) were female and 1,219,000 (46.7%) were male. Comparing the results with the previous census (1989) shows the trend of population ageing
which, while prevalent throughout the country, is partly offset in Kyiv by the inflow of working age migrants. Some 1,069,700 people had higher or completed secondary education, a significant increase of 21.7% since 1989.

The June 2007 unofficial population estimate based on amount of bakery products sold in the city (thus including temporary visitors and commuters) gave a number of at least 3.5 million people.[123]

Ethnic composition

Kyiv's ethnic composition has shifted greatly over the last centuries. According to the census of March 2, 1874 [uk], conducted by the local branch of the Russian Geographical Society, there were 127,205 people living in Kyiv. Of these, 80% spoke "Russian," 11% spoke "Jewish," 6% spoke Polish and 2% spoke German. Of the "Russian" speakers, 39% were recorded as speaking Little Russian (Ukrainian), which meant that Ukrainian speakers accounted for 30% of the city as a whole. Of the remaining "Russian" speakers, however, there were only 10% who spoke Greater Russian (Russian) and 2% who spoke Belarusian. The remaining 49% spoke in "generally Russian speech."[124] According to the official census of 1897, the number of Great Russian speakers rose to 54%; speakers of Little Russian accounted for 22%. Jewish speakers accounted for 12%, Polish 6.7%.[125]

By the September 1917 city-census of Kyiv, conducted by the authorities of the

1959 Soviet census, Kyiv was once more a Ukrainian majority city, with 60% of the population identifying as such, the same percentage as in 1874.[127]

According to the 2001 census data, more than 130 nationalities and ethnic groups reside within the territory of Kyiv.

Azerbaijanis 2,600 (0.1%), Tatars 2,500 (0.1%), Georgians 2,400 (0.1%), Moldovans 1,900 (0.1%).[128]

A 2015 study by the

former Soviet Union

Language statistics

Both Ukrainian and Russian are commonly spoken in the city; approximately 75% of Kyiv's population responded "Ukrainian" to the 2001 census question on their native language, roughly 25% responded "Russian".[130] According to a 2006 survey, Ukrainian is used at home by 23% of Kyivans, 52% use Russian, and 24% switch between both.[131] In the 2003 sociological survey, when the question "What language do you use in everyday life?" was asked, 52% said "mostly Russian", 32% "both Russian and Ukrainian in equal measure", 14% "mostly Ukrainian", and 4.3% "exclusively Ukrainian".[132]

According to the census of 1897, of Kyiv's approximately 240,000 people approximately 56% of the population spoke the Russian language, 23% spoke the Ukrainian language, 13% spoke Yiddish, 7% spoke Polish and 1% spoke the Belarusian language.[133]

A 2015 study by the International Republican Institute found that the languages spoken at home in Kyiv were Ukrainian (27%), Russian (32%), and an equal combination of Ukrainian and Russian (40%).[129]


The Jews of Kyiv are first mentioned in a 10th-century letter. The Jewish population remained relatively small until the nineteenth century.

SS, Ukrainian Auxiliary Police, and local collaborators.[136][137]

Jews began returning to Kyiv at the end of the war, but experienced another pogrom in September 1945.


A panoramic view of Podil, one of Kyiv's central neighborhoods

Modern Kyiv is a mix of the old (Kyiv preserved about 70 percent of more than 1,000 buildings built during 1907–1914)

Mykhailivska Square.[140]

The plans of building massive monuments (of

along the Dnieper.

Ukrainian independence at the turn of the millennium has heralded other changes. Western-style residential complexes, modern

Ukrainian art, religious items, books, game sets (most commonly chess) as well as jewellery for sale.[142]

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009, Kyiv was the only Commonwealth of Independent States city to have been inscribed into the TOP30 European Green City Index (placed 30th).[143]

Kyiv's most famous historical architecture complexes are the

St. Sophia Cathedral and the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (Monastery of the Caves), which are recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Noteworthy historical architectural landmarks also include the Mariinskyi Palace (designed and constructed from 1745 to 1752, then reconstructed in 1870), several Eastern Orthodox churches such as St. Michael's Cathedral, St. Andrew's, St. Vladimir's, the reconstructed Golden Gate
and others.

One of Kyiv's widely recognized modern landmarks is the highly visible giant

Mother Motherland statue made of titanium standing at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War on the Right bank of the Dnieper. Other notable sites is the cylindrical Salut hotel, across from Glory Square and the eternal flame at the World War Two memorial Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the House with Chimaeras

Among Kyiv's best-known monuments are

atop a tall column.


Kyiv National Opera House
The Kyiv Academic Puppet Theatre
A public concert held on Maidan Nezalezhnosti during Kyiv's 2005 Eurovision Song Contest

Kyiv was the historic cultural centre of the

Christianization of Kyivan Rus. Kyiv retained through centuries its cultural importance and even at times of relative decay, it remained the centre of primary importance of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Its sacred sites, which include the Kyiv Pechersk Lavra (the Monastery of the Caves) and the Saint Sophia Cathedral are probably the most famous, attracted pilgrims for centuries and now recognized as a UNESCO 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

Kyiv's theatres include, the

National Philharmonic of Ukraine and others. In 1946 Kyiv had four theatres, one opera house and one concert hall,[144] but most tickets then were allocated to "privileged groups".[144]

Other significant cultural centres include the

Russian art

In 2005, Kyiv hosted the 50th annual Eurovision Song Contest and in 2017 the 62nd annual Eurovision Song Contest.

Numerous songs and paintings were dedicated to the city. Some songs became part of Russian, Ukrainian and Jewish folklore. The most popular songs are "How not to love you, Kyiv of mine?" and "Kyiv Waltz". Renowned Ukrainian composer Oleksandr Bilash wrote an operetta called "Legend of Kyiv".


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

Kyiv is known as a green city with

two botanical gardens
and numerous large and small parks. The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War is here, which offers both indoor and outdoor displays of military history and equipment surrounded by verdant hills overlooking the Dnieper river.

Saint Vladimir Hill
the scenic panorama of the left bank of Dniepr, is one of the symbols of Kyiv, often depicted in paintings and photographic works of the city.

Among the numerous islands, Venetsianskyi (or Hydropark) 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) near Darnytsia subway station is a popular destination for strollers, joggers, and cyclists. Boating, fishing, and water sports are popular pastimes in Kyiv. 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 to 93 °F).[citation needed]

Lilacs in the National Botanical Garden, with the Vydubychi Monastery, Darnitskiy Rail Bridge and left-bank Kyiv visible in the background

The centre of Kyiv (Independence Square 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 Descent is one of the best known historic streets and a major tourist attraction in Kyiv. The hill is the site of the Castle of Richard the Lionheart; the baroque-style St Andrew's Church; the home of Kyiv born

Yaroslav the Wise, the Grand Prince of Kyiv and of Novgorod; and numerous other monuments.[145][146]

A wide variety of farm produce is available in many of Kyiv's farmer markets with the Besarabsky Market 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, and other things.

At the city's southern outskirts, near the historic Pyrohiv village, there is an outdoor museum, officially called the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life of Ukraine It has an area of 1.5 square kilometres (1 sq mi). This territory houses several "mini-villages" that represent by region the traditional rural architecture of Ukraine.

Kyiv also has numerous recreational attractions like bowling alleys, go-cart tracks, paintball venues, billiard halls and even shooting ranges. The 100-year-old Kyiv Zoo is on 40 hectares and according to CBC "the zoo has 2,600 animals from 328 species".[147]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (behind the monument to Princess Olga) and St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery

Museums and galleries

National Historical Museum of Ukraine

Kyiv is home to some 40 different museums.[148] In 2009 they recorded a total of 4.3 million visits.[148]

The National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War is a memorial complex commemorating the Eastern Front of World War II in the hills on the

Kyiv fortress is the 19th-century fortification buildings situated in Ukrainian capital Kyiv, that once belonged to western Russian fortresses
. These structures (once a united complex) were built in the Pechersk and neighbourhoods by the Russian army.

Some of the buildings are restored and turned into a museum called the Kyiv Fortress, while others are in use in various military and commercial installations. The National Art Museum of Ukraine is a museum dedicated to Ukrainian art. The Golden Gate 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 Kyiv Metro. The small Ukrainian National Chernobyl Museum acts as both a memorial and historical center devoted to the events surrounding the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and its effect on the Ukrainian people, the environment, and subsequent attitudes toward the safety of nuclear power as a whole.


The annual 5.5-kilometre (3.4-mile) "Run under the Chestnuts" is a popular public sporting event in Kyiv, with hundreds taking part every year.

Kyiv has many professional and amateur football clubs, including

USSR Super Cups, thus making Dynamo the most successful club in the history of the Soviet Top League.[149]

Other prominent non-football sport clubs in the city include: the

Kyiv Palace of Sports

During the

Viktor Yanukovich on 8 October 2011,[150] with the first major event being a Shakira concert which was specially planned to coincide with the stadium's re-opening during Euro 2012. Other notable sport stadiums/sport complexes in Kyiv include the Valeriy Lobanovskyi Dynamo Stadium, the Palace of Sports
, among many others.

Most Ukrainian national teams play their home international matches in Kyiv. The Ukraine national football team, for example, will play matches at the re-constructed Olympic Stadium from 2011.


Since introducing a visa-free regime for EU-member states and Switzerland in 2005, Ukraine has seen a steady increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country.[151] Before the 2008–09 recession, the average annual growth in the number of foreign visits in Kyiv was 23% over a three-year period.[152] In 2009, a total of 1.6 million tourists stayed in Kyiv hotels, of whom almost 259,000 (c. 16%) were foreigners.[152]

After UEFA Euro 2012, the city became the most popular destination for European tourists. A record number of 1.8 million foreign tourists was registered then along with about 2.5 million domestic tourists. More than 850,000 foreign tourists visited Kyiv in the first half of 2018, as compared to 660,000 tourists over the same period in 2013. As of 2018, the hotel occupancy rate from May to September averages 45–50%. Hostels and three-star hotels are approximately 90% full, four-star hotels 65–70%. Six five-star hotels average 50–55% occupancy. Ordinary tourists generally come from May to October, and business tourists from September to May.[153]

City anthem

In 2014, the Kyiv city's council established the city's anthem.[154] It became a 1962 song, "Yak tebe ne liubyty, Kyieve mii!"[154] (Як тебе не любити, Києве мій!, roughly "How can I not love you, Kyiv of mine!").

City symbols


horse chestnut tree is one of the symbols of Kyiv.[155] It was heavily present on the city's coat of arms used from 1969 to 1995.[155]


The TsUM department store

As with most

business entities registered in Kyiv.[156]

Official figures show that between 2004 and 2008 Kyiv's economy outstripped the rest of the country's, growing by an annual average of 11.5%.

percentage points smaller than that for the country as a whole.[158]
The economy in Kyiv, as in the rest of Ukraine, recovered somewhat in 2010 and 2011. Kyiv is a middle-income city, with prices comparable to many mid-size American cities (i.e., considerably lower than Western Europe).

Because the city has a large and diverse economic base and is not dependent on any single industry or company, its unemployment rate has historically been relatively low – only 3.75% over 2005–2008.[159] Indeed, even as the rate of joblessness jumped to 7.1% in 2009, it remained far below the national average of 9.6%.[159][160]

As of January 2022, the average monthly salary in Kyiv reached 21,347 UAH (€540) gross and 17,184 UAH (€430) net.[161][162][163]

Kyiv is the undisputed center of business and commerce of Ukraine and home to the country's largest companies, such as

office buildings (such as Gulliver and Parus) and some of Ukraine's biggest shopping malls (such as Dream Town and Ocean Plaza

In May 2011, Kyiv authorities presented a 15-year development strategy which calls for attracting as much as EUR82 billion of foreign investment by 2025 to modernize the city's transport and utilities infrastructure and make it more attractive for tourists.[169]

Historical economic data
2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
61.4 77.1 95.3 135.9 169.6 169.5 196.6 223.8 275.7
Nominal GRP (USD bn)**[157][170] 11.5 15.0 18.9 26.9 32.2 21.8 24.8 28.0 34.5
Nominal GRP per capita (USD)**[157][170] 4,348 5,616 6,972 9,860 11,693 7,841 8,875 10,007 12,192 13,687
Monthly wage (USD)**[170][171] 182 259 342 455 584 406 432 504 577
Unemployment rate (%)***[172]
n/a 4.6 3.8 3.3 3.3 7.1 6.4 6.1 6.0 5.7
Retail sales (UAH bn)[164] n/a n/a n/a 34.87 46.50 42.79 50.09 62.80 73.00 77.14
Retail sales (USD bn)[164][170] n/a n/a n/a 6.90 8.83 5.49 6.31 7.88 9.14 9.65
Foreign direct investment (USD bn)[173] 2.1 3.0 4.8 7.0 11.7 16.8 19.2 21.8 24.9 27.3

* – data not available; ** – calculated at annual average official exchange rate; *** – ILO methodology (% of workforce).



i.e., electricity, gas and water supply (26% of total industrial output), manufacture of food, beverages and tobacco products (22%), chemical (17%), mechanical engineering (13%) and manufacture of paper and paper products, including publishing, printing and reproduction of recorded media (11%).[174] The Institute of Oil Transportation
is headquartered here.


The An-124, the largest aircraft ever mass-produced, designed by Antonov in Kyiv
  • Kuznya na Rybalskomu
    , naval production
  • Antonov Serial Production Plant (former Aviant), airplanes manufacturing
  • Aeros, small aircraft production
  • Kyiv Roshen Factory, confectionery
  • Kyiv Arsenal
    (former arms manufacturer), specializes in production of optic-precision instruments
  • Obolon, brewery
  • Zhulyany Airport

Education and science

Scientific research

The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences is based in Kyiv.

Scientific research is conducted in many institutes of higher education and, additionally, in many research institutes affiliated with the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences. Kyiv is home to Ukraine's ministry of education and science, and is also noted for its contributions to medical and computer science research.

In 2016, UNIT Factory (Ukrainian National IT Factory) opened. It offers a completely new format of IT education. The education is completely free for all trainees subject to compliance with the terms of the program. Within this project are the Technology Companies' Development Center (TCDC), BIONIC University open inter-corporate IT-university, as well as two hi-tech laboratories—VR Lab (Crytek) and Smart City lab.[175]

University education

National Taras Shevchenko University

Kyiv hosts many universities, the major ones being

National Technical University "Kyiv Polytechnic Institute",[177] Kyiv-Mohyla Academy[178] and the Kyiv National University of Trade and Economics. Of these, the Mohyla Academy is the oldest, founded as a theological school in 1632, but Shevchenko University, founded in 1834, is the oldest in continuous operation. The total number of institutions of higher education in Kyiv approaches 200,[179]
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.

Secondary education

There are about 530 general secondary schools and about 680 nursery schools and kindergartens in Kyiv.[180] Additionally, there are evening schools for adults, specialist technical schools, and the Evangel Theological Seminary.

Public libraries

There are many libraries in the city, with the

Memory of the World Register in 2005.[182]



Local public transport

Trolleybus ElektroLAZ-301 at Sofia Square, passing by the statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky

Local public transportation in Kyiv includes the Metro, buses and

taxi and funicular. There is also an intra-city ring railway service

The publicly owned and operated Kyiv Metro is the fastest, the most convenient and affordable network that covers most, but not all, of the city. The Metro is expanding towards the city limits to meet growing demand, having three lines with a total length of 66.1 kilometres (41.1 miles) and 51 stations (some of which are renowned architectural landmarks). The Metro carries around 1.422 million passengers daily[183] accounting for 38% of the Kyiv's public transport load. In 2011, the total number of trips exceeded 519 million.

The historic tram system was the first electric tramway in the former Russian Empire and the third one in Europe after the Berlin Straßembahn and the Budapest tramway. The tram system consists of 139.9 km (86.9 mi) of track,[184] including 14 km (8.7 mi) two Rapid Tram lines, served by 21 routes with the use of 523 tram cars. Once a well maintained and widely used method of transport, the system is now gradually being phased out in favor of buses and trolleybuses.

The Kyiv Funicular was constructed during 1902–1905. It connects the historic Uppertown, and the lower commercial neighborhood of Podil through the steep Saint Vladimir Hill overseeing the Dnieper River. The line consists of two stations.

All public road transport (except for some minibuses) is operated by the united Kyivpastrans municipal company. It is heavily subsidized by the city.

The Kyiv public transport system, except for taxi, uses a simple flat rate tariff system regardless of distance traveled: tickets or tokens must be purchased each time a vehicle is boarded. Digital ticket system is already established in Kyiv Metro, with plans for other transport modes. Discount passes are available for grade school and higher education students. Pensioners use public transportation free. There are monthly passes in all combinations of public transportation. Ticket prices are regulated by the city government, and the cost of one ride is far lower than in Western Europe.

The taxi market in Kyiv is expansive but not regulated. In particular, the taxi fare per kilometer is not regulated. There is a fierce competition between private taxi companies.

Zoloti Vorota Metro Station Central Hall

Roads and bridges

Kyiv represents the focal point of Ukraine's "national roads" system, thus linked by road to all cities of the country. European routes , and intersect in Kyiv.

There are eight Dnieper bridges and dozens of grade-separated intersections in the city. Several new intersections are under construction. There are plans to build a full-size, fully grade-separated ring road around Kyiv.[185][186][187]

In 2009, Kyiv's roads were in poor technical condition and maintained inadequately.[188]

Traffic jams and lack of parking space are growing problems for all road transport services in Kyiv.

Air transport

Kyiv is served by two international passenger airports: the



Railways are Kyiv's main mode of intracity- and suburban 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

Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi Railway Station
is the city's only long-distance passenger terminal (vokzal).

Construction is underway for turning the large Darnytsia railway station on the left-bank part of Kyiv into a long-distance passenger hub, which may ease traffic at the central station.[189] 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.

In 2011, the Kyiv city administration established the new Urban Train for Kyiv. This service runs at standard 4- to 10-minute intervals throughout the day and follows a circular route around the city centre, which allows it to serve many of Kyiv's inner suburbs. Interchanges between the Kyiv Metro and Fast Tram exist at many of the urban train's station stops.[190]

Suburban 'Elektrichka' trains are serviced by the publicly owned Ukrainian Railways. The suburban train service is fast, and unbeatably safe in terms of traffic accidents. But the trains are not reliable, as they may fall 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 five elektrichka directions from Kyiv:

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


DTEK Kyiv Electric Networks [uk] (formerly Kyivenergo) is the electric power distribution network operator for Kyiv, owned by oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. As of 2021 it had:[191]

CHP-5 (ТЕЦ-5) is the largest and most powerful combined heat and power plant in Ukraine.
  • 12,038 km of power transmission lines with a voltage of 0.4–110 kV
  • 64 substations with a voltage of 35–110 kV
  • 243
    transformer substations
    at 10 kV

waste incineration plant Energia (plant) [uk
] operating in Ukraine.

In line with the EU Third Energy Package, since 2019 state energy policy abandoned the Rotterdam plus system and has required transmission system operator (TSO) and regional utilities unbundling in order to separate electricity distribution and retail electricity supply.[192]

Water and sanitation

The national government has delegated responsibility for water and sanitation services to local authorities.[193] Kyivvodokanal [uk] is a private joint-stock company that provides such services to Kyiv. The length of water supply networks is 4231 km, of which 1798 km are dilapidated. The length of sewage networks is 2662 km, of which 830 km are dilapidated.

Twin towns – sister cities

Kyiv is twinned with:[194]

Other cooperation agreements

Notable people

Arts, literature, and entertainment

Pianist Vladimir Horowitz, 1986
Milla Jovovich, 2000

Science and technology

Igor Sikorsky on Time magazine cover, 1953


Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel, 1973


Military conflicts




See also


  1. ^ See § Name for alternative spellings and pronunciations.


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  16. .
  17. ^ .
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