February 25, 2022
Shoppers today called on UK supermarkets to stand with Ukraine by renaming chicken kievs ‘chicken kyivs’ to show solidarity with the country as it battles Russian invaders.
‘Kiev’ was the standardised spelling for the city under Soviet rule, but recent Russian aggression has seen more Western institutions heed calls to abandon it in favour of the Ukrainian alternative.
Today Twitter users took the campaign to the aisles, with one calling on the major supermarkets to ‘immediately rename chicken KIEV chicken KYIV in respect of [sic] Ukraine (Kiev is the Russian spelling)’.
Scott Clarke agreed, asking Marks & Spencers if they could make the change ‘as a small gesture of solidarity to our Ukrainian friends’.
MailOnline has contacted the main supermarkets for comment.
The Daily Mail today announced it would start to use ‘Kyiv’ in its articles, calling it a ‘show of support for an independent people being crushed by an authoritarian monster’.
The UK Government has been referring to its embassy as being based in ‘Kyiv’ for years, with an Internet archive showing this had been the case until records began in 2014.
Ministers are also increasingly using the new pronunciation.
Ukraine’s capital is known as Київ in Ukrainian and Киев in Russian. Both terms do not have a direct translation into the Roman alphabet, with Kiev, Kyiv, Kyyiv or Kiyev all being possibilities.
But the spelling ‘Kiev’ is intrinsically linked with the old USSR due to its widespread use by the British and Americans while the city was under Soviet rule.
This continued after independence in 1991, until ‘Kyiv’ was legally approved by the Ukrainian government.
It was not until the Maidan uprising of 2014 the issue hit the public consciousness, with the ousting of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych and the creation of a new administration seeking closer ties to the West.
Young Ukrainians see ‘Kiev’ as a relic of the Soviet past, and this view is now shared by the government, which launched a ‘KyivNotKiev’ campaign in 2018.