The main tag for the capital of Ukraine is , while is marked a synonym.

As shown in this post, the official city name is Kyiv, while others are only synonyms that exist for historic purposes.

I suggest to swap the main tag and its synonym.

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    How politically-motivated is this request? How useful will the modification actually be for the site? Is it an improvement? These are the criteria I would use before making this decision. In all honesty I don't know much about the political side, if any, hence why I am asking you. – JoErNanO May 27 '18 at 6:22
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    @JoErNanO, it is motivated by the official spelling accepted by the United Nations (namely, UNGEGN). I was hoping that I point to this mistake, a Moderator would say "oh yes, fixed, thanks for noticing", and that's it. Instead, my request receives some strange resistance that I cannot explain. Frankly speaking, I see it very strange for some people to deliberately resist the UN ruling in this case, but follow the UN otherwise. Is there any particular reason to do so? – bytebuster May 27 '18 at 12:49
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    @bytebuster The linked question has an accepted answer which says to use Kiev. What changed since then? Oh and we are not deliberately resisting anything. We are just discussing openly trying to figure out an optimal solution. That's what Meta is for. – JoErNanO May 27 '18 at 22:28
  • @JoErNanO, nothing has changed. The UN has adopted a single possible spelling. Here's what JonathanReez♦ commented about it (I've fixed the link): Since Stackexchange is an English-language website hosted in America, shouldn't we use whatever is the official name accepted by the US government? […] The Kiev/Kyiv question is clearly resolved on the embassy website, for example: usembassy.gov/ukraineJonathanReez♦ – bytebuster May 27 '18 at 23:23
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    @bytebuster If nothing has changed and we're still using the Wikipedia standard then we'll stick with Kiev. Or did I misunderstand? – JoErNanO May 28 '18 at 13:05
  • @bytebuster the policy is to use Wikipedia. My comment was just one proposal on which standard to use. – JonathanReez May 28 '18 at 13:48
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    @JoErNanO, I have posted an answer to shed some light on why the Wikipedia, being open to all sorts of cyberterroristic attacks and infiltration, can not be considered a reliable reference for a serious site like the Stack Exchange is. – bytebuster May 28 '18 at 15:14
  • Shades of Georgia and Macedonia. – choster May 29 '18 at 23:09
  • Gdańsk style meta posts ought to be a meme of (meta) travel.se – Andrew Grimm Jun 1 '18 at 7:34

I am going to decline this request as Kiev is still a much more common spelling than Kyiv. Tags don't necessarily have to follow the official spelling of a given place.

And our current standard is to use Wikipedia for reference, which lists the city as Kiev currently. Once Wikipedia changed their mind we can change our tags as well.

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    I am very sorry to hear this from a person whose very home city throughout the centuries was known by its German name Prag in most European languages, and it changed only after the liberation in 1945. The very same happens to Kyiv today, "Kiev" is the occupant's name. – bytebuster May 26 '18 at 13:45
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    @bytebuster it is still Prag in German and several other languages. And our goal here is to have useful tags, not to follow whatever are the current political trends. – JonathanReez May 26 '18 at 14:20
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    @JonathanReez Ukrainian language is not a current political trend. It is the official language of Ukraine and the capital of Ukraine is Kyiv. Kiev is the shadow of Soviet past, where Russian was the official language of USSR and toponyms were spelled in official language as well. Now Ukrainian is the official language and toponym spelling should follow official language. – Ivan May 27 '18 at 11:13
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    @Ivan Russian is the mother language of the majority of people living in Kiev. And it doesn't even matter as we're talking about the English spelling here, not the Ukrainian one. Let's keep this site out of politics. – JonathanReez May 27 '18 at 22:15
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    @Ivan, we are not talking about the language dominance in Ukraine. Although your reasoning is probably true, it distracts other users who would think that the language my mother sang lullaby to me (surprise, it was russian) somehow impacts the naming of the tags at Travel.SE. It does not. The real thing is, there is only one ruling that says it is Kyiv according to English regulations, end of story. – bytebuster May 30 '18 at 2:11
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    @bytebuster The government of Ukraine does not have the power to enforce "regulations" dictating popular English usage. (Nor does anyone else.) It sounds like you're looking for a prescriptive thumb on the scale, but this site is inherently descriptive. – Sneftel Jun 1 '18 at 16:37
  • @bytebuster My point was not about language per se. I meant to say that during Soviet time Russian was dominant language and thus Kiev was the name of the capital officially recognized by UN. After independence (it took time though) UN recognized Kyiv as the name of the capital of Ukraine. – Ivan Jun 1 '18 at 23:03
  • @Ivan On the Ukranian language version of any stack exchange website, the tag can be called Kyiv. But for the English speakers, Kiev is recognisable and Kyiv is at best hard to recognise, and at worst unintelligible gibberish. English has no standard, so the best we can do is use what is popular. – fabspro Jun 5 '18 at 23:16

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from

Personally, I cede to a country/city/region the right to dictate its name; that is, to choose how it is pronounced, and spelled, in its national language. I'm not sure I cede to anyone the right to determine how their name should be rendered, worldwide, in all the other languages of the world.

I do think it's important that, whatever we do, it not be arbitrary. I agree that the UN is one body who might set a standard, but there are others. Previously, the policy was to do what Wikipedia does, and contrary to the OP's view above, that is what we seem to be reliably doing.

So although I think we can re-examine the policy at any time, we do have one, and I don't think we should be making exceptions to it simply because people feel strongly about the particular case.

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    South Korea demands that the body of water to its east be known as the East Sea and a collection of micro-islands there be called Dokdo. Japan demands they be called the Sea of Japan.and Takeshima respectively. In both nations' eyes it is "their" land and water to name. And in the specific case here, historically, the city was split 50-50 with Russian and Ukrainian speakers. So to borrow a phrase, there's no "their" there. – choster May 29 '18 at 23:05
  • @choster you forget about the vast Polish and Jewish population. – P. Vowk Dec 12 '18 at 21:26

We can't dictate anything to native speakers of English, but I believe that Travel.SE should use the official spelling (in English), which is Kyiv according to United Nations.

Capital city: Kyiv

Here are the uses on some websites, however I would prefer the official one anyway.

British Airways  : Kiev
Google Flights   : Kiev
Google Maps      :       Kyiv
Lufthansa        : Kiev
Skyscanner       : Kiev, Kyiv
Turkish Airlines : Kiev
Yandex.Maps      :       Kyiv
  • Ultimately, allowing one single country's government to dictate that the spelling is "Kyiv" is basically enforcing one country's propaganda. Your post is clearly demonstrating that Kiev is the usual spelling. – fabspro Jun 5 '18 at 23:19
  • Again, the UN does not choose what "official" spelling is for anyone other than the UN. – choster Jun 14 '18 at 23:29

That people from a country should define how others should write city names rises bad memories of its abuse for political purposes.

There is the renaming of foreign cities to German ones after the invasion of Poland and Yugoslavia (Warschau, Danzig and Laibach) and the corresponding renaming of German cities to Polish names after the war with the rearranged borders (Ustka, Bydgoszcz). Another example is the renaming of South Tyrol cities to Italian ones (Bozen-> Bolzano, Meran->Merano). There are countless examples where the ruling power tries to eradicate old names, often with prohibition and suppression of a language. That only raises bad blood.

And there is also the problem of having a majority of local people which are in power and favor one spelling, but which governments are internationally not/only partially recognized for political reasons. There is Abkhazia, China (for over 20 years!), North Cyprus, Kosovo. So whatever you want to decide, there will be trouble whatever path is chosen.

For this reason we should use an independent source of spelling, Wikipedia is now favored by most (I fear it is too easy to tweak it with political power games because it is editable, but so it goes).

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