Why Are Many of the Pro-Ukrainian Pundits and Politicians in the US Using the Russian Pronunciation of Kiev?

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This is funny and crazy. At least I think so. Many of the U.S. pundits and politicians blathering away about the need to defend the Ukraine from Russian treachery are using the Russian pronunciation of Kiev. Until recently, the average American pronounced Kiev as KEY-EV.

Now I am hearing and seeing many of the pompous asses that infest the cable news universe calling Kiev KEEVE. (Click here to hear the Russian pronunciation.)

But Ukrainians have their own language and their pronunciation of Kiev is strikingly different from the Russian version. (Click here.) It is CAI-YEV.

You would think that the people who claim to be the most interested in defending the borders of Ukraine from the scary Russians would take time to learn a word or two of Ukrainian and especially know how to pronounce the capital of Ukraine. Larry Johnson

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12 Responses to Why Are Many of the Pro-Ukrainian Pundits and Politicians in the US Using the Russian Pronunciation of Kiev?

  1. exiled off mainstreet says:

    We’ll know they have achieved total control of the narrative when it appears on menus as “Chicken Kyiv.”

  2. LondonBob says:

    Should always use the pronunciation of the language you are speaking in so Kiev, Lugansk, or indeed Moscow, not Moskva, or Paris, not Paree, same should be the case for Bombay and Peking. Small time mentality, I don’t insist on the Spanish saying London not Londres, or the Italians Londra (Florence/Firenze).

  3. Fourth and Long says:

    They are training American audiences for recognizing the sound of a Russian saying “Kiev.” It’s obvious why, too.

  4. Christian J. Chuba says:

    Too funny. now all that’s left is to revert to calling it ‘the’ Ukraine like we did in the 80’s. I actually do hear that from time to time, even now.

    On a different point, our pundits and hosts have no awareness that by dutifully repeating our State Dept and Pentagon updates about the pending destruction of Ukraine they are helping to spread panic. IMO our govt is doing it to justify adding more sanctions against Russia when the invasion never happens.

    If that means we end up crushing what’s left of Ukraine’s economy by telling them that Kyiv (or Kiev) will fall in 48hrs and 50,000 civilians will die, so be it. A new date being floated for the invasion is the end of the Olympics because Putin does not want to spoil Xi’s event; keep pickling while you can.

  5. Babeltuap says:

    As a child it was easy to pick out Mardi Gras posers in the media. Major faux pas pronunciations of regional words to include New Orleans…meh. Even after hearing scores of locals they still butchered it. Same going on here but worse. They don’t bother to talk to the locals or even understand the uniqueness of each parade.

  6. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    An important post by Michael Hudson went up this morning at Naked Capitalism entitled “Michael Hudson: America’s Real Adversaries Are Its European and Other Allies.” This is a must-read for anyone who seeks to comprehend the full historical and economic context in which the Ukraine confrontation is taking place.

    • Ed Lindgren says:

      ex-PFC Chuck –

      Although a man of the Left, I find much of Michael Hudson’s analysis to be ‘on target’ when it comes to evaluating the economic state of the world we live in.

      I don’t recall exactly when Hudson made the following comment, but he noted in an interview several years ago that America had a choice for president in 2016 between Trump or World War III. He was, of course, taking into account Hillary’s virulent Russiaphobia.

      Considering the fact that the Biden team is rife with Obama administration and Hillary State Department retreads (to include our dementia-ridden Commander-in-Chief), apparently we had the same choice in the 2020 election as well.

      Thanks for the link to the Hudson post on nakedcapitalism.

  7. Leith says:

    There is currently a petition circulating in Kiev for Yermak Timofeyevich Street to be renamed Sir Winston Churchill Street. Perhaps in thanks for the British NLAWs?

    That will annoy or infuriate the Russkies. Yermak, a 16th Century Cossack leader, is the guy that conquered Siberia. Or at least he started the conquest, in actuality he never go much further than current day Omsk on the Irtysh River. He would have had another six or seven thousand miles to Vladivostok, or ten or twelve to the Bering Strait.


  8. Deap says:

    The Four Lads – Istanbul (Not Constantinople): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcze7EGorOk

  9. Deap says:

    Visiting Prague shortly after the Fall of the Wall, we handed a young lady on the street our city map to ask directions to a certain location.

    She immediately whipped out a pen and vigorously crossed out the names of some of the streets, basically destroying the use of the map. We clearly got the idea she hated what the Russian occupation had done to her beloved former Czech street names.

    I assume they have now all been restore back to their originals. And she also graciously enough to send us on our way in that wondrous city they were finally able to reclaim and more importantly restore to it former gilded beauty.

    What’s in a name? A lot, obviously. The international Olympics is always an interesting mishmash of real nation names and anglicized nation names in logos and official standings reports. Plus viewing the order of the alphabet used for the march of nations on opening night, reminding us this time how the “alphabet” format is used in the Chinese language.

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