Anti-war protest in Luxembourg City, 24 February 2022; Credit: Ali Sahib

The City of Luxembourg (Ville de Luxembourg – VdL) has announced its decision to name the new N3 / N40 national road "Boulevard de Kyiv", thus exclusively opting for the Ukrainian-language derived spelling of Ukraine's capital.

The City of Luxembourg had initially planned to name the road "Boulevard de Kiev", with the Ukrainian spelling "Kyiv" (and "Capitale de l'Ukraine") written underneath on related street signs. Whilst the decision to name this new road after the Ukrainian capital was intended as a gesture of solidarity, the planned use of the spelling "Kiev", which is derived from the Russian language, drew criticism from several members of the public, particularly the Ukrainian community in Luxembourg. 

Although the City of Luxembourg initially defended this spelling choice, arguing that it was using the official French name for the Ukrainian capital (as all signs in Luxembourg are in French), it has now backtracked on its initial decision and will name the road "Boulevard de Kyiv - Capitale de l’Ukraine".

Commenting on its latest decision, the City of Luxembourg said that it recognised that the Ukrainian capital has been officially called "Kyiv" since the country's independence in 1991. By opting for the Ukrainian spelling, the City of Luxembourg said that it hoped to "send a strong sign of recognition and encouragement to the Ukrainian people".