Project “16 Days of Gratitude”: day 10

Day 10. Lithuanian place names in Kyiv.

Well, if we have already started looking at the toponymy of Kyiv, we can also find streets, lanes and even an avenue named after Lithuania, Lithuanian cities, and prominent figures in Lithuanian history. There are seven of them in total; three of them were named back in the Soviet period, and four names appeared already during the Russian-Ukrainian war. Therefore, today let’s travel a little around modern Kyiv, so that later we can plunge into our common historical past. And we will also cross the Dnieper! Some of the streets are located right there, on the left bank of Kyiv.

Vilnius Street was laid first in 1953. There was also Vilnius Lane, but it disappeared during the restructuring of the Dnieper district in 1977. On the right bank of the Dnieper, in the Goloseevsky district, Lithuanian streets and lanes appear. The street disappears in the 1980s, but the alley still exists till today. To find the Kaunas Street, we will again have to return to the Left Bank of Kyiv. In the Darnitsky district of the city, this street has existed since 1957. In the same place on the Left Bank, we will also find streets renamed in 2022 – Prince Lyubart Street (formerly Taganrogskaya) and Kastus Kalinovsky Street (formerly Astrakhanskaya). Both streets were laid back in 1955. Also, during the Russian-Ukrainian war, the former Minsk Avenue on September 8, 2022 received a new name of Litovsky Avenue (located in the Obolonsky District) and is one of the main thoroughfares of the city. In the microdistrict of Kyiv, Vita-Litovskaya, Goloseevsky district, which was discussed last time, in 2017 one of the new streets was laid – the street of Prince Vitovt (Vytautas).

Prince Vitovt in the toponymy of Kyiv also found embodiment in a rather unusual way. In 2011, an initiative arose in Kyiv to take into account all the old oaks located within the city and give them the status of a botanical monument of nature. One of the old oaks received the name “Oak of Vitovt”. It has been growing quietly for over 400 years and, according to legend, was planted in the 1600s by Metropolitan Petro Mohyla of Kyiv.

And in the very center of Kyiv, on Maidan Nezalezhnosti, there is a globe, at the foot of which the distances to different capitals of the world are indicated:  it marks 588 km to Vilnius from Kyiv. But we know that in fact the distance is not so far if we talk about common interests, and we will see this tomorrow.

P.S.: Unfortunately, some photos had to be taken from the due to security issues in the conditions of rocket attacks on the city.

Dr. Ruslana Martseniuk

Photos by dr. Ruslana Martseniuk

Project “16 Days of Gratitude”: day 9