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People stand on the barricades in Kiev on Feb. 4, 2014.
People stand on the barricades in Kiev on Feb. 4, 2014.
(VASILY FEDOSENKO/REUTERS)

What’s in a name? Plenty if you’re from Ukraine

The massive sign stood on the edge of town, a little discoloured but hard to miss. A series of cement blocks spelled out “Vinnitsa,” clearly indicating the name of this Ukrainian city. Or was it?

Our translator, business journalist Volodymyr Verbyany, recoiled at the sign as we drove by it. “It’s Vinnytsia,” he said adamantly, forbidding us to spell it any other way. He explained that “Vinnitsa” was derived from the Russian spelling and that the sign was a holdover from the Soviet days. “Vinnytsia is Ukrainian,” he added firmly.