AUC Geographica (Acta Universitatis Carolinae Geographica) is a scholarly academic journal continuously published since 1966 that publishes research in the broadly defined field of geography: physical geography, geo-ecology, regional, social, political and economic geography, regional development, cartography, geoinformatics, demography and geo-demography.

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AUC GEOGRAPHICA, Vol 55 No 2 (2020), 255–268

Geopolitics of geographical urbanonyms: evidence from Ukrainian cities

Olexiy Gnatiuk, Anatoliy Melnychuk

published online: 03. 11. 2020


This article focuses on geographical urbanonyms in Ukraine – names of streets, squares, lanes, etc. that refer to the names of other geographical objects like cities, regions, countries, or continents. It shows the role of geographical urbanonyms as a powerful instrument used by political regimes to shape political identity by constructing and legitimizing borders between “us” and “them” at different spatial scales. The analysis revealed a significantly higher presence of geographical urbanonyms in Ukraine compared to former state socialist countries in Central Europe. The widespread presence of street names related to the former USSR proves the absence of post-Soviet decolonization in semiotic space, going beyond the pure decommunization, in the majority of Ukrainian cities since 1991. Regional differences in the dynamics, distribution and structure of geographical urbanonyms in Ukraine are explained by the historical, cultural and (geo)political divisions.

keywords: urban toponyms; geographical urbanonyms; geopolitics; Ukraine

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Geopolitics of geographical urbanonyms: evidence from Ukrainian cities is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

210 x 297 mm
periodicity: 2 x per year
print price: 200 czk
ISSN: 0300-5402
E-ISSN: 2336-1980