Kieff (Kee-yeff'), one of the oldest towns of Russia, stands on the Dnieper, by rail 586 miles SW. of Moscow and 381 N. of Odessa. From 882 to 1169 it was the capital of the Russian principality, and here in 988 Christianity was first preached in Russia by St Vladimir. Captured by the Mongols in 1240, it was held by Lithuania from 1320 till 1569, and then by Poland till 1654, when it was annexed to Russia. The town is built on elevated ground (350 feet above the river), and the Dnieper is spanned by a fine suspension bridge (1851). The celebrated Petchersk monastery is visited by 250,000 pilgrims annually. The cathedral of St Sophia (1037) contains the tombs of the grand-dukes of Russia; and the cathedral church of the Assumption has a beautiful belfry with a peal of twelve bells. Kieff has nearly seventy churches, many of them with gilded domes and pinnacles, which give the city a striking appearance. The university, removed here from Vilno in 1833, has four faculties and 1700 students. There are also theological colleges, a military school, and an arsenal. The industry is unimportant, except tanning and the manufacture of candles. Considerable trade is done, especially at the January and other fairs. The fortress of Kieff, begun by Peter the Great in 1706, occupies a commanding site on the Dnieper's right bank. Pop. 250,000. - The government embraces great part of the Ukraine, and is bounded NE. by the Dnieper; the area is nearly 20,000 sq. m., and the population 3,600,000.