The Kiev is a direct relative of the more popular Miranda Light Cruiser. The two projects were developed jointly by the Advanced Starship Design Bureau and it is because of the input of mutual engineers and design agencies that the two classes bear such a striking resemblance to one another.
Where the Miranda was built to project military power within the Federation, the Kiev was instead designed to act as a fleet escort. The mission of convoy escort was to be the primary use of the new Kiev Frigates. As such they were tailored to be lighter and cheaper than the Miranda cruisers. Cost cutting included eliminating much of the modular design features common to other Federation designs. It was believed that building more, cheaper frigates would more than make up for the long term disadvantages.
The Kiev was entered into widespread service by the early 2270's, and in early engagements the Kiev Frigates operated fairly well, though not up to the expectations of Starfleet Command.
By the late 2290's it was found that the lack of modularity of the Kiev design prevented further fleet upgrades, whereas the already more popular Miranda continued to accept new electronics and other uprated systems packages.
All Kiev Frigates in service were either scrapped or mothballed by 2310. Some of these ships were brought out of mothballs during the Dominion War, but not to fight in actual combat; instead, they were cannibalized for parts to build throw-away combat units to join the combat on the frontlines and to repair battle damage on pre-existing ships. It was felt that the class simply would not be useful on the frontlines considering their advanced age.