5-Pyrimidyllithium species are fairly stable when the metal is flanked by two electron-withdrawing substituents such as trifluoromethyl and chlorine or bromine. Thus, the corresponding 5-carboxylic acids are produced in high yields from 4,5-dibromo-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine and 5-bromo-4-chloro-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine upon halogen/metal permutation accomplished with isopropylmagnesium chloride or butyllithium followed by carboxylation. Satisfactory or excellent yields of 5-carboxylic acids are equally obtained when 4-chloro-, 2,4-dichloro- and 2,4-dibromo-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine are deprotonated with lithium diisopropylamide before being allowed to react with dry ice. In contrast, consecutive treatment of 2-bromo-4-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine and 2-chloro-5-iodo-4-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine with butyllithium affords the expected carboxylic acids in only poor yields and not even trace amts. of acid were detected when 4-bromo-6-(trifluoromethyl)pyrimidine served as the substrate. The formation of bipyrimidines, emerging from either one of two competing mechanistic pathways, is a permanently menacing side reaction. [on SciFinder (R)]