From: Jacksonville, FL, USA
Yeah, Ukrainians get annoyed when their country is referred to "the Ukraine".
"Ukraine" means "borderlands". The land was so named because it was the border between Russia and the rest of Europe. So, in Russian, when you say you're in a place that has a name (a city, a country, for instance), you say "v Sankt Petersburgye", "v Parisye", "v Londonye". But when you are in open spaces, you use the article "na". When Russians speak about Ukraine, they say they are "na Ukrayinye", in the borderlands, implying it is not a country, just a space. That use was translated into english as "the Ukraine" from the russian. Ukrainians prefer people to use just "Ukraine" instead.
That's what I gathered from talking to Ukrainian friends and from my 1 year of trying to learn Russian.
Also, Kyiv, not Kiev, is the proper name.
Interesting. So when I was in Lebanon I was corrected by Lebanese (multiple times) to call it "The Lebanon." Different cultures...
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
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