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"Ukraine" - "Rus' " - "Russia". The Terminology Question

"Ukraine" was the ancient name of the territory occupied by the Ukrainian tribes, which inhabited the territorial expanse from the Carpathian Mountains at the Sian River on the west, to the Don River on the east and from the Black Sea north to the Desna River. In ancient times, Ukraine was known as Cimmeria, Scithia, Sarmatia and as a Union of the Antes tribes, the ancestors of the Ukrainian nation.  Definite information about the origin of the name "Ukraine" does not exist.

Map of Scythia, 100 BC

Already in the XII century, the name even Ukraine appeared in Ukrainian chronicles to denote the Ukrainian lands, indicating that this name existed even earlier. The Ukrainian tribes of that period did not use one name, that encompassed them all, as no formal unified state existed.

In the beginning of the IX century in Eastern Europe the name "Routsi" or "Rus" emerges, brought from Scandinavia by the Normans or Varangians, who captured Novhorod and in the middle of the IX centnry later Kyiv. The Varangians Askold and Dyr established the first Ukrainian state, Rus' and the indigenous population adopted this as the name of their nation and territory. "Routsi" or "Rus"' is a Finnish term, which is used to the present day to denote the Swedes.

The Ukrainian people are a Slavic people of Indo-European origin. Russia evolved from the Muscovite state, which at that time did not exist as a state. Muscovites (Russians) were Finno-Ugric tribes, mixed with some Slavic tribes known as Vyatichians (Vyatichi) and later with Mongol-Tatar additions. The name "Rus"' is not a synonym for Russia, as the country to the northeast of Ukraine is known today, and which was known as Muscovy prior to 1709, when, after the battle of Poltava, the Muscovite tsar Peter I changed the old name "Muscovy" to "Russia" ("Rossia") and adopted the history of Kyivan-Rus' (old Ukraine) as Russian history. Russia should be recognized in world history as developing from Muscovy with no relation to Kyivan-Rus'. Rus'-Ukraine exists from the middle of the IX century as Kyivan-Rus' with the glorious history of the Grand Dukes (Princes) - Oleh, Svyatoslav the Conqueror, Volodymyr the Great. Yaroslav the Wise and Volodymyr Monomakh - who, for approximately 300 years, ruled over the territory from the Carpathian Mountains in the west to the Don River in the east.

The name "Rus' " was used to denote the country and people throughout the centuries. Only afterwards, in the middle of the XVII century, when Muscovy appropriated for itself the history of Ukraine of the period of the Great Princes (kniazi) - known as Kyivan-Rus' - was the name "Ukraine" ("Ukraina" in Ukrainian) used to differentiate the country, people and the newly created state of the Cossack-Hetmanate.

When the power of the Hetmanate weakened, the name of "Rus"' (Rusian, Rus'ky) was again used. In the XIX century, when the Ukrainian state awoke to new cultural, national and political life, it found it difficult to retrieve the historical name of "Rus'," and thus returned to using "Ukraine," "Ukrainian." To the present day, "Ukraine" remains the name of the land, people and state.

Rus'-Ukraine accepted Christianity in 988 through the Ruler of Kyivan-Rus' Grand Duke Volodymyr the Great, grandson of Ukraine's Ruler Grand Duchess St.Olha. Muscovy accepted Christianity two hundred years later, in the XII century and, as such, Russia has no right to adopt the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine as part of its history.

Category: History Articles | Added by: Vinnytsya_Guide (06.07.2014)
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