A Look at the History of Ukraine: What Was Its Old Name?

Unearth the past of Ukraine and unearth its ancient appellation! Unveil the chronicles of this region and divulge its former sobriquet! Delve into the annals of this country and uncover its previous designation! Explore the age-old traditions of Ukraine and reveal its prior moniker!

Step into the past and explore a country with a long, winding history. From its earliest known name, Kievan Rus, to the modern-day Ukraine, this nation has experienced numerous changes over the centuries. Its people have weathered invasions and occupations, wars and revolutions, as well as times of prosperity and hardship. Still, through it all, the spirit of Ukrainian culture remains strong.

From Kievan Rus to today’s Ukraine, many aspects of ancient culture still exist. Traditional music and dance styles are alive and well; religious beliefs remain; language and literature are still read; art forms such as embroidery and woodcarving are practiced; cuisine is distinctive. Tales passed down from generation to generation add to the folklore of Ukraine.

The political landscape has been shaped by momentous events like the Cossack uprising in 1648 which led to an independent Cossack state; unification following World War I; Soviet rule beginning in 1922; Nazi occupation during World War II; independence from Russia in 1991; and entry into the European Union in 2020.

Discover Ukraine’s amazing history for yourself! Trace the steps of those who have gone before you and uncover the many appellations that have defined this nation throughout time!



The land that is now Ukraine has gone through a myriad of transformations, with its title shifting and evolving over the years. In the 9th century it was known as Kievan Rus, and was ruled by the Varangian dynasty. In 1240, it was taken over by the Mongol Empire as part of the Golden Horde. Subsequently, Lithuania annexed much of Ukraine’s territory and it became Ruthenia in the 14th century. After Lithuania’s union with Poland in 1569, Ukraine became known as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth or Galicia. Then, in 1772, Russia seized some of Ukraine’s land and it was called Little Russia or Malorossiya. Finally, after a brief period of independence following World War I in 1917, Ukraine declared itself an independent state and took on its current name.

– Historical Overview of Ukraine’s Name Changes

A turbulent past has seen many shifts in the moniker of the land now known as Ukraine. Initially referred to in 1097 as ‘Ucraina’ in the Primary Chronicle, a document compiled by monk Nestor, this name was derived from the Old Slavic word ‘okraina’, connoting a borderland or frontier region. This region was situated between Poland and Russia and experienced a Mongol invasion 1240, which saw it renamed ‘Yedisan’ meaning seven districts. This held until 1764 when Catherine II of Russia annexed it and changed its name to ‘Malorossiya’, or Little Russia. 1918 heralded the dissolution of the Russian Empire and with it Ukraine declared independence, taking on the name ‘Ukrayina’. 1991 saw another break away from Soviet rule and with it an adoption of its current title; Ukraine. Despite all these changes one thing remains constant – a commitment to their identity as Ukrainians by its people.

– The Development of Ukraine’s National Identity Through History

For centuries, the lands now known as Ukraine have been home to a distinct culture and language that has been shaped by foreign rule, revolutions, and war. From the early Slavic tribes in the 9th century to modern-day Ukraine, this region has developed a unique identity that is rooted in its geography, culture, and politics.

The 9th century saw the emergence of Christianity which quickly became an integral part of Ukrainian identity. In 1240, the Mongols invaded bringing their own culture and religion which blended with existing Ukrainian customs to form a hybridized version of both. This period also marked the rise of Cossack leaders who fought for independence from foreign rule and sought to establish an autonomous Ukrainian state. The Cossacks were instrumental in fostering national pride among Ukrainians which helped shape their national identity.

In 1793, Ukraine was annexed by Russia while 1867 saw it become part of Austria-Hungary. During this period, Ukrainians developed a strong sense of patriotism towards their homeland further strengthening their national identity. In 1918, Ukraine declared independence from Russia only to be taken over by Soviet forces four years later.

Under Soviet rule, Ukrainians were subjected to Russification policies which sought to erase any remnants of Ukrainian culture or national identity. Despite these efforts however, Ukrainians still managed to maintain their unique language and customs despite attempts at suppression from Moscow. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine regained its independence and began reclaiming its cultural heritage which had been suppressed for so many years under Soviet rule.

Today, Ukraine stands as an independent nation-state with its own distinct national identity forged through centuries of struggle against foreign powers as well as its unique language and culture which have endured despite attempts at suppression throughout history. With newfound freedom comes new opportunities for growth and development that will no doubt help shape Ukraine’s national identity for generations to come.

– How Different Empires Influenced the Name of Ukraine

ve helped shape it over the centuries. From the Mongol Empire to Austria-Hungary, Ukraine has experienced a wide range of rulers that have left their mark on the country’s name and culture. As Ukraine continues to evolve and grow, its name will continue to be an important part of its identity.

– Exploring the Ancient Roots of Ukraine’s Name

For centuries, a land of shifting borders and powerful empires has borne the name Ukraine. Its ancient origins are steeped in mystery, and its evolution over time is an intriguing story. In this article, we will delve into the past to explore the many names that have been used to refer to this nation throughout history.

As far back as 945 AD, Ukraine was known as “Ukraina” by Byzantine Greeks—a term derived from the Old Slavic word “ukrajina,” meaning “borderland.” This is because at that time Ukraine was located on the boundary between two major powers: Kievan Rus’ and Poland-Lithuania.

Throughout its history, Ukraine has been ruled by various different empires and nations. As a result, its name changed several times in response to its changing political landscape. For instance, during Polish-Lithuanian rule (1569–1795), it was referred to as Ruthenia or White Ruthenia—the latter being a distinction made between East Slavs living in what is now Ukraine and those living further east in present-day Russia.

In 1795, when it became part of the Russian Empire, Ukraine’s name changed yet again; it was called Malorossiya (Little Russia) or Novorossiya (New Russia). These terms were employed by Tsar Alexander I to emphasize his belief that all Ukrainians were part of one unified nation—the Russian Empire—and not separate from it.

Finally, after World War I and the collapse of the Russian Empire, Ukraine regained its independence and adopted its current name—Ukraine—in 1918. This new title reflected a sense of national identity among Ukrainians and their longing for self-determination after centuries of foreign domination.

Today, Ukraine stands as an independent nation with a long history behind it—one which can be tracked through its ever-evolving name. From “Ukraina” to “Malorossiya,” each iteration speaks volumes about where this country has come from and where it is headed in the future.

– Examining the Political Significance Behind Ukraine’s Nomenclature Throughout History

A tumultuous timeline of political strife has been woven into the fabric of Ukraine’s complex history. From its earliest recorded name, Kievan Rus’, to the Mongol invasion that brought about the Hetmanate period, to Catherine II’s annexation of New Russia or Novorossiya and incorporation into Soviet Ukraine in 1922, the country has seen a myriad of changes in its nomenclature.

These different names can provide an insight into the political dynamics that have shaped Eastern Europe over time. The 10th century saw Kievan Rus’ become a loose federation of Slavic tribes living in what is now Eastern Europe, while 1240 marked the start of a new era with Mongol invaders destroying Kievan Rus’. Later, 1793 saw Russia expanding eastward and claiming much of present-day Ukraine as New Russia or Novorossiya.

After World War I, parts of Novorossiya were ceded to Romania while others were granted autonomy within Soviet Russia — later known as Soviet Ukraine — following Lenin’s New Economic Policy (NEP). This status was retained until 1991 when it declared independence after the dissolution of the USSR.

Through these transitions in power and politics, each name carries with it unique implications that have greatly impacted this region. By exploring these shifts in nomenclature we can gain understanding into how politics have developed throughout Ukraine’s turbulent past.


A convoluted saga, spanning many centuries, has been the story of a land which has seen its appellation altered time and again. First known as Rus’ in the 9th century, other titles such as Kievan Rus’ and Ruthenia were also used. In the 16th century, it became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where it was referred to as Ukraine or Ruthenia. After a period of subjugation under foreign rule, the nation eventually claimed independence in 1991 and adopted its current name.


Some questions with answers

Q1: What was the old name of Ukraine?
A1: The old name of Ukraine was the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

Q2: When did this name change?

A2: This name changed in 1991 when Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

Q3: What was the official language of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic?
A3: The official language of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic was Russian.

Q4: How long did Ukraine remain part of the USSR?

A4: Ukraine remained part of the USSR for nearly 70 years, from 1922 to 1991.

Q5: What important event happened in 1991 that caused the name change?

A5: In 1991, following a referendum, Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union, leading to a change in its official name.

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