Fast Facts About Ukraine

By Grace Taylor
St. Andrews Church and Andriyivskyy Descent, in winter, Kyiv, Ukraine. (Kirill Rudenko/Getty Images)

What's In A Name?

There's a lot of history behind the name of Ukraine, as it's believed to be an old Slavic term for "borderland." It does indeed have many borders, sharing them with Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Belarus, and of course, Russia. Only the southern border of Ukraine, which is open to the Black Sea, is not shared with another country. During its time in the Soviet Union, the country was often referred to as "the Ukraine" because it was viewed by Russia as one part of a greater whole, but since 1991, such usage has sometimes been considered insulting.