Originally Posted by tuktuk
However, please do stop saying *the* Ukraine. It has been Ukraine (without *the*) for the last 16 years after Ukraine gained independence in 1991. Before 1991, Ukraine was part of the Russian/Soviet empire, and it had "the" in front of it because Ukraine was considered just a name of an area of geography.
You don't say the France, the Germany. Only the names of countries that consist of states or autonomous areas carry "the" in their names: the Russian Federation (but Russia), the United States (but Alabama, etc.), the United Kingdom (but England, Scotland, Wales).