Ask McFartnuggets: “Is it ‘Ukraine’ or ‘THE Ukraine’?”

"Is it Ukraine or THE Ukraine?
Dear McFartnuggets: 
With the country “Ukraine” in the news a lot most people are calling it just “Ukraine”, but I remember growing up people only ever called it “The Ukraine.” Which is the proper way to say it? -- Nicole from Newburgh, New York

Dear Nicole:
People from the country of Ukraine get a little offended when you call it “The Ukraine” because they believe that puts it in a lower level compared to Russia. Calling it “The Ukraine” is said to be like calling it a part of Russia. One Ukrainian person told me it’s like saying “The America.” Personally I think it’s more like saying “The United States of America.” I don’t really see the problem with calling it The Ukraine, but then again I’m not from there so I don’t get to speak on that. All I’ll say is when you watch NFL games with the little player introduction videos they always say “Warren Sapp, THE University of Miami” or “Deion Sanders, THE Florida State University.” So I guess when it comes to football colleges, calling it THE University of Ohio is a sign of superiority, but when it comes to countries like Ukraine it’s not. I don’t really understand that and I probably never will. It’s best to just do what Ukrainians want. If they don’t want you to say The Ukraine, just say Ukraine. This does make me wonder if a Ukrainian football player would want to call his school THE University of Florida. If he does that and gets offended when people say THE Ukraine then that would be stupid. Fortunately we don’t see too many Ukrainian football players so that’s never come up before.

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