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The national flag colors are commonly believed to represent blue skies above yellow wheat fields.
When Ukraine was divided between the Russian and Austrian empires, the image of Mother Ukraine was transformed into the image of an abused woman abandoned by her children.
This ethnonym of Rus people, Rusych (plural, Rusychi ), evolved into Rusyn , a western Ukrainian self-identification interchangeable with Ukrainian into the twentieth century.
Ruthenian , a Latinization of Rusyn , was used by the Vatican and the Austrian Empire designating Ukrainians. Ukraine, Europe's second largest country during the twentieth century, occupies 232,200 square miles (603,700 square kilometers).
From east to west, they are Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, Poltava, Zaporizhzhya, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovohrad, Kherson, Mykolaiv, Odessa, Cherkasy, Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsya, Rivne, Luts'k (Volyns'ka oblast'), Khmel'nyts'kyj, Ternopil', Lviv, Ivano-Frankivs'k, Uzhhorod (Zakarpats'ka oblast'), and Chernivtsi.
The Crimean oblast became an autonomous republic in 1991.
The surzhyk, an unstable and variable mixture of Ukrainian and Russian languages, is a by-product of Soviet Russification.