In the 9th century appeared a state called Kyivan Rus. The medieval monarchy covered the lands from the Black Sea to the Gulf of Finland and included essential territories of modern Ukraine, Belarus and north-west Russia. The State successfully developed and existed until Tatar-Mongol yoke fell upon it in 1240. Many cities, including Kyiv, were captured and destroyed by wild nomads.
Only Galicia-Volyn principality managed to stay more or less independent and even got in 1303 own Martopolis. And due to the fact that Rus metropolis remained in Kyiv, the chroniclers for clarity in annals called this territory Malaya Rus. Important to note that this expression was taken from Greeks and meant original , older, central.
From here came the name Mala Russia, which Muscovites disparagingly call modern Ukraine. Although the lands of modern Russia until the 17th century were known as Muscovya, and then simply “borrowed” from original (Mala) Rus by initiative of Peter the I.
But where and when did the name Ukraine come from?
The word “Ukraine” comes from the Old Slavonic “krai”, which means land or a territory. At first, the word “ukraine” was used not a proper noun, it had general definition for some principality or state. In the annals historicals find such
wordings as Polish, Lithuanian, Khan and Cossack ukraine (land)
But it was the Cossacks who began to use the word Ukraine to designate the proper name of their territory. Later, the name Ukraine began to be marked on European maps. But the biggest role in the promotion of this name was played by folk songs and stories. During the 17th century people were actively using it , they made a choice and folk art rooted it.
On the other hand the name Rus is a very broad concept, which the Muscovite kingdom artificially appropriated in the 17th century .