Ukrainians (ukr. ukraintsі) are an East Slavic people living mainly in Ukraine, as well as in large diasporas in Russia, the USA, Canada and other countries.
Among the Slavic peoples, it is the third largest after Russians and Poles. Ukrainians also include Polissya ethnographic groups (Poleschuks) and a number of Western Ukrainian ethnographic groups (Boikos, Hutsuls, Ukrainian Lemkos). Ukrainians are also called citizens of Ukraine.
In the medieval documents of Kievan Rus, the ethnonym "Rus" was used as an ethnonym for the Eastern Slavs - the ancestors of Ukrainians, Russians and Belarusians, which, in turn, according to one of the hypotheses, is of Varangian origin; for a single representative of an ethnic group - "Rusyns". For the first time this term is found in the Tale of Bygone Years in the section of agreements between Oleg and the Greeks in 911 (mentioned 7 times) and Igor in 945 (mentioned 6 times). In the list "Words about Igor's Campaign" (published in 1800) there is also a poetic ethnonym "Rusichi (Russi)".
The ethnonym "Rusyn" is found later, in the 13th-18th centuries, in Lithuanian, Polish and Moscow documents as a name for the inhabitants of the East Slavic lands. The plural form "Rusyns" instead of the traditional form "Rus" was first noted in 1501 in the charter of the Belz Voivodeship (Volyn). A common name for the inhabitants of Russia, which had signs of an ethnonym, in its medieval sources is “Russian people”, “Russian people”. In the Middle Ages, especially actively in the 16th-17th centuries, on the territory of the Zaporizhzhya Sich and the Hetmanate, the designation "Russian", "Ruska" was applied to the language, faith, and also the nationality of the people living in these territories.
The latest use of the ethnonym "Rusyns" in the sources of the Hetmanate is found in 1728 in the drama "God's Grace", staged in Kyiv on the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Khmelnychyna and in honor of Daniel the Apostle's assumption of the hetman's office. Back in the 1850s, the ethnonym "Rusyns" was used here by kobzars. In a thought written down from the kobzar Andrey Shut from the Chernihiv region, it says: “What is hetman Khmelnitsky, Rusyn, in us.” Thus, the ethnonym "Rusyns" was used in Eastern Ukraine among the common people.