Ukrainian svidomy are obsessed with demanding English language speakers say “Kyiv not Kiev” and “Ukraine, not the Ukraine”. They even demand that Russians say “в Украине”, instead of “на Украине”. Amusingly, when even Khodorkovsky of all people – the exiled anti-Putin oligarch who personally traveled and spoke before the crowd at the Euromaidan – suggested that they adopt Russian as their state language before lecturing Russians on their own language, they responded with a collective fit along “we hope Putler locks you up again” lines.
Belorussian Belarusian zmagar equivalent is Belarus, not Belorussia (Беларусь/Белоруссия). Even though the spelling Belarus (Беларусь) dates from the 1920s, i.e. is a Soviet creation, whereas Belorussia (Белоруссия; orig. Бѣлоруссія) appeared in the 1770s and the Polonic Bel orus (Белорось, orig. Бѣлорусь) entered the Russian lexicon in 1795. Indeed, “Soviet Belorus” was the original name of the republic’s biggest newspaper “Soviet Belorussia“, which became “Belarus Today” after independence. Matt Forney predicts that before too long, the zmagars will start insisting that Anglophones refer to Minsk as Miensk.
I suppose this is inevitable when one has a fragile sense of identity and relatively scant achievements to look back on. You also spend an inordinate amount of time highlighting aspects of your folklore. The Ukrainian vyshyvanka is basically the same thing as the Russian kosovorotka, but Russian politicians (German, Chinese, American, etc.) don’t parade in such garb to signal their patriotism. What’s the point when you have Tchaikovsky and rockets, LOL.