Can Russian preposition "на" be used with any other country name besides Ukraine ("Украина")? Or is it like only in case with Ukraine it is correct to say "на" instead of "в" (that is "на Украине" instead of "в Украине")?

2 Answers 2


На Руси.

It's a legal preposition for locations, but rarely used for countries, rather for some toponyms, e.g. на Волге, because it's also на реке - at river. Cuba and Taiwan are islands and "on" island is to be на острове. Ukraine only seems to be a rare case, but it isn't.. due the old meaning of country's name. It was derived from term оукраина, that existed in medieval times. Basically it is something close to a fief. In Imperial time name of Ukraine was Малороссия, but it was generally called украина without specified name (a common term at that time, e.g. Ростовская украина), which slowly took over as a name of province and was capitalized. By the way, the theory that name means окраина (province, border, distant area) is considered methodologically incorrect. Regardless, both locations would require preposition на.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – shabunc
    May 2, 2017 at 14:18

The other ones that I know of the top of my head are Cuba and Taiwan.

Both of those are islands, so there could be a relationship there, since "на" can mean "on" such expressions might be implied to mean "on (island of) Cuba" but that's a speculation on my part

  • 1
    Also Jamaica; Samoa, Fiji, and other states on the Pacific islands. And surely на Руси.
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:00
  • 1
    Yeah, I didn't think of "на Руси" it is an older expression, but certainly not invalid
    – Maxim
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:02
  • 1
    @brilliant Русь was an old name referring to the lands that now would be Russia, Belarus and Ukraine and from which Russia takes its name, so it definitely was a country
    – Maxim
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:25
  • 1
    @brilliant - Rus' (Русь), later called Kievan Rus' (Киевская Русь) was a major medieval country.
    – Yellow Sky
    Apr 27, 2017 at 15:28
  • 1
    @shabunc If you do a quick Google search you'll see that it is being used all the time. Ex.: На выборах на Тайване победу одержала Демократическая прогрессивная партия etc.
    – Maxim
    Apr 27, 2017 at 16:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.