If "The Ukraine" was some area during the time of the USSR then they should have chosen a new name, at least for English speakers, when the country separated. It makes Ukraine sound like plane or plain and both of those are words with which you use "the."
I am embarrassed for you. Sure, after gaining independence following centuries of struggle against foreign domination they should have renamed their country so it wouldn't confuse English speakers. After all, the world revolves around us, right? Oh, and perhaps we should tell other countries they ought to change their name too – The Uganda, The Spain, The Mexico, The Ecuador, The Italy...
I said I wasn't going to beat this horse any more, but some of these comments are too ignorant.
I think that you're unaware that many countries go by a different name in their native tongue than they area called in English. For example:
Spain, in Spanish, is España
Italy, in Italian, is Italia
Germany, in German, is Deutschland
Finland, in Finnish, is Suomi
Japan, in Japanese, is 日本
China, is either 中國 or 中国
And so on.
So yes, the names of countries in English is often different to the native name in the native tongue.
Now, what was it that you were saying about the country names used by folks that speak English?