starting June 8, 2012 in the Ukraine and Poland
Indulge me on a pet peeve: it is not "the" Ukraine. It is simply Ukraine, just like any other country.
Rather than being Soviet dogma this is more likely caused by it being correct to say 'starting June 8, 2012 in the U.K.' for the United Kingdom rather than 'starting June 8, 2012 in U.K.' .
UK => Ukraine is rather homophonic so it's an easy slip to make.
Sorry, but that's not correct. The United Kingdom is a collection of states. And that's really the point. Ukraine is separate country, not part of the Russian federation or the old Soviet Union.
No one says "The Ireland" and if they did the Irish would probably be insulted. It's a bit comparable to the way Canadians feel when people refer to only those from the United States as "Americans." Difference is that tens of thousands of Canadians didn't perish in a deliberate famine created in order to exert control over the country.
It's a common slip here in the west and most people wrongly think they are being correct by referring to Ukraine with a "the."
Just a personal goal of mine to correct this whenever I see it. It's caused by some heightened sensitivity due to having made several visits to Ukraine in the 1990s. (And having seen the damage done to the people by 70 years of socialist oppression)
As a side note, Canada has one of the largest Ukrainian diaspora populations, so it's not a bad idea for Canon Rumors Guy to be aware of this little issue.
Not going to hijack the thread. Point made. I promise not to keep flogging this dead horse.