The volume of the «Picturesque Russia» (1882) devoted to the Belorussian and Lithuanian lands and its authors (A. Kirkor, P. Semenov, S. Maksimov) were subjected to sharp criticism of M. Koyalovich who incriminated to the edition a pro-Polish trend. N. Kostomarov and A. Pypin publically defended the «Picturesque Russia». This discussion was centered on the issues of peripheral regions’ ethnocultural identity and the role of the Russian core of the empire.
The article explores ethnic and geographical terminology used in the Russian Empire at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for defining the lands and population which later found themselves in the orbit of the Ukrainian statehood. The focal point of the article are the terms of Little Russia, Ukraine, New Russia, Little Russians, Ukrainians, their correlation, spatial projections, etymology, administrative equivalents and axiological connotations.