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Rossiyane and Russkie
There are two words in Russian that mean "Russians":
- Rossiyane—citizens of the Russian Federation and the RSFSR before that. An unpopular label in Russia, mostly used in government propaganda and thought by most as an example of Political Correctness Gone Mad.
- Russkie—ethnic Russians. Were called "Great Russians" (Velikorossy) before 1917 (not used today, except for historical purposes).
- Old generalized distinctive terms are: Great Russia (now just "Russia"), Small Russia ("Malorossia", now "Ukraine"), White Russia (verbatim: "Belorussia"), and New Russia ("Novorossia", now Southern Russia and some parts of eastern and south Ukraine). Derivative terms refers to inhabitants of those territories. E.g. even if semi-nomadic Don Cossacks ethnically were not exactly the same as their neighbours, they still lived in "Small Russia" (Nikolai Gogol who lived there used this common term when it was relevant). This is why the tsar was referred to as "Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias".
These two designations obviously don't overlap 100%. When it becomes necessary to distinguish between the two, the Russian words will be used.