In Ukraine, there is no additional or middle name placed between first name and family name. Instead, there is a patronymic name. Full Ukrainian name consist of three components: first name, given to a child by parents; patronymic, based on father’s name; and surname, that indicates child’s belonging to a certain family. For example: Galyna Petrivna Naidenko. First name Galyna, chosen by parents; Petrivna indicates that Galyna is a daughter of Peter (Petro in Ukrainian); and Naidenko is a family name.
Given name has three main historical sources: Orthodox Church, Catholic Church, and pre-Christian Slavic origin lexicons. Many names have Greek and Latin origin. For example: Nikolay/Mykola, equivalent to Nicholas, of Greek origin; Tatyana/Tetiana, of Latin origin. Almost all given names have diminutive forms. That’s why quite often when foreigners come to Ukraine they don’t understand why one person is called different names sometimes. For example: Galyna (Galya, Gala), Oleksandr (Sasha).
Patronymic names have suffixes. Woman’s patronymic name always ends with -ivna; for example: Petrivna, Oleksiyivna; and man’s name always ends with –ovych, sometimes -ich; for example: Andriyovych, Petrovych, Illich.
Ukrainian family names can be easily recognized by their endings. The most common suffix is -enko; for example, Naidenko, Shevchenko. The other commonly used suffixes in surnames are -ko (Boiko), –chuk (Kovalchuk), -yuk, -uk, -yak, -ak (Pivnyak, Pavlyuk). There are other suffixes used in Ukrainian family names, but the ones above are the most common.