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An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe.
There are two Russian words which are commonly translated into English as "Russians".
Primarily they were Vikings of Scandinavian origin, who ventured along the waterways extending from the eastern Baltic to the Black and Caspian Seas.
which had been previously paying tribute to the Khazars, founding Kievan Rus'.
Translations into other languages often do not distinguish these two groups.
In classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia.
Oleg, Rurik's son Igor and Igor's son Sviatoslav subsequently subdued all local East Slavic tribes to Kievan rule, destroyed the Khazar khaganate and launched several military expeditions to Byzantium and Persia.
In the 10th to 11th centuries Kievan Rus' became one of the largest and most prosperous states in Europe.
While still under the domain of the Mongol-Tatars and with their connivance, Moscow began to assert its influence in the Central Rus' in the early 14th century, gradually becoming the leading force in the process of the Rus' lands' reunification and expansion of Russia.It shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. The Grand Duchy of Moscow gradually reunified the surrounding Russian principalities, achieved independence from the Golden Horde, and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'.By the 18th century, the nation had greatly expanded through conquest, annexation, and exploration to become the Russian Empire, which was the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east.Beginning in the 8th century BC, Ancient Greek traders brought their civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria.Ancient Greek explorers, most notably Pytheas, even went as far as modern day Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea.
The Novgorod together with Pskov retained some degree of autonomy during the time of the Mongol yoke and were largely spared the atrocities that affected the rest of the country.