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Kiev's dominance waned, to the benefit of Vladimir-Suzdal in the north-east, Novgorod Republic in the north-west and Galicia-Volhynia in the south-west.
Ultimately Kievan Rus' disintegrated, with the final blow being the Mongol invasion of 1237–40 The invading Mongol elite, together with their conquered Turkic subjects (Cumans, Kipchaks, Bulgars), became known as Tatars, forming the state of the Golden Horde, which pillaged the Russian principalities; the Mongols ruled the Cuman-Kipchak confederation and Volga Bulgaria (modern-day southern and central expanses of Russia) for over two centuries.
The name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated mostly by the East Slavs.
In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
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.
Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state.
There are two Russian words which are commonly translated into English as "Russians".
Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms.
In the 11th and 12th centuries, constant incursions by nomadic Turkic tribes, such as the Kipchaks and the Pechenegs, caused a massive migration of Slavic populations to the safer, heavily forested regions of the north, particularly to the area known as Zalesye.
The age of feudalism and decentralization was marked by constant in-fighting between members of the Rurik Dynasty that ruled Kievan Rus' collectively.
In classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia.
Beginning in the 8th century BC, Ancient Greek traders brought their civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria.