Kievan Rus'

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Kievan Rus'[nb 1] (Old East Slavic Рѹ́сь [rusĭ], Greek: Ρωσία, Latin: Ruscia, Russia, later also Ruthenia,[1][2] Belarusian: Кіеўская Русь, Russian: Ки́евская Русь, romanised: Kievskaya Rus’, [rusʲ], Ukrainian: Ки́ївська Русь romanised: Kyivs'ka Rus’), is the name coined by Nikolai Karamzin for the Medieval state of Rus. The state existed from approximately 880 to sometime in the middle of the 13th century when it disintegrated. It is considered that the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240 greatly contributed to that effect.

Originally founded by East Slavic Tribes and Scandinavian traders (Varangians) called "Rus'" and centered in Novgorod, the state later included territories stretching south to the Black Sea, east to Volga, and west to the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. In the 9th century, Kiev, a Slavic settlement that in early 9th century was paying tribute to Khazars, but was captured by the Varangians in 864, became the capital of Rus'.[3] Rus' polity is widely considered an early predecessor of three modern East Slavic nations: Belarusians, Russians and Ukrainians.[4] Attempts to nationalize the medieval state's history are common among historians from the modern three countries.[5]

The reigns of Vladimir the Great (980–1015) and his son Yaroslav I the Wise (1019–1054) constitute the Golden Age of Kiev, which saw the acceptance of Christianity and the creation of the first East Slavic written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda (Old East Slavic for The Truth of Rus). The early leaders of Rus' were most likely a Scandinavian warrior-elite that ruled a majority of Slavic subjects.[6] Scandinavians gradually intermarried and merged with the Slavic population — the third known ruler of Rus', Sviatoslav I, Rurik's grandson, already has a Slavic name. The state's power gradually fell in 13th century and Kievan Rus' disintegrated due to the armed struggles among members of the princely family,[7] the collapse of Rus' commercial ties to Byzantium due to the decline of Constantinople,[8] the drying up of trade routes and the subsequent Mongol invasion of Rus'.

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