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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'.The reigns of Vladimir the Great (980–1015) and his son Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054) constitute the Golden Age of Kiev, which saw the acceptance of Orthodox Christianity from Byzantium and the creation of the first East Slavic written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda.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.It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, as well as a member of the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), along with Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

In the 10th to 11th centuries Kievan Rus' became one of the largest and most prosperous states in Europe.

In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.

The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that later became Kievan Rus.

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.

Led by Prince Alexander Nevsky, Novgorodians repelled the invading Swedes in the Battle of the Neva in 1240, as well as the Germanic crusaders in the Battle of the Ice in 1242, breaking their attempts to colonize the Northern Rus'.

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