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Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the Bosporan Kingdom, a Hellenistic polity which succeeded the Greek colonies, The East Slavs gradually settled Western Russia in two waves: one moving from Kiev toward present-day Suzdal and Murom and another from Polotsk toward Novgorod and Rostov.From the 7th century onwards, the East Slavs constituted the bulk of the population in Western Russia The establishment of the first East Slavic states in the 9th century coincided with the arrival of Varangians, the traders, warriors and settlers from the Baltic Sea region.

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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.

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 dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania; the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality and a successor of the Soviet Union.

Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower.

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.

The name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated mostly by the East Slavs.

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.

From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (both with Kaliningrad Oblast), Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and North Korea. The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD.

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.

Galicia-Volhynia was eventually assimilated by the Kingdom of Poland, while the Mongol-dominated Vladimir-Suzdal and Novgorod Republic, two regions on the periphery of Kiev, established the basis for the modern Russian nation.

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.

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