Deep roots in history: The Russia–Ukraine clash

Russia, which was founded by the Eastern Slavs, and Ukraine, which was home to the Khazars, always struggled to dominate each other culturally and politically - even after Ivan III united Russian lands

In the age of the Khazars, a Turkic nation, Slavs used to live alongside Vikings in the region north of the Khazar Khaganate. Viking-Slavic people named Varangians, in Byzantine sources, over time reached the interiors of present-day Russia and the shores of the Black Sea. After their attack on Istanbul in 860, Byzantine sources used the name "Rus" for the first time to refer to Varangians. In the 9th century, three Varangian brothers Rurik, Sineus and Truvor reached the shores of Lake Ladoga. After settling in Novgorod, following the deaths of his brothers, Rurik became the ruler of the Rus and gave his name to the dynasty that ruled Russia until the 17th century.

Slavs spread to the south during the reign of Grand Prince Oleg of Novgorod. Kiev, which was at the hands of the Khazars, was conquered and became the new capital of the Rus state. Prince Oleg afterwards established his control over other Slavic people in the region. Igor's brother was at the time ruling Novgorod, which was under Kiev but autonomous. Kievan Slavs experienced their golden age during the reign of Vladimir the Great. The Kievan Princedom, once the most important state of Rus, saw its economic power reduced after the decline of its trading partner in the Black Sea, Byzantium.

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