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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.Romans settled on the western part of the Caspian Sea, where their empire stretched towards the east.In the 3rd to 4th centuries AD a semi-legendary Gothic kingdom of Oium existed in Southern Russia until it was overrun by Huns.An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia, mostly applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe.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.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.
Ancient Greek explorers, most notably Pytheas, even went as far as modern day Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea.
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 sole successor state of the Soviet Union.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower.
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, and came to dominate the cultural and political legacy of Kievan Rus'.
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.