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The most powerful state to eventually arise after the destruction of Kievan Rus' was the Grand Duchy of Moscow ("Muscovy" in the Western chronicles), initially a part of Vladimir-Suzdal.

While still under the domain of the Mongol-Tatars and with their connivance, Moscow began to assert its influence in the Central Rus' in the early 14th century, gradually becoming the leading force in the process of the Rus' lands' reunification and expansion of Russia.

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.

Translations into other languages often do not distinguish these two groups.

In classical antiquity, the Pontic Steppe was known as Scythia.

Russia's capital Moscow is one of the largest cities in the world; other major urban centers include Saint Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg and Nizhny Novgorod.

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.

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

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.

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