Kievan Rus'

An approximate ethno-linguistic map of Kievan Rus' in the 9th century: Five Volga Finnic groups of the Merya, Mari, Muromians, Meshchera and Mordvins are shown as surrounded by the Slavs to the west; the three Finnic groups of the Veps, Ests and Chuds, and Indo-European Balts to the northwest; the Permians to the northeast the (Turkic) Bulghars and Khazars to the southeast and south.
A map of later Kievan Rus' (after the death of Yaroslav I in 1054)
The Invitation of the Varangians by Viktor Vasnetsov: Rurik and his brothers Sineus and Truvor arrive at the lands of the Ilmen Slavs.
Rus', 1015–1113
East-Slavic tribes and peoples, 8th–9th centuries
The Volga trade route (red), the "route from the Varangians to the Greeks" (purple) and other trade routes of the 8th–11th centuries (orange)
Princess Olga's avenge to the Drevlians, Radziwiłł Chronicle
Madrid Skylitzes, meeting between John Tzimiskes and Sviatoslav
Rogneda of Polotsk, Vladimir I of Kiev and Izyaslav of Polotsk
Baptism of Saint Prince Vladimir, by Viktor Vasnetsov, in the St Volodymyr's Cathedral
Ivan Eggink's painting represents Vladimir listening to the Orthodox priests, while the papal envoy stands aside in discontent.
The Golden Gate, Kyiv
The principalities of the later Kievan Rus (after the death of Yaroslav I in 1054)
The Nativity, a Kievan (possibly Galician) illumination from the Gertrude Psalter
Map of 1139 by Joachim Lelewel (1865)
Lilac borders: Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, one of the successor states of Kievan Rus'
Administering justice in Kievan Rus, by Ivan Bilibin
Ship burial of a Rus' chieftain as described by the Arab traveler Ahmad ibn Fadlan, who visited north-eastern Europe in the 10th century. Henryk Siemiradzki (1883)
The field of Igor Svyatoslavich's battle with the Polovtsy, by Viktor Vasnetsov
The sacking of Suzdal by Batu Khan
Model of the original Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev; used on modern 2 hryvni of Ukraine
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Polotsk (rebuilt in the mid-18th century after destruction by Russian army)
Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, mid-11th century
Dormition Cathedral, Vladimir, 1160
Map of 8th- to 9th-century Rus' by Leonard Chodzko (1861)
Map of 9th-century Rus' by Antoine Philippe Houze (1844)
Map of 9th-century Rus' by F. S. Weller (1893)
Map of Rus' in Europe in 1000 (1911)
Map of Rus' in 1097 (1911)
Fragment of the 1154 Tabula Rogeriana by Muhammad al-Idrisi

State in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century.

- Kievan Rus'

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Vladimir the Great

Vladimir's effigy on one of his coins. He is crowned in the Byzantine style, holding a cross-mounted staff in one hand and a Khazar-inspired trident in the other.
The Baptism of Saint Prince Vladimir, by Viktor Vasnetsov (1890)
The Pontic steppes, c. 1015
Vladimir and Rogneda (1770)
Volodymyr the Great portrait on obverse of ₴1 bill, circa 2006
Vladimir the Great on the Millennium of Russia monument in Novgorod
Monument to Vladimir the Great and the monk Fyodor at Pushkin Park in Vladimir, Russia
Monument to Volodymyr the Great in Kyiv
Statue in London: "St Volodymyr – Ruler of Ukraine, 980–1015, erected by Ukrainians in Great Britain in 1988 to celebrate the establishment of Christianity in Ukraine by St. Volodymir in 988"
St Vladimir the Great Monument in Belgorod, Russia

Vladimir I Sviatoslavich (, Volodiměrъ Svętoslavičь; c. 958 – 15 July 1015), also known as Vladimir the Great, was Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015.


Varangian chieftain of the Rus' who in the year 862 was invited to reign in Novgorod.

Rurik on the monument "Millennium of Russia" in Veliky Novgorod.
Image of Rurik in the "Tsar's titularnik"

He is considered to be the founder of the Rurikid dynasty, which ruled Ladoga, Novgorod and ultimately the Kievan Rus' and its successor states, including the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, the Principality of Tver, the Grand Duchy of Vladimir, the Grand Duchy of Moscow, the Novgorod Republic and the Tsardom of Russia, until the 17th century.

Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus'

The Mongol invasion of Europe, 1236–1242
The sacking of Suzdal by Batu Khan in February 1238; miniature from the 16th-century chronicle.
Prince Michael of Chernigov was passed between fires in accordance with ancient Turco-Mongol tradition. Batu Khan ordered him to prostrate himself before the tablets of Genghis Khan. The Mongols stabbed him to death for his refusal to do obeisance to Genghis Khan's shrine.
The maximum extent and principalities of Kievan Rus', 1220–1240. These principalities included Vladimir-Suzdal, Smolensk, Chernigov and Ryazan, the last annexed by the Duchy of Moscow in 1521.

The Mongol Empire invaded and conquered Kievan Rus' in the 13th century, destroying numerous southern cities, including the biggest ones Kiev (50,000 inhabitants) and Chernihiv (30,000 inhabitants), with the only major cities escaping destruction being Novgorod and Pskov, located in the North.

Christianization of Kievan Rus'

The Christianization of Kievan Rus' took place in several stages.

The Baptism of Kievans, a painting by Klavdiy Lebedev
Saints Cyril and Methodius on the Millennium of Russia monument in Veliky Novgorod
Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev.
Baptism of St. Olga
The baptism of St. Princess Olga in Constantinople, a miniature from the Radzivill Chronicle
Ivan Eggink's painting represents Vladimir listening to the Orthodox priests, while the papal envoy stands aside in discontent
The Baptism of Vladimir, a fresco by Viktor Vasnetsov
St. Vladimir's Cathedral in Chersonesus, with the statue of Saint Andrew in the foreground
The Orekhovo-Borisovo Cathedral was built in the 21st century to celebrate the millennium of the Baptism of Rus'
The Ostromir Gospels, written in the Church Slavonic, one of the first dated East Slavic books.

Following the Primary Chronicle, the definitive Christianization of Kievan Rus' dates from the year 988 (the year is disputed ), when Vladimir the Great was baptized in Chersonesus and proceeded to baptize his family and people in Kiev.


The Khazars were a semi-nomadic Turkic people that in the late 6th-century AD established a major commercial empire covering the southeastern section of modern European Russia, southern Ukraine, Crimea, and Kazakhstan.

Khazar Khaganate, 650–850
Khazar Khaganate and surrounding states, c. 820 (area of direct Khazar control in dark blue, sphere of influence in purple).
Trade routes of the Black Sea region, 8th–11th centuries
Site of the Khazar fortress at Sarkel (aerial photo from excavations conducted by Mikhail Artamonov in the 1950s).
Sviatoslav I of Kiev (in boat), destroyer of the Khazar Khaganate.
The Pontic steppes, c. 1015 (areas in blue possibly still under Khazar control).
Seal discovered in excavations at Khazar sites. However, rather than having been made by Jews, these appear to be shamanistic sun discs.
The Khazar "Moses coin" found in the Spillings Hoard and dated c. 800. It is inscribed with "Moses is the messenger of God" instead of the usual Muslim text "Muhammad is the messenger of God".
The 10th century Kievian Letter has Old Turkic (Orkhon) inscription word-phrase OKHQURÜM, "I read (this or it)".

Astride a major artery of commerce between Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, Khazaria became one of the foremost trading empires of the early medieval world, commanding the western marches of the Silk Road and playing a key commercial role as a crossroad between China, the Middle East and Kievan Rus'.


Capital and most populous city of Ukraine.

Detail of Sebastian Münster's [[:File:Polonia Et Ungaria XX Nova Tabula.jpg|Map of Poland and Hungary]], 1552, showing Kyiv labelled "Kyouia epatus" (Kyovia episcopatus)
A fragment of the New Universal Atlas by John Cary, London, 1808. The city was situated on the borderline between the former Polish (left) and Russian (right) zones of influence, with the name being presented as Kiev.
Legendary Kyi, Shchek, Khoryv and Lybid in the Radziwiłł Chronicle
Hungarians at Kyiv in 830 during the times of the Rus' Khaganate
The Baptism of Kyivans, a painting by Klavdiy Lebedev
The 1686 city map of Kyiv ("Kiovia")
Cossack Bohdan Khmelnytsky entering Kyiv after the Khmelnytsky Uprising against Polish domination. Painting by Mykola Ivasiuk.
Kyiv in the late 19th century
Kyiv's council chambers in 1930
Ruins of Kyiv during World War II
The Ukrainian national flag was raised outside Kyiv's City Hall for the first time on 24 July 1990.
A Copernicus Programme Sentinel-2 image of Kyiv and the Dnieper
A view of the left bank neighbourhoods of Kyiv
The Berezniaky neighbourhood in Dnipro Raion
The Kyiv National Opera House
The Kyiv Academic Puppet Theatre
A public concert held on Maidan Nezalezhnosti during Kyiv's 2005 Eurovision Song Contest
Lilacs in the National Botanical Garden, with the Vydubychi Monastery, Darnitskiy Rail Bridge and left-bank Kyiv visible in the background
The National Historical Museum of Ukraine
The annual 5.5 km "Run under the Chestnuts" is a popular public sporting event in Kyiv, with hundreds taking part every year.
The TsUM department store
The An-124, the largest aircraft ever mass-produced, designed by Antonov in Kyiv
The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences is based in Kyiv.
National Taras Shevchenko University
Trolleybus ElektroLAZ-301 at Sofia Square, passing by the statue of Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Zoloti Vorota Metro Station Central Hall.
Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel.
Igor Sikorsky on Time magazine cover, 1953.
Pianist Vladimir Horowitz was born in Kyiv.
Milla Jovovich
Golden Gate
Holy Dormition Cathedral
St. Sophia Cathedral
St. Volodymyr's Cathedral
St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery
Intercession Convent
St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Cathedral
Saint Andrew's Church
Mariinskyi Palace
National Bank of Ukraine
"House with Chimaeras"
Brodsky Choral Synagogue - Moorish Revival architecture

Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of Kievan Rus', the first East Slavic state.

Sviatoslav I

Grand Prince of Kiev famous for his persistent campaigns in the east and south, which precipitated the collapse of two great powers of Eastern Europe, Khazaria and the First Bulgarian Empire.

Sviatoslav I by Eugene Lanceray (1886)
Olga of Kiev, who served as regent during her son's youth
Illustration of Sviatoslav wearing a vyshyvanka, by Fedor Solntsev
Sviatoslav's mother, Olga, with her escort in Constantinople, a miniature from the late 11th century chronicle of John Skylitzes.
Sviatoslav I in the Tsarsky Titulyarnik, 1672
The Kievan Rus' at the beginning of Sviatoslav's reign (in red), showing his sphere of influence to 972 (in orange)
Sviatoslav's Council of War by Boris Chorikov
Sviatoslav invading Bulgaria, Manasses Chronicle
Pursuit of Sviatoslav's warriors by the Byzantine army, a miniature from 11th century chronicles of John Skylitzes.
Madrid Skylitzes, meeting between John Tzimiskes and Sviatoslav.
Siege of Durostorum in Manasses Chronicle
The Death of Sviatoslav by Boris Chorikov
Ivan Akimov. Sviatoslav's Return from the Danube to His Family in Kiev (1773)
Monument to Sviatoslav I in Kiev, Ukraine. The authors are Boris Krylov and Oles Sydoruk.

His decade-long reign over the Kievan Rus' was marked by rapid expansion into the Volga River valley, the Pontic steppe, and the Balkans.

Veliky Novgorod

Largest city and administrative center of Novgorod Oblast, Russia.

Novgorod Kremlin
Cathedral of St. Sophia, a symbol of the city and the main cathedral of the Novgorod Republic
Monastery of the Tithes is one of eight ancient monasteries of the old Russian state Novgorodian Rus'
12th-century Novgorod icon called The Angel with Golden Hair
The 16th century Vision of Tarasius icon depicts Novgorod with the Sofia side to the left and the Commercial side to the right. The inhabitants of the city are shown doing their day-to-day work while being guarded by the angels
City plan of Novgorod in 1862
Kremlin square on postcard of the early XX century
The Millennium of Russia monument (1862), with Saint Sophia Cathedral in the background. The upper row of figures is cast in the round and the lower one is in relief.
St. Nicholas Cathedral, built by Mstislav I near his palace at Yaroslav's Court, Novgorod, contains 12th-century frescoes depicting his illustrious family
Novgorod main railway station, built in 1953
Veliky Novgorod trolleybus map (2021)
Bronze monument to the Millennium of Russia (1862)
Walls of the Novgorod Kremlin
War Memorial
View of the Yaroslav's Court
Government Building
trolleybus Skoda-VMZ-14Tr
Trolleybuses ZiU-9
Bus LiAZ-5256

First mention of this Norse etymology to the name of the city of Novgorod (and that of other cities within the territory of the then Kievan Rus') occurs in the 10th-century policy manual De Administrando Imperio by Byzantine emperor Constantine VII.

Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia

Medieval state and vassal of the Golden Horde in the Eastern European regions of Galicia and Volhynia that existed from 1199 to 1349.

Map of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia in the 13th/14th century.
Leopol is a center of "Russia" near Podolia on the 1554 map of Sebastian Münster
Map of the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia in the 13th/14th century.
King's seal of Yuri I of Halych (reign: 1301–1308) "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Regis Rusie" (left), "S[igillum] Domini Georgi Ducis Ladimerie" (right).
Modern interpretation of the King seal of Yuri I of Halych
"Monєta Rvssiє" coined in 1382 based on groschen
Coins of Dux Wladislaus
Saint Pantaleon Church, Shevchenkove, Halych Raion, 1194
Historical map of Kievan Rus', 1220–1240
Europe in 1570, "Russia" is shown around cities of Premislia (Przemyśl), Leopolis (Lviv), and Belz
The Louis's realm at the end of 14th century
Volhynia coat of arms
Halych coat of arms
Peremyshl coat of arms
Belz coat of arms
Prinz Władysław II Opolczyk Governor of Galicia 1372–1378
Map of Pokuttia in 1648 east of Ruthenia

Along with Novgorod and Vladimir-Suzdal, it was one of the three most important powers to emerge from the collapse of Kievan Rus'.

Oleg of Novgorod

Rurikid prince who ruled all or part of the Rus' people during the late 9th and early 10th centuries.

Oleg of Novgorod by Viktor Vasnetsov
Fyodor Bruni. Oleg Has His Shield Fixed to the Gates of Constantinople.
Viktor Vasnetsov. Oleg being mourned by his warriors (1899).
The reputed burial mound for Oleg of Novgorod; Volkhov River near Staraya Ladoga.
Prince Oleg Approached by Pagan Priests, a Kholuy illustration to Pushkin's ballad.

He is credited by Rus' Chronicles with moving from either Staraya Ladoga or Novgorod, and seizing power in Kiev (Kyiv) from Askold and Dir, and, by doing so, laying the foundation of the powerful state of Kievan Rus'.