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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.
Beginning in the 8th century BC, Ancient Greek traders brought their civilization to the trade emporiums in Tanais and Phanagoria.
Ancient Greek explorers, most notably Pytheas, even went as far as modern day Kaliningrad, on the Baltic Sea.
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. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
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.
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.