Originally, the name Rus' (Cyrillic: Русь) referred to the people, regions, and medieval states (9th to 12th centuries) of the Kievan Rus'. In Western culture, it was better known as Ruthenia from the 11th century onwards, Its territories are today distributed among Belarus, Northern Ukraine, and the European section of Russia. The term Россия (Rossija), comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία (Rosía pronounced [roˈsia]) in Modern Greek.
One of the earliest written sources mentioning the people called Rus' (as Rhos) dates to 839 in the Annales Bertiniani. This chronicle identifies them as a Germanic tribe called the Swedes. According to the Kievan Rus' Primary Chronicle, compiled in about 1113, the Rus' were a group of Varangians, Norsemen who had relocated somewhere from the Baltic region (literally "from beyond the sea"), first to Northeastern Europe, then to the south where they created the medieval Kievan state.
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