The Rus' Khaganate was a polity that flourished during a poorly documented period in the history of Eastern Europe, roughly the late 8th and early-to-mid-9th centuries AD. A predecessor to the Rurik Dynasty and the Kievan Rus', the Rus' Khaganate was a state, or a cluster of city-states, set up by a people called Rus', who may have been Norsemen, in what is today northern Russia. The region's population at that time was composed of Baltic, Slavic, Finnic, Turkic, and Norse peoples. The region was also a place of operations for Varangians, eastern Scandinavian adventurers, merchants, and pirates.
According to contemporaneous sources, the population centers of the region, which may have included the proto-towns of Holmgard, Aldeigja, Lyubsha, Alaborg, Sarskoye Gorodishche, and Timerevo, were under the rule of a monarch or monarchs using the Old Turkic title Khagan. The Rus' Khaganate period marked the genesis of a distinct Rus' ethnos, and its successor states would include Kievan Rus' and later states from which modern Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine evolved.
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