Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 574,147 as of 2018. Vilnius is the second largest city in the Baltic states. Vilnius is the seat of the main government institutions of Lithuania and the Vilnius District Municipality. Vilnius is classified as a Gamma global city according to GaWC studies, is known for the architecture in its Old Town, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Before World War II, Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centres in Europe, its Jewish influence has led to it being described as the "Jerusalem of Lithuania" and Napoleon named it "the Jerusalem of the North" as he was passing through in 1812. In 2009, Vilnius was the European Capital of Culture, together with the Austrian city of Linz; the name of the city originates from the Vilnia River. The city has been known by many derivate spellings in various languages throughout its history: Vilna was once common in English; the most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: Polish: Wilno, Belarusian: Вiльня, German: Wilna, Latvian: Viļņa, Russian: Вильна, Ukrainian: Вільно, Yiddish: ווילנע.
A Russian name from the time of the Russian Empire was Вильна. The names Wilno and Vilna have been used in older English, German and Italian language publications when the city was one of the capitals of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and an important city in the Second Polish Republic; the name Vilna is still used in Finnish, Portuguese and Hebrew. Wilna is still used in German, along with Vilnius; the neighborhoods of Vilnius have names in other languages, which represent the languages spoken by various ethnic groups in the area. According to the legend, Grand Duke Gediminas was hunting in the sacred forest near the Valley of Šventaragis, near where Vilnia River flows into the Neris River. Tired after the successful hunt of a wisent, the Grand Duke settled in for the night, he fell soundly asleep and dreamed of a huge Iron Wolf standing on top a hill and howling as strong and loud as a hundred wolves. Upon awakening, the Duke asked the krivis Lizdeika to interpret the dream, and the priest told him: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site.
This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world." Therefore, obeying the will of the gods, built the city, gave it the name Vilnius – from the stream of the Vilnia River. Historian Romas Batūra identifies the city with Voruta, one of the castles of Mindaugas, crowned in 1253 as King of Lithuania. During the reign of Vytenis a city started to emerge from a trading settlement and the first Franciscan Catholic church was built; the city was first mentioned in written sources in 1323 as Vilna, when the Letters of Grand Duke Gediminas were sent to German cities inviting Germans to settle in the capital city, as well as to Pope John XXII. These letters contain the first unambiguous reference to Vilnius as the capital. According to legend, Gediminas dreamt of an iron wolf howling on a hilltop and consulted a pagan priest Lizdeika for its interpretation, he was told: "What is destined for the ruler and the State of Lithuania, is thus: the Iron Wolf represents a castle and a city which will be established by you on this site.
This city will be the capital of the Lithuanian lands and the dwelling of their rulers, the glory of their deeds shall echo throughout the world". The location offered practical advantages: it lay in the Lithuanian heartland at the confluence of two navigable rivers, surrounded by forests and wetlands that were difficult to penetrate; the duchy had been subject to intrusions by the Teutonic Knights. Vilnius was the flourishing capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the residence of the Grand Duke. Gediminas expanded the Grand Duchy through warfare along with strategic marriages. At its height it covered the territory of modern-day Lithuania, Ukraine and portions of modern-day Poland and Russia, his grandchildren Vytautas the Great and Jogaila, fought civil wars. During the Lithuanian Civil War of 1389–1392, Vytautas besieged and razed the city in an attempt to wrest control from Jogaila; the two settled their differences. The rulers of this federation held either or both of two titles: Grand Duke of Lithuania or King of Poland.
In 1387, Jogaila acting as a Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Władysław II Jagiełło, granted Magdeburg rights to the city. The city underwent a period of expansion; the Vilnius city walls were built for protection between 1503 and 1522, comprising nine city gates and three towers, Sigismund August moved his court there in 1544. Its growth was due in part to the establishment of Alma Academia et Universitas Vilnensis Societatis Iesu by the Polish King and Grand Duke of Lithuania Stefan Bathory in 1579; the university soon developed into one of the most important scientific and cultural centres of the region and the most notable scientific centre of the Commonwealth. During its rapid development, the city was open to migrants from the territories of the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland, Grand Duchy and further. A variety of languages were spoken: Polish, Yiddish, Lithuanian, Old
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. The metropolis stands on the Vistula River in east-central Poland and its population is estimated at 1.770 million residents within a greater metropolitan area of 3.1 million residents, which makes Warsaw the 8th most-populous capital city in the European Union. The city limits cover 516.9 square kilometres, while the metropolitan area covers 6,100.43 square kilometres. Warsaw is an alpha global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural and economic hub, its historical Old Town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once described as the'Paris of the North', Warsaw was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Bombed at the start of the German invasion in 1939, the city withstood a siege for which it was awarded Poland's highest military decoration for heroism, the Virtuti Militari. Deportations of the Jewish population to concentration camps led to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising in 1943 and the destruction of the Ghetto after a month of combat.
A general Warsaw Uprising between August and October 1944 led to greater devastation and systematic razing by the Germans in advance of the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Warsaw gained the new title of Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II, which had left over 85% of its buildings in ruins. Warsaw is one of Europe's most dynamic metropolitan cities. In 2012 the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Warsaw as the 32nd most liveable city in the world. In 2017 the city came 4th in the "Business-friendly" category and 8th in "Human capital and life style", it was ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Central and Eastern Europe. The city is a significant centre of research and development, Business process outsourcing, Information technology outsourcing, as well as of the Polish media industry; the Warsaw Stock Exchange is most important in Central and Eastern Europe. Frontex, the European Union agency for external border security as well as ODIHR, one of the principal institutions of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have their headquarters in Warsaw.
Together with Frankfurt and Paris, Warsaw is one of the cities with the highest number of skyscrapers in the European Union. The city is the seat of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, University of Warsaw, the Warsaw Polytechnic, the National Museum, the Great Theatre—National Opera, the largest of its kind in the world, the Zachęta National Gallery of Art; the picturesque Old Town of Warsaw, which represents examples of nearly every European architectural style and historical period, was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980. Other main architectural attractions include the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and the iconic King Sigismund's Column, the Wilanów Palace, the Łazienki Palace, St. John's Cathedral, Main Market Square, palaces and mansions all displaying a richness of colour and detail. Warsaw is positioning itself as Central and Eastern Europe’s chic cultural capital with thriving art and club scenes and serious restaurants, with around a quarter of the city's area occupied by parks.
Warsaw's name in the Polish language is Warszawa. Other previous spellings of the name may have included Werszewa. According to some sources, the origin of the name is unknown. In Pre-Slavic toponomastic layer of Northern Mazovia: corrections and addenda, it is stated that the toponymy of northern Mazovia tends to have unclear etymology. Warszawa was the name of a fishing village. According to one theory Warszawa means "belonging to Warsz", Warsz being a shortened form of the masculine name of Slavic origin Warcisław; however the ending -awa is unusual for a big city. Folk etymology attributes the city name to a fisherman and his wife, Sawa. According to legend, Sawa was a mermaid living in the Vistula River. In actuality, Warsz was a 12th/13th-century nobleman who owned a village located at the modern-day site of the Mariensztat neighbourhood. See the Vršovci family which had escaped to Poland; the official city name in full is miasto stołeczne Warszawa. A native or resident of Warsaw is known as a Varsovian – in Polish warszawiak, warszawianka and warszawianie.
Other names for Warsaw include Varsovia and Varsóvia, Varsavia, Warschau, װאַרשע /Varshe, Varšuva, Varsó and Varšava The first fortified settlements on the site of today's Warsaw were located in Bródno and Jazdów. After Jazdów was raided by nearby clans and dukes, a new similar settlement was established on the site of a small fishing village called Warszowa; the Prince of Płock, Bolesław II of Masovia, established this settlement, the modern-day Warsaw, in about 1300. In the beginning of the 14th century it became one of the seats of the Dukes of Masovia, becoming the official capital of the Masovian Duchy in 1413. 14th-century Warsaw's economy rested on crafts and trade. Upon the extinction of the local ducal line, the duchy was reincorporated into the Crown of the Kingdom of Poland in 1526. In 1529, Warsaw for the first time became the seat of th
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, the United States with its allies after World War II. A common historiography of the conflict begins between 1946, the year U. S. diplomat George F. Kennan's "Long Telegram" from Moscow cemented a U. S. foreign policy of containment of Soviet expansionism threatening strategically vital regions, the Truman Doctrine of 1947, ending between the Revolutions of 1989, which ended communism in Eastern Europe, the 1991 collapse of the USSR, when nations of the Soviet Union abolished communism and restored their independence. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars; the conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences. The capitalist West was led by the United States, a federal republic with a two-party presidential system, as well as the other First World nations of the Western Bloc that were liberal democratic with a free press and independent organizations, but were economically and politically entwined with a network of banana republics and other authoritarian regimes, most of which were the Western Bloc's former colonies.
Some major Cold War frontlines such as Indochina and the Congo were still Western colonies in 1947. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was a self-proclaimed Marxist–Leninist state led by its Communist Party, which in turn was dominated by a totalitarian leader with different titles over time, a small committee called the Politburo; the Party controlled the state, the press, the military, the economy, many organizations throughout the Second World, including the Warsaw Pact and other satellites, funded communist parties around the world, sometimes in competition with communist China following the Sino-Soviet split of the 1960s. The two worlds were fighting for dominance in low-developed regions known as the Third World. In time, a neutral bloc arose in these regions with the Non-Aligned Movement, which sought good relations with both sides. Notwithstanding isolated incidents of air-to-air dogfights and shoot-downs, the two superpowers never engaged directly in full-scale armed combat. However, both were armed in preparation for a possible all-out nuclear world war.
Each side had a nuclear strategy that discouraged an attack by the other side, on the basis that such an attack would lead to the total destruction of the attacker—the doctrine of mutually assured destruction. Aside from the development of the two sides' nuclear arsenals, their deployment of conventional military forces, the struggle for dominance was expressed via proxy wars around the globe, psychological warfare, massive propaganda campaigns and espionage, far-reaching embargoes, rivalry at sports events, technological competitions such as the Space Race; the first phase of the Cold War began in the first two years after the end of the Second World War in 1945. The USSR consolidated its control over the states of the Eastern Bloc, while the United States began a strategy of global containment to challenge Soviet power, extending military and financial aid to the countries of Western Europe and creating the NATO alliance; the Berlin Blockade was the first major crisis of the Cold War. With the victory of the Communist side in the Chinese Civil War and the outbreak of the Korean War, the conflict expanded.
The USSR and the US competed for influence in Latin America and the decolonizing states of Africa and Asia. The Soviets suppressed the Hungarian Revolution of 1956; the expansion and escalation sparked more crises, such as the Suez Crisis, the Berlin Crisis of 1961, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the closest the two sides came to nuclear war. Meanwhile, an international peace movement took root and grew among citizens around the world, first in Japan from 1954, when people became concerned about nuclear weapons testing, but soon in Europe and the US; the peace movement, in particular the anti-nuclear movement, gained pace and popularity from the late 1950s and early 1960s, continued to grow through the'70s and'80s with large protest marches and various non-parliamentary activism opposing war and calling for global nuclear disarmament. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, a new phase began that saw the Sino-Soviet split complicate relations within the Communist sphere, while US allies France, demonstrated greater independence of action.
The USSR crushed the 1968 Prague Spring liberalization program in Czechoslovakia, while the US experienced internal turmoil from the civil rights movement and opposition to the Vietnam War, which ended with the defeat of the US-backed Republic of Vietnam, prompting further adjustments. By the 1970s, both sides had become interested in making allowances in order to create a more stable and predictable international system, ushering in a period of détente that saw Strategic Arms Limitation Talks and the US opening relations with the People's Republic of China as a strategic counterweight to the Soviet Union. Détente collapsed at the end of the decade with the beginning of the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979; the early 1980s were another period of elevated tension, with the Soviet downing of KAL Flight 007 and the "Able Archer" NATO military exercises, both in 1983. The United States increased diplomatic and economic pressures on the Soviet Union, at a time when the communist state was suffering from economic stag
Belarus the Republic of Belarus known by its Russian name Byelorussia or Belorussia, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe bordered by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital and most populous city is Minsk. Over 40% of its 207,600 square kilometres is forested, its major economic sectors are manufacturing. Until the 20th century, different states at various times controlled the lands of modern-day Belarus, including the Principality of Polotsk, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire. In the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution, Belarus declared independence as the Belarusian People's Republic, conquered by Soviet Russia; the Socialist Soviet Republic of Byelorussia became a founding constituent republic of the Soviet Union in 1922 and was renamed as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Belarus lost half of its territory to Poland after the Polish–Soviet War of 1919–1921.
Much of the borders of Belarus took their modern shape in 1939, when some lands of the Second Polish Republic were reintegrated into it after the Soviet invasion of Poland, were finalized after World War II. During WWII, military operations devastated Belarus, which lost about a third of its population and more than half of its economic resources; the republic was redeveloped in the post-war years. In 1945 the Byelorussian SSR became a founding member of the United Nations, along with the Soviet Union and the Ukrainian SSR; the parliament of the republic proclaimed the sovereignty of Belarus on 27 July 1990, during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Belarus declared independence on 25 August 1991. Alexander Lukashenko has served as the country's first president since 1994. Belarus has been labeled "Europe's last dictatorship" by some Western journalists, on account of Lukashenko's self-described authoritarian style of government. Lukashenko continued a number of Soviet-era policies, such as state ownership of large sections of the economy.
Elections under Lukashenko's rule have been criticized as unfair. Belarus is the last country in Europe using the death penalty. Belarus's Democracy Index rating is the lowest in Europe, the country is labelled as "not free" by Freedom House, as "repressed" in the Index of Economic Freedom, is rated as by far the worst country for press freedom in Europe in the 2013–14 Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Belarus 157th out of 180 nations. In 2000, Belarus and Russia signed a treaty for greater cooperation. Over 70% of Belarus's population of 9.49 million resides in urban areas. More than 80% of the population is ethnic Belarusian, with sizable minorities of Russians and Ukrainians. Since a referendum in 1995, the country has had two official languages: Russian; the Constitution of Belarus does not declare any official religion, although the primary religion in the country is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The second-most widespread religion, Roman Catholicism, has a much smaller following.
Belarus is a member of the United Nations since its founding, the Commonwealth of Independent States, CSTO, EEU, the Non-Aligned Movement. Belarus has shown no aspirations for joining the European Union but maintains a bilateral relationship with the organisation, participates in two EU projects: the Eastern Partnership and the Baku Initiative; the name Belarus is related with the term Belaya Rus', i.e. White Rus'. There are several claims to the origin of the name White Rus'. An ethno-religious theory suggests that the name used to describe the part of old Ruthenian lands within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, populated by Slavs, Christianized early, as opposed to Black Ruthenia, predominantly inhabited by pagan Balts. An alternate explanation for the name comments on the white clothing worn by the local Slavic population. A third theory suggests that the old Rus' lands that were not conquered by the Tatars had been referred to as "White Rus'"; the name Rus is conflated with its Latin forms Russia and Ruthenia, thus Belarus is referred to as White Russia or White Ruthenia.
The name first appeared in Latin medieval literature. In some languages, including German and Dutch, the country is called "White Russia" to this day; the Latin term "Alba Russia" was used again by Pope Pius VI in 1783 to recognize the Society of Jesus there, exclaiming "Approbo Societatem Jesu in Alba Russia degentem, approbo." The first known use of White Russia to refer to Belarus was in the late-16th century by Englishman Sir Jerome Horsey, known for his close contacts with the Russian Royal Court. During the 17th century, the Russian tsars used "White Rus" to describe the lands added from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania; the term Belorussia first rose in the days of the Russian Empire, the Russian Tsar was styled "the Tsar of All the Russias"
Kamenets District is district of Brest Region, in Belarus. In Kamenets Raion in few kilometers to the South-West from Vysokaye town on the Bug River the western extreme point of Belarus is situated. At the time of the Belarus Census, Kamenets District had a population of 39,143. Of these, 83.2 % were of 7.4 % Ukrainian, 6.7 % Russian and 1.7 % Polish ethnicity. 52.1% spoke Russian and 43.0% Belarusian as their native language
Yiddish orthography is the writing system used for the Yiddish language. It includes Yiddish spelling rules and the Hebrew script, used as the basis of a full vocalic alphabet. Letters that are silent or glottal stops in the Hebrew language are used as vowels in Yiddish. Other letters that can serve as both vowels and consonants are either read as appropriate to the context in which they appear or are differentiated by diacritical marks derived from the Hebrew nikkud referred to as "points". Additional phonetic distinctions between letters that share the same base character are indicated by pointing or by the adjacent placement of otherwise silent base characters. Several Yiddish points are not used in any present-day Hebrew context and others are used in a manner, specific to Yiddish orthography. There is significant variation in the way. There are several differing approaches to the disambiguation of characters that can be used as either vowels or consonants. Words of Aramaic and Hebrew origin are written in the traditional orthography of the source language—i.e.
The orthography of these words, consonant-based, is preserved. All other Yiddish words are represented with a phonemic orthography. Both forms can appear in a single word—for example, where a Yiddish affix is applied to a Hebrew stem. Yiddish pointing may be applied to words that are otherwise written with traditional orthography. In the early 20th century, for cultural and political reasons, efforts were initiated toward the development of a uniform Yiddish orthography. A specimen initial practice was described in detail by the Yiddish lexicographer Alexander Harkavy in a Treatise on Yiddish Reading and Dialectal Variations first published in 1898 together with his Yiddish-English Dictionary. Additional illustrations of this variation are provided in source excerpts in Fishman 1981, which contains a number of texts about the need for a uniform orthography. A detailed chronology of the major events during this normative action, including rosters of conference participants, bibliographic references to the documents they produced, summaries of their contents, is given in Yiddish in Schaechter 1999.
There is a less detailed English language review of this process in Estraikh 1999. The first action formally undertaken by a government was in the Soviet Union in 1920, abolishing the separate etymological orthography for words of Semitic origin; this was extended twelve years with the elimination of the five separate final-form consonants which were, however reintroduced in 1961. The changes are both illustrated in the way the name of the author, his own work uses the form שלום־עליכם but in Soviet publication this is respelled phonetically to שאָלעמ־אלײכעמ dispensing with the separate final-form mem and using the initial/medial form instead. This can be seen, together with a respelling of the name of the protagonist of his Tevye der milkhiker, by comparing the title pages of that work in the U. S. and Soviet editions illustrated next to this paragraph. Note the Germanized מילכיגער in the former exemplifying another widespread trend, discussed further below; the efforts preliminary to the 1920 reform, which took place in several countries — most notably in Poland with focus on a uniform school curriculum — resulted in other devices that were not implemented as a result of any governmental mandate.
These were further considered during the 1930s by the Yidisher visnshaftlekher institut, YIVO. This led to the development of their תּקנות פֿון ייִדישן אויסלייג known as the "SYO" or the "YIVO Rules"; this has become the most referenced such system in present-day use. Although it figures in pedagogical contexts, it would be misleading to suggest that it is dominant elsewhere. Other orthographies are encountered in contemporary practice and are house standards for many publishers. A useful review of this variation is provided in the Oxford University כלל־תקנות פון יידישן אויסלייג, written in and codifying a more conventional orthography than the one put forward by YIVO. Differences in the systems can be seen by comparing the titles of the two documents but they differ more fundamentally in their approaches to the prescription and description of orthographic detail; the former treats orthographic variation as a positive attribute of the Yiddish literature and describes essential elements of that variation.
The latter presents a uniform Yiddish orthography, based on observed practice but with proactive prescriptive intent. Strong difference of opinion about the relative merit of the two approaches has been a prominent aspect of the discussion from the outset and shows little sign of abating. Although the Yiddish alphabet as stated in the SYO is accepted as a baseline reference, the spelling and phonetics of the YIVO system of romanized transliteration discussed below, remain subjects of particular contention; the intent of the SYO is not to describe the spectrum of traditional orthographic practice. The bulk of Yiddish literature predates the formulation of those rules and the discrepancies are significant. A few Yiddish letters and letter combinations are prono
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city 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, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". 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 became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly