The territory of the present Ukrainian nation already had permanent Eastern Slavic settlements during this period. Each of the tribes had its own territory, its own ruler ("kniaz"or prince), army and socio-economic structure. In the 9th century the various Slavic tribes began to develop into nations according to their common linguistic and cultural traditions. The Ukrainians, with a common culture dating back to Trypillian times (6th-4th millennia B.C.), were among the first to develop a national structure.
The eastern Slavs inhabited the basins of the Dnipro and Dnister Rivers, and the upper reaches of the Neman, Dvina and Volga Rivers. The Slavic tribes who would comprise the Ukrainian nation trace their roots to the Polianians (Poliany) who occupied the middle sections of the Dnipro River; Siverians (Siveriany) in the Desna basin; Derevlians (Derevliany) who lived in the forest zone west of the Polianians; Dulibians (Duliby) in Halych; Volynians (Volyniany) in Volyn; Buzhanians (Buzhany) in the Buh region. The Ulychians (Ulychi) settled in the Boh basin; the Tyvertsians (Tyvertsi), in the Dnister region; the White Croats (Bili Khorvaty) in the Ukrainian Carpathian Mountains. The ancestors of the Belorus nation were the Drehoviches who occupied Polissia; the Polochanians, Krivichians and Radimichians, who occupied the area north of the Ukrainian tribes. The Vyatichians settled to the northwest of the Siverians among the Finnish tribes (later to become Muscovy). The Slovenes occupied the area by Lake Ilmen and ultimately developed into the Republic of Novhorod.
The Baltic Slavs settled by the Baltic Sea. Western Slavs inhabited the Vistula basin west of Ukraine and the Baltic Sea. They would develop into the Polish nation. The territory of the Moravians (present day Czechs and Slovaks) occupied the most extensive area in the western Slavic lands, from the Alps in the west to Transylvania in the east. The Magyars temporarily occupied the area of the Black Sea steppes in the 9th century during their migration towards today's Hungary.
The eastern section between the Caspian and Azov Seas was occupied during this period by the Khazar Khanate, until it was destroyed in 966.
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