Ancient Slavic Tribes
The Russian’s statehood history starts from the time when numerous Slavic tribes began to inhabit the northern and central parts of the East-European Plain in the 1000 BC. They were settled and lived off hunting, fishing and farming. The ones living in the steppe were engaged in cattle-breeding.
The settling of Slavic tribes took place in the sixth through eighth centuries. The tribes moved into three basic directions; southern - Balkan Peninsula; western - between the Oder and the Elba; eastern and northern - East European Plane. As a result the Slavic tribes were divided into three branches - southern, western and eastern. The eastern Slavs are the ancestors of the modern Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians. Ancient Slavs were pagans. They had the Pantheon (of Gods), they believed in evil and kind spirits, each of which personified various natural powers: Yarilo - the God of the Sun and Perun - the God of Thunder and Lightning, war and weapons.
As the eastern Slavs were settling the East European Plane their primitive social structure started to degrade. Tribal unions began to appear; later became the basis of a future statehood.