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Novgorod, in particular, began to gravitate toward closer relations with the cities of the Hanseatic League, which controlled the Baltic trade.
Smolensk, Polotsk, and Pskov became increasingly involved in trade along western land routes, while Galicia and Volhynia established closer links with Andrew I) of Suzdal won Kiev and the title in 1169, he sacked the city and returned to the upper Volga, apparently seeing no advantage in establishing himself in the erstwhile capital.
From about 770 to about 830, commercial explorers began an intensive penetration of the Volga region.
From early bases in the estuaries of the rivers of the eastern Baltic region, Germanic commercial-military bands, probably in search of new routes to the east, began to penetrate territory populated by Finnic and Slavic tribes, where they found amber, furs, honey, wax, and timber products.
This decline seems to have been part of a general shift of trade routes that can for convenience be associated with the First Crusade (1096–99) and that made the route from the Black Sea to the Baltic less attractive to commerce.
At the same time, conflicts among the Rurikid princes acquired a more pronounced regional and separatist nature, reflecting new patterns in export trade along the northern and western periphery.
In the period from about 930 to 1000, the region came under complete control by Varangians from Novgorod.
This period saw the development of the trade route from the Baltic to the Black Sea, which established the basis of the economic life of the Kievan principality and determined its political and cultural development.
Byzantine-Danube Bulgar conflicts of 968–971 mark the full hegemony of his clan in Rus and the emergence of a new political force in eastern Europe. Trading empires of that era seem to have known and exploited the northern forests—particularly the vast triangular-shaped region west of the Urals between the Kama and Volga rivers—but these contacts seem to have had little lasting impact.Between the 4th and 9th centuries East Slavs, who during this time were spreading south and east from an area between the Elbe River and the Pripet Marshes.The Scandinavians involved in these exploits are known as Rurik dynasty).Evidences of the Varangian expansion are particularly clear in the coin hoards of 900–930.