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A Scandinavian-origin trading community at Kiev appears to have been formed during the early 900s as an offshoot of the more northerly settlements, although it is possible that the Khazars still exercised hegemony in this area as late as The titles attributed to the rulers of the Rus principalities are a source of confusion, in particular the use of "Grand Prince/Grand Duke" as opposed to "Prince/Duke", especially in relation to the rulers of Kiev and Vladimir.Chirovsky points out that all Kievan princes were theoretically equal (they are all referred to in the Russian chronicles as "Knyaz", female "Knyaginya") and that Vsevolod III Prince of Vladimir was the first prince to start calling himself "Grand Prince/Duke" ("Veliki Knyaz").
However, he took no active part in the government of the other territories, except through the appointment of their princes from among members of his family.
Nevertheless, his citations are not as helpful as they could be, firstly because the publications include no key to the abbreviations which the author uses and no full list of works cited, and secondly because the absence of exact quotations means it is impossible to judge the weight of their evidence.
In any case, many of the works cited are in the Russian language.
As Kiev's central authority declined in the 13th century, the line of the princes of Suzdal-Rostov assumed the role of "superior ruler", the focus of their political power transferring to the city of Vladimir and, in the 15th century, to Moscow.
the Ipatevskiy Chronicle, consisting of its three components, the so-called "Primary Chronicle" up to 1117, a south Russian compilation made in 1200 at the Vydubetskiy Monastery near Kiev, and the Chronicle of Galicia and Volynia (1200-1292).