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The modern Russians formed from two groups of East Slavic tribes: Northern and Southern.
The tribes involved included the Krivichs, Ilmen Slavs, Radimichs, Vyatiches and Severians.
Despite of 80.90% (111,016,896 people) of the population voluntarily declared themself as ethnically Russian, the Constitution declared Russia a multinational (multiethnic) state and named "multinational people of Russia" as a sovereign nation (i.e.
not ethnic Russian, officially Russia is not a nation state).
The Russian word used for citizens of Russia is different from the word for ethnic Russian (see Citizenship of Russia), other languages often do not distinguish these two groups.
The Tsardom of Russia became a multiethnic state in the 16th century (see History of Russia).
The ethnic Russians formed from East Slavic tribes and their cultural ancestry is from Kievan Rus'.
The Russian word for ethnic Russians is derived from the people of Rus' and the territory of Rus'.
Under certain circumstances this term may or may not extend to denote members of other Russian-speaking ethnic groups from Russia, or from the former Soviet Union.The Russians share many historical and cultural traits with other European peoples and especially with other East Slavic ethnic groups, specifically Belarusians and Ukrainians.Many ethnic groups had a common history within the former Soviet Union and Russian Empire, which was influential in spreading of Russian culture and language.Many white émigrés were participants in the White movement, although the term is broadly applied to anyone who may have left the country due to the change in regime.Today the largest ethnic Russian diasporas outside Russia live in former Soviet states such as Ukraine (about 8 million), Kazakhstan (about 3.8 million), Belarus (about 785,000), Latvia (about 520,000) with the most Russian settlement out of the Baltic States which includes Lithuania and Estonia, Uzbekistan (about 650,000) and Kyrgyzstan (about 419,000).