Be that, however, as it may, it appears certain that in these dark ages the country was divided among a great number of petty princes, who made war upon each other with great ferocity and cruelty, so that the people were reduced to the utmost misery; and the Slavonians, seeing that the warlike rovers threatened their rising state with devastation, were prompted by the necessity of self-preservation to offer the government of their country to them. In consequence of this, a celebrated Varagian chief, named Rurik, arrived, in 862, with a body of his country-men, in the neighborhood of the lake Ladoga, and laid the foundation of the present empire of Russia, by uniting his people with those who already occupied the soil.
see more - Historic Summary - Early Annals
Sears, Robert. An Illustrated Description of the Russian Empire. New York: Robert Sears, 1855