According to the foundation tale of the Maidu tribe of California, after the great Earthmaker spirit created the world, he pointed to one small corner and told the tribe’s ancestors: “You will live here … Living in a country that is little, not big, you will be content.”1 It is hard to know what the Earthmaker spirit said to the first Russians, but their arrangement turned out to be just the opposite. The corner they ultimately received was huge, and they do not seem to have been especially content – at least not content enough to stay in one place. According to the Primary Chronicle, the earliest Slavs of what would become western Russia and Ukraine were migrants with a penchant for moving. Members of ancient tribes from plains near the Danube, they migrated north to the forest zone where they proceeded to clear the land, build towns, organize a state, and migrate further, eventually spreading themselves and their culture across all of what became known as “the Rus’ land,” a massive territory stretching, roughly, from the Baltic and White seas in the north to the edges of the Pontic steppe in the south.2 Over subsequent centuries, the original Rus’ land changed names and became even bigger, while the Rus’ diversified and turned into Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians. But the migration continued, and it unfolded in multiple directions, transforming the eastern Slavs collectively – and the Russians especially – into the most dispersed Europeans of the Old World. Today the Russians, together with their language, shops, culinary habits, and worldviews, inhabit all the corners of northern Eurasia, from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok and Anadyr to Chisinau.