I do think it's a bad idea to blindly equate russia with the "Kievan Rus". There are some situations where the former might apply on a question about the latter, but in the general case it would be anachronistic (which is technically bad), as well as playing into a certain country's nationalist propaganda (which is morally very bad).
So the issue here is really that we are getting questions about the area (which is now of great international interest due to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war) and our available tag selection is a bit weak.
I'm not sure what the right answer is, but I can run down some options I see.
- ukraine : A term that can be used geographically or to identify a state.
This tag already exists (so this is a status-quo/retagging option), and has 46 questions on it. However, its just as anachronistic in the general case as russia.
- varangians : A peoples/culture based term, usually equated with Vikings/Norse who went East rather than West.
The plusses are that it would pair well with the existing vikings.
The drawback is that there is a 200+ year temporal hole between where the Kievan Rus state wasn't really Norse at all anymore, and its destruction at the hands of the Mongols. So while it theoretically could be useful in the example, it won't be useful in the general case of questions about the Kievan Rus.
I found 5 existing questions that used the word and 19 answers, which doesn't quite scream "this needs a tag", but it wouldn't be ridiculously niche either.
This would nicely give us temporal coverage for about 400 years over the areas and peoples that immediately afterwards could sport russia and ukraine.
The drawback here is it leaves a lot of those Varangian questions uncovered. In particular, I'd say 2 of the 5, with 2 more being debatable.
I found 7 questions containing this phrase, and 30 answers.
- rus : A people/cultrual based term.
This is more talking about the people, but that means its temporal coverage is much greater than if we were merely tagging the Kievan Rus' state. It could arguably be applied to almost all Varangian questions as well. With a bit of stretching, it could probably be pressed into service for linguistic questions about the Old East Slavic language.
The big drawback I see here is that this tag is likely to confuse both users and our tag completion software, since we already have a russia. "rus" already has 13 possible suggested completions (7 of which are Russia-adjacent).
I found 23 existing questions that used the term (17 open), and 22 answers. Rather a lot of these at first glance look like they would be considered mis-tagged (anachronistic uses of russia or ukraine, using nation-based tags for peoples, etc.) I'm not sure if that's an argument for or against this as a tag.