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The Khazars were a nomadic people from Central Asia who controlled a state on the Pontic Steppe in what is now southern Russia. The Khazar Empire was one of the largest states in medieval Europe, though it was highly decentralized. The Khazar elite class converted to Judaism, making the Khazar Empire the world's only major Jewish state in centuries. They fought against Kievan Rus and were defeated in the 11th century by Sviatoslav I.

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