I am reading an old paperback history of Russia. It is something I've always wondered about. I am amazed how much influence the Khans of Mongolia had. They were bureaucratic and expansive. They brought knowledge of Japan, India and China to the places they conquered, which includes Poland, Turkey, Serbia, Iraq, Iran and even into Italy.
The Russians themselves were slavs at the constant whim of the Eastern Hordes, Constantinople, The Teutonic Knights, and the Vikings - another group glossed over in history.
I am just amazed at the expansion of overlap. I think our views of history and even prehistory underestimate the interconnectedness that our species has demonstrated.