The part of the Mongol Empire that ruled over Russia was called the Golden Horde. The origins of this group's name are murky, but historians believe that it may derive from the golden color of their tents.
In addition to ruling Russia, the Golden Horde held sway over much of Eastern Europe, Siberia and Central Asia. The Mongol control over Russia began with the victories of Batu Khan in the middle of the 13th century. From his base in what is now southern Russia, he swept into Eastern Europe, winning battles as far west as Poland and Hungary. The Mongols remained powerful and relatively unified for a century until internal rivalries and plague began to weaken their grip on power. However, the Mongols continued to exert powerful influence in Russia until the Muscovite prince Ivan III finally broke the Mongol power in 1480.