|Andrei Rublev, 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky
Cultural development and regular contact with the West abruptly ended in 1240, when a massive nomadic horde of Mongols sacked Kiev. The Mongol domination of most of Kievan Rus came as Europes Renaissance flourished beyond Russias borders. Fate was similarly cruel 200 years later: just when Russia was throwing off the Mongol yoke, Constantinople was occupied by the Muslim Turks (1453), destroying Russias most
significant religious and cultural ties. Russia did not become fully engaged with the West until a century laterduring the political and social instability of the Reformation.
There was no protection against the Mongol armies who swept in from the east, and laid waste to Kiev in the thirteenth century.