Khazars are usually considered to be a Turkic tribe—although their exact
origins and racial mix is far from certain and is open to
interpretation. Most likely they were of mixed ancestry and the term
‘Khazar’ might well have encompassed a variety of nomadic peoples. The
Khazar language appears to have been closely related to early Bulgarian.
Khazars ruled over a large portion of the Pontic steppe including what
would now be the Crimea, parts of southern Russia, the Ukraine and
eastward to Khazakhstan and as far south as Georgia. Their territory was
gradually eroded by the Rus in the west and by another group of steppe
nomads the Cumans in the east. They would eventually be subsumed into
the Mongol controlled realm of the Golden Horde.