From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Slavic peoples are a linguistic and ethnic branch of Indo-European peoples, living mainly in Europe, where they constitute roughly a third of the population. Since emerging from their original homeland (most commonly thought to be in Eastern Europe) in the early 6th century, they have inhabited most of eastern Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Slavic settlers mixed with existing local populations and later invaders, thus modern Slavic peoples are considerably genetically and culturally diverse. Yet they are connected by speaking often closely related Slavic languages, and also by a sense of common identity and history, which is present to different extents among different individuals and different Slavic peoples.
Slavic peoples are traditionally divided along geographical lines into West Slavic (including Sorbs, Czechs, Poles and Slovaks), East Slavic (including Belarusians, Russians, and Ukrainians), and South Slavic (including Bosniaks, Bulgarians, Croats, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbs and Slovenes). For a more comprehensive list, see Ethno-cultural subdivisions.