Good overview of history, except for when the article mentions: –“the rise of other Russian centers to the north, including Moscow.”–
There was no Russia then. There were Finno-Ugric Tribes, and Slavic ones, and others too. Muskovy rose to prominence AS A VASSAL STATE of the Golden Horde. They weren’t “under the Mongol yoke” as they like to claim. They WERE THE MONGOL YOKE. They still are.
Much of their history, including Czar Peter I’s deciding to call Muskovy and its conquests “RUSSIA” are best understood as their attempt to distance themselves from the Mongolian roots of their institutions.