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Most of the information - at least as taught in Russia - related to how Rurik Dynasty became rulers of Rus is based on "Повѣсть времяньныхъ лѣтъ" ("Tale of Bygone Years", aka "Primary Chronicle").

Is there modern historical research into this topic that is based on documents other than that one (e.g. some western documents/accounts, or any non-Slavic ones)?

Rurik Wiki has some hints of possible theories, but doesn't seem to list too many primary references (only some Russian research in the first reference).

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I think this list should answer the question.

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I'm sorry this doesn't answer the question AT ALL. NONE of the sources mentioned there are mentioned to discuss Rurik and Rurikinds (except for a mention of Olga in one which confused her with a German tribe); only Rus as a tribe. –  DVK Feb 24 '13 at 18:05
    
I see - you are interested specifically in Rurik. I thought you were looking to evaluate the broader "Norman theory" question. –  Felix Goldberg Feb 24 '13 at 18:38
    
I tried to make that explicit in the subject :) I flagged your answer for deletion so you can avoid -2 from my downvote. –  DVK Feb 24 '13 at 19:33
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then edit it to be more ontopic so I can undownvote :) –  DVK Feb 24 '13 at 23:11
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Don't answer with just a link; fold the relevant information from the linked article into your answer. –  Joe Feb 25 '13 at 21:49
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