Monks in Kiev, Ukraine dug the first monastery caves
These caves are known as Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra and were dug in 1051 by Anthony and Theodosius. These caves were dug to pray to God in solitude. Kiev dates back to 482. Scandinavian traders (Varangians), also called "Rus", originally founded Kiev. It was being used as a trading post. Oleg of Novgorod had captured Kiev in 882 and founded the state of Kievan Rus. The Golden Age of Kiev took place during the reigns of Vladimir Svyatoslavich the Great (980 -1015) and his son Yaroslov I the Wise (1019 -1054).
In 983 Slavic Paganism was still prominent. Vladimir had numerous wives and several concubines. He had pagan statues erected and built shrines for the gods. Human sacrifice was also taking place in Kiev during this period of time. Vladimir in 987 sent servants to neighboring nations to study the different religions. When the servants came back their report was not favorable to most of the religions that they had studied. The servants were impressed with the Byzantine Church in Constantinople and had described to Vladimir the Divine Liturgy in the Hagia Sophia, which was Orthodox religion at that time.