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popular assembly that was a characteristic institution in Russia from the 10th to the 15th century. The veche probably originated as a deliberative body among early Slavic tribes. As the tribes settled in permanent trading centres, which later became cities, the veche remained as an element of democratic rule, sharing power with a prince and an aristocratic council. Although its power varied from city to city, the veche generally could accept or reject the prince who "inherited" the city and, by controlling the town's militia, could veto a prince's plans for a military campaign.