In general, the Early Slavs (500-700 AD) of central and eastern Europe were active only on the margins of the extensive grasslands of the steppes,extending from Hungary to Mongolia. but they interacted with people more at home here like the Avars and Bulgars.
From: 'Archaeology of the Eurasian Steppes and Mongolia' (Annual Review of Anthropology vol. 39).
The precise margins of the steppes in the area of interest here are difficult to define, merging as they do with the forest steppe on the northwest. They also varied with climate change in the centuries under consideration. I wanted to find a map which shows the steppes as extending into the Carpathian Basin which is how Huns, Avars and bulgars moving west ended up in the latter area:
|Stone 'baba' (cult statue) in Ukrainian steppe grassland (Homutovo)|
|Ukrainian Steppe (Alex Goridko)|
Askania-Nova Biosphere Reserve: the steppe (Encyclopedia of the Ukraine).
The Black Sea Biosphere Reserve (Encyclopedia of the Ukraine).
Steppe in Zaporizhia oblast (Encyclopedia of the Ukraine).
Striletskyi Steppe (Encyclopedia of the Ukraine).
|Mongolian steppe with yurts (Bruno Morandi -age fotostock/Imagestate)|
See also: Biomes and Regions of Northern Eurasia: Steppe and Forest-steppe
Pontic steppe - Globalspecies.org Google map