Originally it was related to a certain territory between Western Bug and Wieprz rivers. Its Polish name was Ziemia czerwieńska, or "Czerwień Land" by the name of the town that existed there. (Today there are several towns with this name, none of them related to Red Ruthenia).
This area was mentioned first time in 981, when Volodymyr the Great of Kyivan Rus took the area over on the way inside Poland. In 1018 it returned to Poland, 1031 back to Rus, in 1340 Casimir III of Poland recovered it. Since these times the name Ruś Czerwona is recorded, translated as "Red Ruthenia" ("Czerwień" means red color in Polish language), applied to a territory extended up to Dniester River, with priority gradually transferred to Przemyśl. Since the times of Władyslaw Jagiełło, the Przemyśl voivodship was called Ruthenian Voivodship ("województwo ruskie"), with the priority eventually transferred to Lwów. It consisted of five lands: Lwów, Sanok, Halicz, Przemyśl, and Chełm. City of Halicz gave the name to Galicia.
Between World War I and World War II this belonged to the Second Polish Republic. Presently, this area is split. The Western part is the area of Poland around Przemyśl, the Eastern part (around Lviv) is a part of Western Ukraine.