Is Rus the direct predecessor of Russia?

Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
I just want to post a couple of clips displaying the tatar ethnos: Both Kazan tatars and Mishar(finno-ugric) tatars. Just to show how different they are from the actual russians:
- I've never associated Russians with Tatars

The Tatars and the Horde are a little bit not the same thing. On the territory of the Horde lived a variety of tribes and peoples

I spoke only about the predominant role of autochthonous Finno-Ugric people of central Russia in early Russian genesis. The main ancestors of the later Tatars at that time could be Bulgars, and they lived east of this territory
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
It did. Moscow is first mentioned as a small town on the border of Vladimir-Suzdal, a part of Kievan Rus established later in the state's history that would later break off to be it's own independent state, a status that would be protected under the Golden Horde. In a series of events, Moscow would eventually the only real claimant to the Grand Principality and by extension, the entirety of Kievan Rus which would push for Muscovy's rapid wars and expansion east and southwards.
Do you really think that in the 13-15 cc there was an independent Russian state in Central Russia under the patronage of the Golden Horde? Or I misunderstood you?

Don't you know that the khan of the Horde appointed rulers for that lands from the local nobility by his own choice? And without his label, any Russian knyaz in those lands remained an empty place. All power in early Russia at that time was from Horde. And its inhabitants quite sincerely called the Horde khans their tzars and perceived them as their monarchs. The Russian knyazes were in fact administering the Horde on their lands and were appointed by Horde as
collectors of tribute for the it. If necessary, they summoned the Tatar cavalry from the capital of the Horde to suppress discontent in the Russian lands.

Talking about a Russian state in those lands in the 14th and 15th centuries, and even more so - about some of its sovereignty is completely wrong.

The Moscow coins were minted with Arabic inscriptions, the lands of Muscovy were flooded with Horde aristocrats who settled there, and Moscow knyazes spent much of their lives in the capital of the Horde and integrated into the Horde.

Early Russia absorbed a whole string of state standards of the Horde and a number of its domestic standards. At the same time, the Horde was the patron of Moscow Orthodoxy, and in its capital was the influential Sarsk Orthodox Diocese.

The radical mistake of most medieval historians studying the history of that region is that they did not read the Tale of Bygone Years and other chronicles and other documents of that time in proper way.

Otherwise they would be convinced that at that time the word Rus was called and was considered for a small country in the northern part of present-day Ukraine. All that is outside it was not Rus and was not considered at that time as Rus.

As I said, this state should be regarded as an early empire in the east of Europe. Rus itself was its metropolia, and the rest of the land is its near and very distant possessions, where the ruling dynasty of Rus sent its princes as rulers.

The title ethnos Rus also called - Rus - lived within that annalistic Rus in the Middle Dnieper. In other lands it was present as migrants and colonizers. Later ethnos expanded at the expense of neighboring Slavic tribes, and first of all - Volhynians and Galicians. Residents of the future Russia never carried the ethnonym Rus.

We can not speak about Russia as a direct continuity from Russia, which will arise in 3 centuries after the collapse of Rus at a distance of 800 kilometers from it. The state, in the very center of which in the 17th century will be the lands of the former Golden Horde. The state, whose territory has been integrated into the Horde for three centuries. Much more reason to consider the Tzardom of Moscow, that is early Russia, the direct state successor to the Horde.
 
Dec 2017
801
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Dir!

On few occasions I would disagree with you. Whether Novgorod existed in the 9th century is the subject of a debate. However, Staraya Ladoga further north of Novgorod existed in the 9th centure (near Ladoga lake). Staraya Ladoga - Wikipedia

Rus and Rurikid came from the north and they could not avoid Baltic sea, Ladoga and all other rivers including Dniepr begining from Smolensk through eastern Belarus towards Kiev. The agreements between Byzantium and Rus mention eople of Rus who had Norse names in those chronicles. In Norse saga Novgorod was known as Holmgård or Holmgard (Holmgarðr or Holmgarðir). Kiev became part of Rus and capital of Rus after Oleg's (Helge in Old Norse) conquest.

It's also been shown that Rurikid DNA (Y-chr marker) is common in present day Sweden. Often named as Scandinavian marker. It's agreed in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland : http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Rurikid.pdf

In short, all east Slavs (Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Rusyns) are heirs of Rus state
 
Dec 2017
801
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I always thought the modern Russian state formed around Moscow which was on the boundary of the Khanate of the Golden Horde. As Mongol power declined "Muscovy" expanded to include neighboring city states. It underwent significant expansion under Ivan III (reigned 1462-1505) to become the direct forerunner of the Russian Empire.


The light green is the territory added by Ivan III (Wikipedia)
Rus principalities on territories of present day Russia and Ukraine fell to Mongols. Kiev was destroyed by Mongols in 1240. The territories that didn't fall to Mongols is of present day Belarus. The region of Polessie (northern Ukraine and southern Belarus) is forest and swamps. It was a natural barrier preventing Mongols going in Turov and Polotsk principalitioes (present day Belarus). However, territories of present day Belarus were incorporated in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1250 till 1300 by Grand Lithuanian duke Gedyminas. Into what is present day eastern Lithuania. Many territories of present day Ukraine were also incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. After the battle of blue waters (1362) where Grand Lithuanian duke Algirdas defeated Golden Horde and Podolia (south western Ukraine, just north of Moldova) was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. So Kiev, northern Ukraine, north-western Ukraine (Volyn), south-western Ukraine (Podolia) were part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. However, eastern Galicia (Lviv region) was not. It was part of Poland. Hungarians helped Poles to fight Lithuanian taking over eastern Galicia.

All territories of Ukraine and north-eastern Poland became part of Poland after Lublin union in 1569 when Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was formed, The union was to counter Moscow principality that became a strong raiding the cities of the Grand Duchy (cities of Belarus to be precise). Transfer of some land to Poland was part of the deal. Belarusian nobility decided to remain in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Today's border between Ukraine and Belarus approximately coincides with the border between Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
 
Likes: Dir
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
Dir!
On few occasions I would disagree with you. Whether Novgorod existed in the 9th century is the subject of a debate. However, Staraya Ladoga further north of Novgorod existed in the 9th centure (near Ladoga lake). Staraya Ladoga - Wikipedia

Rus and Rurikid came from the north and they could not avoid Baltic sea, Ladoga and all other rivers including Dniepr begining from Smolensk through eastern Belarus towards Kiev. The agreements between Byzantium and Rus mention eople of Rus who had Norse names in those chronicles. In Norse saga Novgorod was known as Holmgård or Holmgard (Holmgarðr or Holmgarðir). Kiev became part of Rus and capital of Rus after Oleg's (Helge in Old Norse) conquest.

It's also been shown that Rurikid DNA (Y-chr marker) is common in present day Sweden. Often named as Scandinavian marker. It's agreed in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland : http://www.elisanet.fi/alkupera/Rurikid.pdf

In short, all east Slavs (Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Rusyns) are heirs of Rus state
I want to decide right away - are we going to discuss the history of the Rurik dynasty here - or a state named Rus? The question is quite reasonable in our issue.

I have nothing against Rurik. And I like many of the present descendants of the Vikings have two questions:

1. Was Rurik a real person?

2. And if he was real - then who was Rurik? Creator of the state of Rus in the north-east of nowadays Russia - or just the head of the local community of the Vikings (Varangians) which was engaged in that part of Russia and traded there and along the way took tribute of the fur skins from the native peoples?

The chronicler Nestor who was born two centuries after the death of the legendary Rurik claims that he was in fact. And we believe Nestor the same way as we believe our own mother. Where Nestor was greatly mistaken as not having a single written source of the 9th century- it is that Rurik had two brothers - Sineus and Truvor. So some Scandinavians are now claiming that in fact the house (relatives) and a squad were called by similar words in the language of the Vikings.

So I have very big doubts about the reality of the existence of the state in those regions in the 9th century. I mean existance there some local northern state Rus on the lands near Ilmen Lake in the 9th century - before Kiev became a capital of Rus.

The controversy about where the state called Rus was born has been conducted with the Russians in our Ukrainian forums for 15 years already, and it is very active discussion. And none of my Russian opponents answered very simple questions:

If there existed a state in the 9th century with Ruriks at the head, then:

- what is its territory and borders
- how many cities were there? Two? Or three?
- what language did the people speak there and what was an "official language"of the state?
- where is her writing and at least one document of the state? Or does someone know the state without writing?
- what peoples inhabited it?
- what was the state religion in it?
- where at least one mention of this state in foreign documents of the time?
- where are her coins, state symbols and other attributes?


And then I explain to my opponents that after the semi-mythical Rurik almost all the Varangians descended from those parts to Kiev. There they stumbled upon rich and densely populated lands. According to the Bavarian Geographer of the 9th century, there were many hundreds of cities and towns in the lands we call Ukraine at the moment. And I could doubt - until I came across a huge — 200 hectares - place of ancient settlement 200 kilometer south of Kiev — a settlement not of the 9th century, but of the 4-5th centuries BC. And climbed up on its 10-meter high ground shaft after crossing the moat. The same great city dtd 15 centuries before the emergence of Rus was in the east of Ukraine near Poltava. Archeological excavations were carried out there. And historians identify the settlement near Poltava with the city of Gelon by Herodotus - a huge city in those places. Another large settlement of the same time was excavated on the outskirts of Kiev in Goloseevo.

And it is absolutely clear why the Varangians moved from the area near Ilmen Lake and settled in mid-Ukraine and launched the process of creating the state of Rus there. A REAL state which in the 11th century became one of the largest in Europe. And it was so influential that the Great princes of Kiev easily married their daughters and sons to princes and princesses of France, England, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Poland, etc.

At the same time, I see that for the last two centuries, Russia has been trying to build her own history, diligently putting into her basket everything that her historians have found on the way . What is Staraya (Old) Ladoga of the 9th century? This is a purely Varangian settlement - no Russians there, as well as the so-called Rurik Hillfort (Rjurikovo Gorodistche) , where Rurik sat 3 kilometers from the place where Novgorod will be buidt in the next century. In the 10c. This is not my hypothesis - that Staraya Ladoga and the Hillfort did not have any direct ethnocultural connection with Novgorod, which was built only in the 10th century. It says the Chief archaeologist of Novgorod academician Yanin. He has been excavating Novgorod and its environs for over 50 years and knows what he is talking about. And Yanin says that in the archeological layers of the 9th century in Novgorod there is only clay and sand. No one has lived there yet in that century. And as I see - the Varangians that settled in that places to the east of Baltic sea had very loose connection with the local tribes of the time. Local Slavs, Finno-Ugres and Balts.

The Varangians were bad colonizers there who offended and plundered those tribes in 9c. It is unlikely that the picture was different. Varangians were not very ceremonial with the locals - the same way as the locals remind Vikings in many other places

Staraya Ladoga and Rurik Hillfort were purely Varangian. And they have no more relation to the history of Russia as a state than the Viking settlements in North America - to the history of the United States or Canada. And Novgorod was a local product. It was built later - in the 10c, as Yanin noted - not by the Vatrangians but by the autochthonous peoples who lived in those lands. Slovene, Finno-Ugric Chud and local Balts. And early Novgorod consisted of three separate villages - Slavic, Chud (Finno-Ugric) and Balt. Not only that - Yanin writes that in the 12th century the Chud nobility still played an important role in Novgorod.

And after the invasion of Batu in the Russian lands, which did not touch Novgorod even more characteristic noisy Finno-Ugric women's pendants appear in it

So I view the entire history of Russian statehood from Rurik as pure ideology, with perhaps a legendary connection with history. And I think that Rus before Kiev is just a legend. And the real Rus is a state that starts no earlier than the middle of the 10th century. And starts in Kiev. There, the Varangians initiated the creation of the first real state with such an official name - Rus. And I do not see any other state with such a name and capital not in Kiev in any documents

And I also think that Western historians introduce their audience into a big misconception, calling the state Russia and the state Rus by one name - Russia. By the way, in Ukrainian and Polish there is no confusion. Russia is Rosiya, and Rus is Rus. And they call Russians - Rossiyane (Ukr) or Rosjanie (Pol). According to their real country

It was a little difficult to create some local state for the Varangians on such an ethnic mix in the eastern Baltic, wasn’t it? And I have serious suspicions that the Varangians played a completely different role there. They sat in their trading stations, engaged in bargaining and, on occasion, dragged tribute of the fur skins from the natives. And then they've got to know that 1000 kilometers to the south the Varangians Askold and Dir stumbled upon very interesting things. And they moved south. And created a state called Rus there with Kiev as capital. In the annals it is often called Rous. Роусь. And the first code of its laws was called Роськая Правда. Roskaya Truth.

Tell me where did this word come from? Tip - local hydronyms. To the south of Kiev four rivers flow at once with the name started from -ros: Ros, Rosava, Rostava, and Rosavitsa.

It is no need need to explain historians the role of hydronyms in determining the ethnicity of the tribes and peoples inhabiting their floodplains in old times

And now we recall that Nestor, the chronicle author of the beginning of the 12th century, said that the local Slavic tribe Polyane is now called Rus.
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
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And at the same time he tried to convince everyone that in fact word Rus is from the Varangians. Someone found in the Varangian sources such self-name of that people - Rus? I did not find. But on the banks of river Ros to the south from Kiev I have been more than once. Again, the strange thing is why Nestor's Polyane sat on the Dnieper. He found only the memory of them - by that time they had already joined created an ethnos, which was called Rus. Русь. And at the same time, the tribe or the people also called Polyane sat in Poland. The Poles call themselves now almost the same - the Polacy. Strange, isn't it? According to Nestor, 100-200 years before him there were two Slavic tribes that lived 800 miles from each other on the lands of present-day Poland and present-day Ukraine and were called by the same name. It seems to me wrong. And when I came across the same Bavarian Geographer of the 9th century to mention the Ruzzi people who live among others north of the Danube - and he also mentions our Uliсhes, Drevlyans and Volynians - I realized that the real name of the Nestor's Polyane was Rus. After two centuries, Nestor used this ethnonym in a wonderful legend about Varangians who came from far away.

Novgorodians are consideredas a separate Slavic people by some Russian historians . And I knowingly brought in confirmation of this the bas-reliefs with their depiction on the altar of the Cathedral in Stralsund. They do not look like the Russians at that time. In fact, it is an ethnic group destroyed in the 16th century or deported to the Moscow tzardom. And it looked as the real genocide of the Novgorodians by the Russians. Moreover, before that between them was an endless war. And I do not see the direct continuity of the Novgorod Republic with its close ties with the Ganza and the post-Horde Moscow tzardom. They were extremely different.

And what happened in the territory of the novadays central Russia, in the Volga-Oka interfluve, where the Russian ethnos was formed? The time of its appearance some Russian historians dtd in the 12th century. Obviously, the way it is. Until the 11th century there were practically no Slavs there. There lived 5 Finno-Ugric tribes - Merya, Muroma, Meshchera, Moksha and Erzya - and one Baltic tribe - Golad in the upper reaches of the river Oka.

And rather soon - by the middle of the 12th century this region (Rostov-Suzdal lands or Zalesye - the lands that are separated from the Rus by the dense Bryansk forests) was completely separated from Rus. Thus, the emergence of a new ethnos — the Russians — and the separation of Zalesye from Rus occurred in time almost simultaneously. And I do not see any real signs of mass migration of the Slavic population in that region. No - except the favorite thesis of Russian historiography about such migration. And I do not believe that the peasants and their families could have made their way 1000 kilometers from their native places in Rus (I mean Kiev region) through dense impassable forests inhabited by warlike Vyatichi. Relocate from the fat black soils of the Dnieper basin to Zalesye loam with an alien autochthonous population. Militant and inhospitable. Moreover, near the Kiev lands were rich Galician-Volyn lands, which at that time no nomads were not threatened.

I am sure that Slavic migration went to these territory in the western part of Ukraine - not to Russia.

And why did the population of Zalesye grow so rapidly in the 11th-12th century? Very simple. Local Finno-Ugric peoples mastered agriculture in the 7th century. The abundance of forests allowed to provide the burn-farming. And such agricultural technology gave a bountiful crop - 7-10 times higher than with plowing. The abundance of bread caused a sharp increase in local population. Until 1237 nobody threatened this region from the outside. And so there was no mass migration from outside to that region. Purely local causes of rapid population growth.

Rus brought there the Slavic language and the Christian faith during its short dominion. And the local Finno-Ugrians started to use the Slavic language and being baptized and became the Russian ethnic group. Similar way with the appearance of Mexicans under Spanish Influence. Or the Romanians under the influence of the Roman Empire.

The Varangians obviously lived on their own before they initiated the emergence of the state of Rus on the territory of Ukraine . In Staraya Ladoga, the Rurik Hillfort, in Gnezdovo on the Dnieper River near the present Smolensk and in the Varangian settlement on the Desna River not far from Chernigov near modern Shestovitsa. And they began to take part in the local history since the state of Rus appeared. In the 10th century. And they started to wore Slavic names from Svyatoslav- and this is a sign of the beginning of their assimilation. It remains to add that the Tale of Bygone Years and Chronicles of the 12 c call Rus or Ruskaya Zemlya (Land of Rus) only the territory in the Middle Dnepr in the area of Kiev, Chernigov and Pereyaslav. Neither Novgorod nor the Volga-Oka interfluve are called Rus or Ruskaya Zemlya in these chronicle.
 
Nov 2015
1,924
Kyiv
I think the best way to see this is to view Russia similar to Germany. The Rus started off quite centralized like the HRE, power became decentralized over time into a bunch of major states with a few major ones competing for power. The Kiev title became more and more symbolic similar to the Holy Roman Emperor's title. Eventually one duchy(Muscovy) became pre eminent and unified many of them again. Muscovy then became Russia and the Duke of Moscow became the Tsar hence why Moscow is the capital of Russia similar to Berlin being the capital of Germany because it was part of Brandenburg.

Ignored the Mongol thing for simplicity's sake. So yes, yes it is.
What are we going to do with the Horde? With a big state in the western half of today's Russia? Russian lands were part of Horde for more than two centuries. And Moscow was essentially the Horde project. It was the Horde khans who set Moscow as governor of the Horde in those lands. And for the Moscow elite the Horde was the only living example of the state standards. This elite did not go to other countries until the end of the 17th century. And a number of Russian historians call the 16th century Muscovy as a typical Asian despotia. And only Peter I tried to drag away the Moscow kingdom from the Horde heritage. I am afraid that in 1917 these efforts to Europeanize Russia came to an end

And you would not call Russia under Stalin a typical Asiatic despotiа? And how far did Putin go from that model?
 
Aug 2014
286
New York, USA
Rus principalities on territories of present day Russia and Ukraine fell to Mongols. Kiev was destroyed by Mongols in 1240.
Kiev was already in a steady hundred year decline by the time Mongols showed up. Kiev was sacked in 1169 (by a Rus coalition army from Smolensk, Kursk, Novgorod-Severky, etc), and ever since then it got sacked multiple times, to the point where "Grand Princes of Kiev" didn't even live in Kiev anymore, and it was a purely ceremonial title. Once the Mongols destroyed Kiev's countryside and trading towns surrounding Kiev (1240-41), its economic base collapsed and it became just another provincial town.
 
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Dec 2017
801
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Kiev was already in a steady hundred year decline by the time Mongols showed up. Kiev was sacked in 1169 (by a Rus coalition army from Smolensk, Kursk, Novgorod-Severky, etc), and ever since then it got sacked multiple times, to the point where "Grand Princes of Kiev" didn't even live in Kiev anymore, and it was a purely ceremonial title. Once the Mongols destroyed Kiev's countryside and trading towns surrounding Kiev (1240-41), its economic base collapsed and it became just another provincial town.
Kiev city was not in a steady decline. The state Rus with capital in Kiev coined by historians as Kievan Rus was in decline since Yaroslav the Wise prior to Mongol invasion. Rus was a large state from Carpathians to Ladoga lake (near east Baltic) that was difficult to control.
 
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