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Russia is the biggest country in the world, spanning one-eighth of the earth’s landmass. But where did it all begin? Alex Gendler explores the epic history of the Kievan Rus, where characters ranging from Viking raiders and Western crusaders to Byzantine missionaries and Mongol hordes all played a role to create a unique civilization standing at the crossroads of culture and geography.

Lesson by Alex Gendler, animation by Draško Ivezić.


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37 thoughts on “Where did Russia come from? – Alex Gendler”

  1. Viking origin is just one of the theories (established by germanic court scientists of russian empress who had german origin herself).

  2. The origin of the word 'Rus' is actually the finnish translation of sweden, 'Routsi' which comes from 'Rosslagen' outside of Stockholm.

  3. Check out the clothes of tsarina, they look like the clothes of byzantine empress so much e.g. Theodora’s ones of her mosaic in hagia sophia

  4. Now with the modern genetics and linguistics we know the Norse did not immigrate into Russia, and if they ever ruled there, that's based entirely on mythology written centuries after.
    In Viking Age the Norse knew writing, and carved plenty of runestones. The British Isles have dozens of runestones everywhere, even though only 250 is found in Denmark and 50 in Norway. Russia doesn't have any runestones, and Ukraine has only one, in Odessa, even though runestone carving wast most common in Sweden where about 2500 were made in this era.
    Earliest writings found in Russian Kievan Rus settlements are the so called birch bark letters/manuscripts. Over one thousand have been found, and they're mostly written in Old Russian (Slavic Novgorodian dialect), only one has been found written in Norse.
    A placename study in the Kievan Rus region showed that of the over 60 000 names investigated, only 370 showed Norse origin, which would rule out large scale immigration and rather suggest trade.
    Modern genetics shows that Russians nor Ukrainians are not genetically close with Scandinavians. The North Russians are closest with Finns and Volga region Finnic people, in fact they appear largely a Finnic population that have changed their language into Russian. The Central Russians are closest to Finnic peoples, Balts, Tatars and West Slavs.
    "Genetic Heritage of the Balto-Slavic Speaking Populations: A Synthesis of Autosomal, Mitochondrial and Y-Chromosomal Data" or
    While the people in the British Isles share same same R1a subclade with Scandinavians, the Russians do not.
    Rurik is entirely based on Nestor's mythological creation story of the beginning of Kievan Rus. Prince Oleg that according to mythology followed Rurik, about his existance history doesn't know anything either, there's only hypothetic debate he might not have been descendant of Rurik.

  5. There were a lot of tribes: drevlyans, polyans, ves', merya, ugor, fin and a lot more. They all united against the nomad tribes like hazars, built protected villages which developed to towns where ruled chief in each, then it came Kiev Rus' with dukes, then tzars and Empire, then Soviet, and now it is Russian Federation, since 10th century known as just Russia (greek roots of naming). Nothing new, England built the same way so as others.

  6. This is interesting but I was looking for content to help me with my upcoming Test, like with Tsar Nicholas II and The Russian Revolution

  7. It’s the Russian’s lie history🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️
    It stole history of Ukraine! Russian has connect with Rus, but history of Kiev Rus isn’t a Russian history!! It’s so sad we are crying and no one want to decide this question

  8. I'm sure it was metioned in comments before, just to make sure: Oleg wasn't a son of Rurik, he was Rurik's brother-in-law and regent-ruler for the son of Rurik – Igor.

  9. It seems that author know nothing about history of Eastern Europe. The facts are so distorted that they have nothing to do with what really happened.

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