The picture, av Koryakov Yuri – Eget verk, CC BY-SA 2.5,
Four months ago, Russia went to war with Ukraine (24.2.2022). In our “peacefully enlightened” world, it seems strange. What’s behind it?
Here I will try to see it in a historical context, first the time after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. So the time after Russia seized Crimea just before 1800. Secondly, I want to see it in a larger context, where Kiev Rus is central. It was important for the Vikings, I want to see it from a Nordic point of view then.
Kiev Rus was founded by Vikings from Scandinavia and Norwegian Vikings had good and valuable contact with it. It was a great kingdom that was the origin of Ukraine, Russia and Belarus.
Finally, I want to take a look at the impact of great empires on Europe after the Roman Empire. Kyev Rus existed in parallel with the Holy Roman Empire. Emperor Otto 2 recruited Olav Tryggvason in the army that he sent north, since Olav had grown up in the Kyev Rus.
A few hundred years later, a large part of the Kyev Rus joined the Polish-Lithuanian Union so that they together could stand up against the Mongol Empire. This was primarily the Ukrainian people, but they came in a pinch, because when the Prince of Moscow also rose against the Mongol Empire, there became competition between the Polish-Lithuanian Union and the Grand Duch of Moscow. It also had to do with the competition between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church.
But later Russia became the tsar kingdom according to the role model of the Roman Empire, but with Christianity as religion (“Keisar” and and “Tsar” comes from the surname of Julius Caesar). Tsar Peter 1 led a cultural revolution from medieval society to modern times, with science and rational system, by orienting himself to the west. Then he even moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg. Thus there came a golden age.
After Ukraine became independent in 1991, at the dissolution of the USSR.
The European Union or the Eurasian Union?
Ukraine had plans for EU membership and was about to sign the agreement, but then the president tried to reach an agreement with the “Eurasian Union” instead. Then there was protest and conflict.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ukraine :
With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Ukraine became an independent state, formalised with a referendum in December 1991. On 21 January 1990, over 300,000 Ukrainians organized a human chain for Ukrainian independence between Kyiv and Lviv. Ukraine officially declared itself an independent country on 24 August 1991, when the communist Supreme Soviet (parliament) of Ukraine proclaimed that Ukraine would no longer follow the laws of USSR and only the laws of the Ukrainian SSR, de facto declaring Ukraine’s independence from the Soviet Union. On 1 December, voters approved a referendum formalizing independence from the Soviet Union. Over 90% of Ukrainian citizens voted for independence, with majorities in every region, including 56% in Crimea. The Soviet Union formally ceased to exist on 26 December, when the presidents of Ukraine, Belarus and Russia (the founding members of the USSR) met in Białowieża Forest to formally dissolve the Union in accordance with the Soviet Constitution. With this, Ukraine’s independence was formalized de jure and recognized by the international community.
Euromajdan (ukrainsk: Jevromajdan – som betyr ‘Europaplassen’) var en bølge av demonstrasjoner og sivil uro i Ukraina, som begynte natt til 21. november 2013 med offentlige protester i Majdan Nezalezjnosti – (Frihetsplassen) i Kyiv og i vestre deler av landet. Protesten ble utløst av den ukrainske regjeringens beslutning om å utsette signeringen av en tilknytningsavtale med Den europeiske union og i stedet velge tettere bånd til Russland og Den eurasiske økonomiske union. Protestene ble kalt Euromajdan, I februar 2014 begynte opprørspolitiet å skyte mot demonstrantene, og dette resulterte i 82 drepte 19.–20. februar. Protestene eskalerte til voldsomheter i Kyiv, og den 21. februar 2014 ble det undertegnet en avtale mellom president Viktor Janukovitsj og opposisjonens representanter Arsenij Jatsenjuk, Vitalij Klitsjko og Oleg Tsjagnibok. Gennomføringen av avtalen ble da garantert gjennom underskrifter fra tre utenriksministre innen EU (Tysklands Franz-Walter Steinmeier, Frankrikes Fabio Laurent og Polens Radoslaw Sikorski) og innebar en tidsplan for konstitusjonelle endringer og utlysing av nyvalg. Dagen etter, den 22. februar 2014, gjennomførte opposisjonen likevel et statskupp. De folkevalgte hadde ikke 3/4 flertall for å avsette en president, noe Ukrainas grunnlov krever, men bare alminnelig flertall. Oleksandr Turtsjynov ble likevel utpekt som fungerende president. Parlamentet fulgte heller ikke de prosedyrer som krevdes for avsetting av presidenten, og støtten til motbevegelsen økte. Støtte til denne motbevegelsen kom mest fra de russisktalende områdene i landet, så som den autonome republikken Krim, områdene øst for elven Dnepr og i sør, rundt Odessa.
In 2004, Kuchma announced that he would not run for re-election. Two major candidates emerged in the 2004 presidential election. Viktor Yanukovych, the incumbent Prime Minister, supported by both Kuchma and by the Russian Federation, wanted closer ties with Russia. The main opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko, called for Ukraine to turn its attention westward and aim to eventually join the EU. In the runoff election, Yanukovych officially won by a narrow margin, but Yushchenko and his supporters alleged that vote rigging and intimidation cost him many votes, especially in eastern Ukraine. A political crisis erupted after the opposition started massive street protests in Kyiv and other cities (“Orange Revolution”), and the Supreme Court of Ukraine ordered the election results null and void. A second runoff found Viktor Yushchenko the winner. Five days later, Yanukovych resigned from office and his cabinet was dismissed on 5 January 2005.
Russia occupied Crimea in 2014 and supported Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.
In March 2014, the Annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation occurred. Though official results of a referendum on Crimean reunification with Russia were reported as showing a large majority in favor of the proposition, the vote was organized under Russian military occupation and was denounced by the European Union and the United States as illegal.
The Crimean crisis was followed by pro-Russian unrest in east Ukraine and south Ukraine. In April 2014 Ukrainian separatists self-proclaimed the Donetsk People’s Republic and Lugansk People’s Republic and held referendums on 11 May 2014; the separatists claimed nearly 90% voted in favor of independence. Later in April 2014, fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Ukrainian volunteer battalions on one side, and forces supporting the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on the other side, escalated into the War in Donbas. By December 2014, more than 6,400 people had died in this conflict, and according to United Nations figures it led to over half a million people becoming internally displaced within Ukraine and two hundred thousand refugees to flee to (mostly) Russia and other neighboring countries. During the same period, political (including adoption of the law on lustration and the law on decommunization) and economic reforms started. On 25 May 2014, Petro Poroshenko was elected president  in the first round of the presidential election. By the second half of 2015, independent observers noted that reforms in Ukraine had considerably slowed down, corruption did not subside, and the economy of Ukraine was still in a deep crisis. By December 2015, more than 9,100 people had died (largely civilians) in the War in Donbas, according to United Nations figures.
War in Ukraine.
On February 2, 2021, a presidential decree banned the television broadcasting of the pro-Russian TV channels 112 Ukraine, NewsOne and ZIK. The decision of the National Security and Defense Council and the Presidential Decree of February 19, 2021 imposed sanctions on 8 individuals and 19 legal entities, including Putin’s pro-Russian politician and Putin’s godfather Viktor Medvedchuk and his wife Oksana Marchenko.
The Kerch Strait incident occurred on 25 November 2018 when the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) coast guard fired upon and captured three Ukrainian Navy vessels attempting to pass from the Black Sea into the Sea of Azov through the Kerch Strait on their way to the port of Mariupol.
Throughout 2021, Russian forces built up along the Russia-Ukraine Border. On February 24, 2022 Russian forces invaded Ukraine. Russia quickly occupied much of the south and east of the country, but failed to take the north including Kyiv.
After Russia took Crimea in 1783.
Russia lost Crimea quietly and peacefully under the Soviet Union.
Nina Krutsjon descend from Nikita Krutsjov. She tells that Stalin was leading a centralization policy that was an accident for Ukraine, but that Krutshov was leading a decentralization policy in which he transferred Crimea to Ukraine. She claims that Putin is leading a politics of centralization reminiscent of Stalinism. I think this article teaches us much, so I quote from
Her grandfather gave Crimea to Ukraine
WASHINGTON D.C. (NRK): Professor Nina Khrushchev believes Crimea will again be Russian after tomorrow’s referendum. But she is proud that her grandfather gave the peninsula to Ukraine in 1954.
Published 15 March 2014 at 11:12 Updated 15 March 2014 at 12:17
The article is several years old.
“My grandfather loved Ukraine and probably thought the Ukrainians had suffered enough in the Stalin era,” explains Nina Khrushchev.
She is essentially the great-granddaughter of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, but when her grandfather fell at the front in 1943, Khrushchev adopted Nina’s two-year-old mother. Therefore, the man who led the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964 was Nina’s grandfather.
Bit the guests in the legs
GRANDFATHER: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who was the grandfather of Nina Khrushchev, had a close relationship with Ukraine.
PHOTO: NTB SCANPIX
“He let me do what I wanted to do when I was a kid. “My mother could be furious, but my grandfather just said, let her go,” Khrushchev says of her grandfather, who let her sit under the table when he had big lunches with important guests.
There, little Nina sat and bit the guests at the ankles.
“He was the only one who thought it was cute,” Khrushchev says with a smile.
NRK meets her on the premises of a research institute in Washington, D.C. Where the professor at the University of New School in New York has come to talk about a book she has written about her own family.
She is an active public debater and has spent much of her time in the US media since the uprising in Ukraine began. Long before the fall of the Yanukovych regime, Nina Khrushchev warned that Russian forces would enter Crimea. And she was right.
Now she is sure that Crimea will again become Russian.
“Russia may also settle in the border areas where there is a lot of important industry. It remains to be seen what will happen,” she said.
Walk away Crimea in silence.
Nikita Khrushchev had a close relationship with Ukraine throughout his life. When he was young, he was a miner there. He spoke Ukrainian and his wife was from Ukraine.
In the 1930s, people in Ukraine suffered terribly under Stalin’s regime. The Republic was supposed to be responsible for the food production of large parts of the Soviet Union, but the people of Ukraine had to starve themselves. Ukraine was also severely destroyed in the war years, and when Stalin died in 1953 and Khrushchev took over, it was natural for him to give the Crimean peninsula back to Ukraine.
It was best that way,” said Khrushchev, who also pointed out that the Russian Republic had no physical border with Crimea.
“He wanted to decentralize the Soviet Union more, and this was one of the first measures,” explains Nina Khrushchev. It was not a big deal back then since the Soviet Union was a country, and the newspaper Pravda only offered a note on the incident.
Putin destroys Russia
Nina Khrushchev has inherited her grandfather’s temperament and is not afraid to say exactly what she thinks of President Putin.
“He has brought Russia back a long way. He centralizes where Russians have long tried to decentralize. He consolidates power and destroys the democratic institutions that have been built up.
Khrushchev goes so far as to claim that Putin is even trying to restore dictator Stalin.
“In 2009, one of the major metro stations in Moscow was refurbished in a Stalinist style with a gold lettering inscription paying tribute to Stalin. I react strongly to these things,” she explains.
Visa denial for all Russians.
Like most people, Nina Khrushchev does not doubt the outcome of the referendum in Crimea tomorrow. She believes that the US and the EU must cooperate on strict sanctions against Russia if it annexes the peninsula and may also settle elsewhere in Ukraine.
– Grant visa denial to all Russians to both the US and the EU. If 140 million people are refused entry to the United States or on a skiing holiday in the Alps, I think Putin’s popularity will quickly fall in Russia. It is such measures that will help, along with economic sanctions,” concludes the US-Russian professor who moved to the US in 1991.
From cold to hot war.
Professor Bent Jensen has been leader for the Center for Cold War Research in Denmark. Here he refers to Henry Kissinger:
THE OLD GEOPOLITICIAN’S VIEW ON THE UKRAINE CONFLICT
The 99-year-old Kissinger has been heard twice, first in a conversation with the Financial Times and then in an address to the rich and powerful in Davos. His message is a clear warning to the United States not to try to defeat and marginalize the great power Russia, while urging Ukraine to accept the loss of territories made up of Crimea and Donbass. In doing so, he turns directly against the Biden administration’s policy, which, according to Secretary of Defense Austin, is to inflict such a painful defeat on Russia that it will never again be able to attack another country. Not to mention the NATO country Lithuania, which blatantly wants to remove not Putin alone, but the entire current Russian regime.
This is not the first time the veteran U.S. diplomat and foreign policy has spoken out about the Russia-Ukraine conflict and about the U.S./NATO/EU policy toward the two now warring states. Back in 2007, Kissinger opposed Ukraine joining NATO. He was and is of the opinion that even if a state (the United States) is able to drive its policy through towards a weaker state (Russia), it is not certain that it is wise. Foreign policy is about creating results, but if the result of such a policy of strength is that you create problems for yourself, it is not a wise policy.
The US/NATO at the time did not want to follow Kissinger’s advice, especially the US was working to get Ukraine (and Georgia) into NATO, and in the following years the conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensified, culminating in Russia’s occupation and annexation in 2014 of the Crimean peninsula, which was part of sovereign Ukraine that had emerged in 1991.
Kissinger now felt commended to call for calm again, and he urged all parties — Russia, Ukraine and the United States — to seek reconciliation and a compromise that everyone could live with. In a March 2014 Washington Post article, he outlined a solution based on the following considerations:
If Ukraine is to survive and prosper, it must not be a bridge-head for one side against the other, Ukraine must instead be a bridge between East and West. Treating Ukraine as part of an East-West confrontation would destroy the possibility of bringing Russia and the West — especially Russia and Europe — into a cooperative international system. The root of the problem is the efforts of Ukrainian politicians to impose its will on the other party.
A wise U.S. policy on the Ukraine issue would therefore be to work to get the two parts of the country to cooperate. All the parties to the dispute, however, have instead made the problems bigger, but Russia must understand that attempts to implement a military solution will isolate the country and lead to a new Cold War; The West must understand that demonizing Putin is not a usable policy, but an alibi for the absence of a policy; The United States must stop treating Russia as an outlier that must learn to follow some rules set by Washington.
Russia must therefore accept that it should not attempt to impose a satellite status on Ukraine, thereby shooting its borders to the west, because it will condemn Russia to repeat its history with self-fulfilling cycles of tension in relation to the United States and Europe.
The West must understand that for Russia Ukraine is not just a foreign state, because it was here with Kiev as its capital that Russia’s history began. The EU has only contributed to creating a crisis and has not understood that foreign policy is about prioritization.
Ukraine is the crucial element with its complex history, where the western part of the country was only as late as 1939, as a result of the Stalin-Hitler Pact’s annihilation of Poland, incorporated into Ukraine and Crimea by Russian majority as late as 1954 became part of the country. Ukraine is torn between the Catholic West and the Orthodox East. One side’s attempt to dominate the other will lead to civil war or the disintegration of the country.
The following principles should be used as the basis for resolving the conflict:
1. Ukraine shall have the right to freely choose its economic and political relations, including with Europe.
2. Ukraine should not join NATO.
3. Ukraine shall be free to form its government in accordance with the will of its people. Ukrainian politicians should pursue a policy of reconciliation internally and externally, a position like that of Finland, i.e. a clear independence and cooperation with the West in most areas, but carefully avoid institutional enmity towards Russia.
If Kissinger’s advice in 2014 had been followed by the parties to the dispute, perhaps the current war would have been avoided. But that didn’t happen. Instead, relations between the United States and Russia in particular deteriorated. Both great powers have a responsibility for this development, the West is not blameless. The West, especially the United States, never formulated a serious policy that took into account the legitimate interests of both parties. But chose, in Kissinger’s words, the demonization of one side as an alibi for the absence of a constructive policy.
So long Bent Jensen.
Kissinger is one of the main advocates of the U.S. for trade with China. In fact, he said global order is more important than American patriotism and loyalty. He did not want to enter Ukraine into NATO, for he did not want it to tool to suppress Russia or other countries in the east, but to be a bridge between east and west. The United States and the West laid on a different line and then there was war. So what then? Kissinger suggests for Ukraine to negotiate, perhaps they must give away to Crimea and Donetsk.
But isn’t it primarily the people in these regions who should be allowed to make that decision? With a referendum. If the result is about 50% it may not matter, if it is overwhelming more to one side, it may be decisive. But when it´s already war, it is no longer that easy. Then great political interests also play a role.
Professor Bent Jensen has been leader for the Center for Cold-War-investigation in Denmark. Here he refers to Henry Kissinger: “The West must understand that for Russia, Ukraine is not just a foreign state, for it was here with Kiev as the capital that Russia’s history began. » The he refers to Kiev Rus in the Viking Age. Well, it matters too. But newer history is that in 1771, Russia seized Crimea, was about to loose it in the Crimean War, lost it temporary in the world wars, but lost it quietly and peacefully under the Soviet Union in 1954.
Posts in the debate.
Bent Jensen’s post was shared on an FB page and I participated in the debate. Here is some of my comments.
Comparing Ukraine to the Nordic countries.
There are many who compare Ukraine with Norway and the Nordic countries. But it seems to me that this is not particularly advanced or comparing policy. The Nordic countries became Protestant, primarily affected by our neighboring countries. Evangelical preaching took root and taught us to use the peaceful methods and the methods of the new natural science were also peaceful. So in Norway, we got national independence, nearly whitout war. It ran out of the political situation, so we have to honor our neighbours for it too, especially England. This we saw also in the second world war.
If we had understood it and appreciated it better, we might have been better able to give good advice, to guide Ukraine and others to freedom and national independence, with democratization. It’s my heart’s first choice and it’s very good for me, but it’s far from obvious that I´ll manage it.
When that is said, I would like to remind you that there are many who, on the contrary, will oppose the nation-state and end it, instead of developing it further. They seem to envisa globalism taking over, but it mostly serves as a damning utopia. Nevertheless, it seems to contradict such developments in Ukraine.
It’s not that easy to compare Norway and Ukraine. In 1814, Norway was a piece in political game, and we may be pleased that it went as well. The Russians took Crimea in 1771, Sevastopol in Crimea fell in the Crimean War (1855), but not so great consequences nonetheless, the Russians still inhabited Crimea. They lost Crimea in the first and second world wars, but won it back. Crimea was transferred quietly to Ukraine in the Soviet Union in 1954.
When we compare Ukraine with the Nordic countries, we must also acknowledge the difference. So let’s take a look at the historical background. Khrutsjov gave Crimea back to Ukraine, while the country was the Soviet Union, so it happened quietly. He was from Ukraine and waged decentralizing politics, as a counter to Stalin’s centralism. His great-granddaughter told us about this and claims that Putin is leading a centralizing policy.
In the 2014 Crimea referendum, after Russarane had invaded, there was overwhelming majority for it to be Russian, but not everyone accepted the referendum. https://www.dagbladet.no/…/referendum-in-time…/61486486
Russarane took Crimea in 1771. Dei lost it for a while during the World Wars, but won it back. In the Crimean war there was a dispute over the peninsula, it was a great war where nations grouped according to the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox Church, I quote from https://snl.no/Krimkrigen :
“The weapon used by Napoleon 3 and the French government was a prolonged conflict between two important Christian churches in Ottoman Palestine: the nativity church in Bethlehem and the tomb in Jerusalem. For centuries, there had been fighting between Catholic and Orthodox priests for control. By the middle of the 18th century, France had been appointed protector of all Catholic subjects by the Ottoman Sultan, while Russia had been granted the same status to the Orthodox subjects. In 1853, French authorities, with the help of gunboat diplomacy, forced the Ottoman sultan Abdulmejid to make concessions to the Catholic priests in the church dispute.
Russia’s Tsar Nicholas 1, a deeply religious man, reacted strongly, since in Russian eyes this was a violation of the Russian-Ottoman Peace Treaty of 1774. He sent Russian army corps against the Ottoman vassal principality of Moldavia and Valakia (Danube Duchy) in response, demanding that Russia be appointed protector of all twelve million Orthodox inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire. In response, the French and British authorities sent naval forces into the Black Sea to support the Ottomans, persuading the Sultan to reject the Russian demands. In July 1853 , Nicholas 1 ordered the Russian forces to occupy Moldavia and Valakia; the Ottomans declared war on the Russians in response and counterattacked.”
Both the Orthodox and Catholic churches have fortifyed themselves in Ukraine and we clearly notice conflict between religious interests in this war. But then it depends on how much we put in it as well.
See the Ukraine war globally in a longer historical context and from a Nordic point of view. Ukraine, Russia and Belarus had their origins in the Kyev Rus and Novgorod.
Here we learn a little more about the Kyiv Empire (Kyiv-Russia). It must be the same as the Gardar Kingdom.
Kyev Rus was founded by Vikings, (“varjagar”, “Væringer”) and they called it “Gardar Kingdom” According to the chronicle, the Finnish and Slavic tribes of northern Russia asked the Skandinavian, Rurik, to come and rule over them, because the land was large and rich, but there was no order. especially Oleg of Novgorod. The Vikings went both Kyev Rus and Miklagard (Constantinople) and here they heard about Christianity.
Roslagen, Kyev-Rus, Russia.
Rus in Kyev-Rus and in Russia likely comes from Roslagen in Sweden from «to row», since the Vikings used to row. Kyev Rus means the «land of the Rus» and «Russia» comes from this. On the 12th century it was also called Ruthenia, and the word «ruthenization» coms from this.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roslagen :
Historically, it was the name for all the coastal areas of the Baltic Sea, including the eastern parts of lake Mälaren, belonging to Svealand. The name was first mentioned in the year 1493 as “Rodzlagen”. Before that the area was known as Roden. Roden had a skeppslag (roughly translated: ship district), the coastal equivalent to the inland Hundreds. When the king would issue a call to leidang, the Viking Age equivalent of military conscript service, the skeppslag in Roden was responsible for raising ships for the leidang navy.
The name comes from the rodslag, which is an old coastal Uppland word for a rowing crew of warrior oarsmen. Etymologically, Roden, or Roslagen, is the source of the Finnish and Estonian names for Sweden: Ruotsi and Rootsi.
A person from Roslagen is called a Rospigg which means “inhabitant of Ros”. Swedes from the Roslagen area, that is “the people of Ros”, gave their name to the Rus’ people and thus to the states of Russia and Belarus (see Rus’ (name)).
The area also gives its name to the endangered domesticated Roslag sheep, which originated from the area centuries ago. It is served by the Roslagsbanan, a narrow-gauge railway network from Stockholm.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus%27 :
Rurik led the Rus’ until his death in about 879, bequeathing his kingdom to his kinsman, Prince Oleg, as regent for his young son, Igor. In 880–82, Oleg led a military force south along the Dnieper river, capturing Smolensk and Lyubech before reaching Kiev, where he deposed and killed Askold and Dir, proclaimed himself prince, and declared Kiev the “mother of Rus’ cities.”[note 1] Oleg set about consolidating his power over the surrounding region and the riverways north to Novgorod, imposing tribute on the East Slav tribes.
Kievan Rus’, sometimes Kyivan Rus’, (Old East Slavic: Роусь, romanized: Rusĭ, or роусьскаѧ землѧ, romanized: rusĭskaę zemlę, lit. ’Rus’ land’; Old Norse: Garðaríki) was a state in Eastern and Northern Europe from the late 9th to the mid-13th century. Encompassing a variety of polities and peoples, including East Slavic, Norse, and Finnic, it was ruled by the Rurik dynasty, founded by the Varangian prince Rurik. The modern nations of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine all claim Kievan Rus’ as their cultural ancestor, with Belarus and Russia deriving their names from it. At its greatest extent in the mid-11th century, Kievan Rus’ stretched from the White Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south and from the headwaters of the Vistula in the west to the Taman Peninsula in the east, uniting the East Slavic tribes.
According to the Primary Chronicle, the first ruler to start uniting East Slavic lands into what would become Kievan Rus’ was Prince Oleg (879–912). He extended his control from Novgorod south along the Dnieper river valley to protect trade from Khazar incursions from the east, and moved his capital to the more strategic Kiev. Sviatoslav I (943–972) achieved the first major expansion of Kievan Rus’ territorial control, fighting a war of conquest against the Khazars. Vladimir the Great (980–1015) introduced Christianity with his own baptism and, by decree, extended it to all inhabitants of Kiev and beyond. Kievan Rus’ reached its greatest extent under Yaroslav the Wise (1019–1054); his sons assembled and issued its first written legal code, the Russkaya Pravda, shortly after his death.
The state began to decline in the late 11th century, gradually disintegrating into various rival regional powers throughout the 12th century. It was further weakened by external factors, such as the decline of the Byzantine Empire, its major economic partner, and the accompanying diminution of trade routes through its territory. It finally fell to the Mongol invasion of the 1240s, though the Rurik dynasty would continue to rule parts of Rus’ until the 14th century in the Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia and until the 16th century after the establishment of the Tsardom of Russia.
During its existence, Kievan Rus’ was known as the “land of the Rus” (Old East Slavic: ро́усьскаѧ землѧ, from the ethnonym Ро́усь; Greek: Ῥῶς; Arabic: الروس ar-Rūs), in Greek as Ῥωσία, in Old French as Russie, Rossie, in Latin as Rusia or Russia (with local German spelling variants Ruscia and Ruzzia), and from the 12th century also as Ruthenia or Rutenia. Various etymologies have been proposed, including Ruotsi, the Finnish designation for Sweden or Ros, a tribe from the middle Dnieper valley region.
According to the prevalent theory, the name Rus‘, like the Proto-Finnic name for Sweden (*rootsi), is derived from an Old Norse term for ‘men who row’ (rods-) because rowing was the main method of navigating the rivers of Eastern Europe, and could be linked to the Swedish coastal area of Roslagen (Rus-law) or Roden, as it was known in earlier times. The name Rus‘ would then have the same origin as the Finnish and Estonian names for Sweden: Ruotsi and Rootsi.
It is not clearly documented when the title of the Grand Duke was first introduced, but the importance of the Kiev principality was recognized after the death of Sviatoslav I in 972 and the ensuing struggle between Vladimir the Great and Yaropolk I. The region of Kiev dominated the state of Kievan Rus’ for the next two centuries. The grand prince or grand duke (Belarusian: вялікі князь, romanized: vyaliki knyaz’ or vialiki kniaź, Russian: великий князь, romanized: velikiy kniaz, Rusyn: великый князь, romanized: velykŷĭ kni͡az′, Ukrainian: великий князь, romanized: velykyi kniaz) of Kiev controlled the lands around the city, and his formally subordinate relatives ruled the other cities and paid him tribute. The zenith of the state’s power came during the reigns of Vladimir the Great (980–1015) and Prince Yaroslav I the Wise (1019–1054). Both rulers continued the steady expansion of Kievan Rus’ that had begun under Oleg.
Vladimir had been prince of Novgorod when his father Sviatoslav I died in 972. He was forced to flee to Scandinavia in 976 after his half-brother Yaropolk had murdered his other brother Oleg and taken control of Rus. In Scandinavia, with the help of his relative Earl Håkon Sigurdsson, ruler of Norway, Vladimir assembled a Viking army and reconquered Novgorod and Kiev from Yaropolk.
As Prince of Kiev, Vladimir’s most notable achievement was the Christianization of Kievan Rus’, a process that began in 988. The Primary Chronicle states that when Vladimir had decided to accept a new faith instead of the traditional idol-worship (paganism) of the Slavs, he sent out some of his most valued advisors and warriors as emissaries to different parts of Europe. They visited the Christians of the Latin Rite, the Jews, and the Muslims before finally arriving in Constantinople. They rejected Islam because, among other things, it prohibited the consumption of alcohol, and Judaism because the god of the Jews had permitted his chosen people to be deprived of their country.
They found the ceremonies in the Roman church to be dull. But at Constantinople, they were so astounded by the beauty of the cathedral of Hagia Sophia and the liturgical service held there that they made up their minds there and then about the faith they would like to follow. Upon their arrival home, they convinced Vladimir that the faith of the Byzantine Rite was the best choice of all, upon which Vladimir made a journey to Constantinople and arranged to marry Princess Anna, the sister of Byzantine emperor Basil II.
Ivan Eggink’s painting represents Vladimir listening to the Orthodox priests, while the papal envoy stands aside in discontent.
Vladimir’s choice of Eastern Christianity may also have reflected his close personal ties with Constantinople, which dominated the Black Sea and hence trade on Kiev’s most vital commercial route, the Dnieper River. Adherence to the Eastern Church had long-range political, cultural, and religious consequences. The church had a liturgy written in Cyrillic and a corpus of translations from Greek that had been produced for the Slavic peoples. This literature facilitated the conversion to Christianity of the Eastern Slavs and introduced them to rudimentary Greek philosophy, science, and historiography without the necessity of learning Greek (there were some merchants who did business with Greeks and likely had an understanding of contemporary business Greek).
In contrast, educated people in medieval Western and Central Europe learned Latin. Enjoying independence from the Roman authority and free from tenets of Latin learning, the East Slavs developed their own literature and fine arts, quite distinct from those of other Eastern Orthodox countries. (See Old East Slavic language and Architecture of Kievan Rus for details). Following the Great Schism of 1054, the Rus’ church maintained communion with both Rome and Constantinople for some time, but along with most of the Eastern churches it eventually split to follow the Eastern Orthodox. That being said, unlike other parts of the Greek world, Kievan Rus’ did not have a strong hostility to the Western world.
Novgorod originated at a trade hub and is one of the oldest cities in Russia, first joining the Kyev Rus, but then it became the capitol of “Novgorod republic” from 1136 to 1478.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novgorod_Republic :
Novgorod was populated by various Slavic, Finnic and Baltic tribes that were constantly at war with one another for supremacy. However, these tribes came together during the beginning of the 9th century to try to form a negotiated settlement to end military aggression amongst each other. The Novgorod First Chronicle, a collection of writings depicting the history of Novgorod from 1016 to 1471, states that these tribes wanted to “Seek a prince who may rule over us and judge us according to law.” By transforming its governing institutions, Novgorod rejected its politically dependent relationship to Kiev. Novgorodian Rus’ and its inhabitants were much influenced by the Viking culture and people. In 882, Prince Oleg founded the Kievan Rus’, of which Novgorod was a part from then until 1019–1020.
In the 12th–15th centuries, the Novgorodian Republic expanded east and northeast. The Novgorodians explored the areas around Lake Onega, along the Northern Dvina, and coastlines of the White Sea. At the beginning of the 14th century, the Novgorodians explored the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea, the Kara Sea, and the West-Siberian river Ob. The lands to the north of the city, rich with furs, sea fauna and salt among others were of great economic importance to the Novgorodians, who fought a protracted series of wars with Moscow beginning in the late 14th century in order to keep these lands. Losing them meant economic and cultural decline for the city and its inhabitants. Indeed, the ultimate failure of the Novgorodians to win these wars led to the downfall of the Republic.
Quotation from https://snl.no/Novgorod_-_by :
In historical sources, Novgorod is mentioned for the first time in 859. In 862, the varjagen (weathering) Rurik ruled, but until the 12th century the city mostly belonged to the Kiev Empire. From the 12th century, Novgorod’s importance grew, and it ruled over large areas to the east and north, all the way up to the White Sea. Trade and culture relations with the Nordic countries were lively. The westward trade was used by the Goths, later by the Hanseatic League. In the 14th century, the city is said to have had 200 churches and 40,000–80,000 inhabitants.
Novgorod resisted both German and Swedish attacks, avoiding the Tatar invasion, but was increasingly threatened by Moscow, which had emerged within Novgorod’s colonial territory. In 1478 , Ivan 3 conquered the city and deprived it of independence. In 1570, the city was ravaged by Ivan the Cruel, and from 1611 to 1617 it was occupied by the Swedes. Many historical memorials were destroyed during World War II.
Olav Tryggvason grew up in “Gardarriket”, Kiev Rus, accompanied the German-Roman emperor against Denmark. Still he raided like a Viking, but in England he repented to Christ and wanted to unify Norway into a kingdom with Christianity.
The Gardar Kingdom (Kyev Rus) encompassed territory in Ukraine, White Russia, Russia and Poland, the major cities were Kiev and Novgorod. It was likely founded by Swedish Vikings in about 800. The Nordic Vikings had good relationship with the Gardar Kingdom.
The people of the Gardar Kingdom were a mixture of Nordic, Finnish, Baltic and Slavic peoples. Russian and Russia comes from “rhos”, which is a romanization of the Greek word for Gardar.
When Harald Fairhair became old, there was a dispute between his sons, the eldest of them, Eirik, wanted the whole kingdom unified, so he got war with some of his brothers and killed five of them, therefore he got the nickname Blood-axe. But if his brother, Håkon, came home from England and gained the upper hand, so Eirik had to escape. Haakon was called Haakon the Good.
Harald 2. Graycloak Eirikson was a son of Eirik Bloodaxe and he won over Håkon the Good and took power. He murdered the father of Olav Tryggvason before he was born, so his mother, Astrid, fled away, maybe to Orkney, likely to Sweden, but the written histories agree that Astrid eventually came to in Gardar kingdom, because her brother was in service to Vladimir the Great of Kiev. Here Olav grew up.
Keisar Otto 2nd of the German-Roman Empire made a Christian army expedition to the Nordic countries and joined Olav Tryggvasson in the team. They met the armies of the Danish king Harald Blåtann and Håkon Jarl of Noreg. At first they did not manage to break through, but then they sailed around Jutland and won a great battle. King, earl and army were made Christians. But late, Håkon returns to the old religion.
Later Olav Trygvasson still raided like a Viking, but in England he repented to Christianity. Then he went back to Norway and wante to unify it to one kingdom under Christianity or maybe we should see with Christianity. That suited the English king, but he came in conflict with the Danish king and Olav lost the battle.
The feydal society and the serfdom.
After the Frankish emperor Charles the Great, there was a great disintegration in Western Europe, with war between small states and civil war. Vikings attacked in the north, madjars in the east and Arabs in the south. The ravages of Nordic Vikings decreased somewhat during the 10th century. One reason for this was that they took over some of the defenses of England (Daneland), France (Normandy) and the German north coast. The Madjars were defeated by a German army.
To give protection to the farmers, the feudal society was now developed with an agreement between individuals for protection and step-by-step subordination, from dukes who were the king´s men, down to the low nobility.
The serfdom was established in the feudal communities in Europe, in those areas where there had been imperial kingdoms and this meant that the farmers received only slightly larger rights than in the slave society. But the earlier they also got rid of it. First in Italy, In France a last rest of it disappeared by the French Revolution. Although Napoleon 3 became a new form of emperor, the Napoleon resulted in freedom being spread in Europe. Thus, they got rid of it also in Germany. The serfdom was last introduced in Russia and they were the last to get rid of it.
In Russia the serfs were more like slaves. Tsar Nikolai 1 despised the new western freedom, but they lost the Crimean war and corruption in the army was discovered. So when his son, tsar Aleksander 2 took over, he understood it was in high time to start reforming the Russian Society.
Serfdom was the status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems. It was a condition of debt bondage and indentured servitude with similarities to and differences from slavery, which developed during the Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages in Europe and lasted in some countries until the mid-19th century.
Unlike slaves, serfs could not be bought, sold, or traded individually though they could, depending on the area, be sold together with land. The kholops in Russia, by contrast, could be traded like regular slaves, could be abused with no rights over their own bodies, could not leave the land they were bound to, and could marry only with their lord‘s permission. Serfs who occupied a plot of land were required to work for the lord of the manor who owned that land. In return, they were entitled to protection, justice, and the right to cultivate certain fields within the manor to maintain their own subsistence. Serfs were often required not only to work on the lord’s fields, but also in his mines and forests and to labour to maintain roads. The manor formed the basic unit of feudal society, and the lord of the manor and the villeins, and to a certain extent the serfs, were bound legally: by taxation in the case of the former, and economically and socially in the latter.
The decline of serfdom in Western Europe has sometimes been attributed to the widespread plague epidemic of the Black Death, which reached Europe in 1347 and caused massive fatalities, disrupting society. The decline had begun before that date. Serfdom became increasingly rare in most of Western Europe after the medieval renaissance at the outset of the High Middle Ages. But, conversely, it grew stronger in Central and Eastern Europe, where it had previously been less common (this phenomenon was known as “later serfdom”).
In Eastern Europe, the institution persisted until the mid-19th century. In the Austrian Empire, serfdom was abolished by the 1781 Serfdom Patent; corvée continued to exist until 1848. Serfdom was abolished in Russia in 1861. Prussia declared serfdom unacceptable in its General State Laws for the Prussian States in 1792 and finally abolished it in October 1807, in the wake of the Prussian Reform Movement. In Finland, Norway, and Sweden, feudalism was never fully established, and serfdom did not exist; in Denmark, serfdom-like institutions did exist in both stavns (the stavnsbånd, from 1733 to 1788) and its vassal Iceland (the more restrictive vistarband, from 1490 until 1894).
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom_in_Russia :
The term serf, in the sense of an unfree peasant of tsarist Russia, is the usual English-language translation of krepostnoy krest’yanin (крепостной крестьянин) which meant an unfree person who, unlike a slave, historically could be sold only with the land to which they were “attached”. Peter I ended slavery in Russia in 1723. Contemporary legal documents, such as Russkaya Pravda (12th century onwards), distinguished several degrees of feudal dependency of peasants.
Serfdom became the dominant form of relation between Russian peasants and nobility in the 17th century. Serfdom most commonly existed in the central and southern areas of the Tsardom of Russia and, from 1721, of the subsequent Russian Empire. Serfdom in Ukraine, in other Cossack lands, in the Urals and in Siberia generally occurred rarely until, during the reign of Catherine the Great (r. 1762–1796), it spread to Ukraine; noblemen began to send their serfs into Cossack lands in an attempt to harvest their extensive untapped natural resources.
Only the Russian state and Russian noblemen had the legal right to own serfs, but in practice commercial firms sold Russian serfs as slaves – not only within Russia but even abroad (especially into Persia and the Ottoman Empire) as “students or servants”. Those “students and servants” were in fact owned by rich people, sometimes even by rich serfs, who were not noblemen. Emperor Nicholas I banned the trade in African slaves in 1842, though there were almost no Russians who participated in it, but Russian serfs were still sold and bought.
Emperor Alexander I (r. 1801–1825) wanted to reform the system but moved cautiously, liberating serfs in Estonia, Livonia (both 1816) and Courland (1817) only. New laws allowed all classes (except the serfs) to own land, a privilege previously confined to the nobility. Emperor Alexander II abolished serfdom in the emancipation reform of 1861, a few years later than Austria and other German states. Scholars have proposed multiple overlapping reasons to account for the abolition, including fear of a large-scale revolt by the serfs, the government’s financial needs, changing cultural sensibilities, and the military‘s need for soldiers.
Great Empires after the Roman Empire.
Migrations led to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. In 476, the Western Roman emperor was deposed by Odovaker, the head of the Germanic mercenary army in Italy. He became elected king in Italy, but approved the Emperor of Constantinople as overlord. Thus, the Western Roman Empire was over.
The Eastern Roman Empire resisted migration for a long time, Emperor Justitian (527-565) took the vandal kingdom of North Africa and the east Gothic kingdom in Italy was laid directly under the emperor. He united and simplified the legislation with the legislature “Corpus juris”, it became the basis for the legislation in most European countries. He closed Plato’s academy in Aten, but it´s teachers found shelter with the Persian King, who was excited about Greek philosophy.
The Eastern Roman Empire was called Byzantium and lasted until 1453 ac.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_Empire :
The Byzantine Empire,[note 1] also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survived the fragmentation and fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD and continued to exist for an additional thousand years until the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire in 1453. During most of its existence, the empire remained the most powerful economic, cultural, and military force in Europe. The terms “Byzantine Empire” and “Eastern Roman Empire” were coined after the end of the realm; its citizens continued to refer to their empire simply as the Roman Empire, and to themselves as Romans[note 2]—a term which Greeks continued to use for themselves into Ottoman times. Although the Roman state continued and its traditions were maintained, modern historians distinguish Byzantium from its earlier incarnation because it was centered on Constantinople, oriented towards Greek rather than Latin culture, and characterised by Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Several events from the 4th to 6th centuries mark the period of transition during which the Roman Empire’s Greek East and Latin West diverged. Constantine I (r. 324–337) reorganised the empire, made Constantinople the new capital and legalised Christianity. Under Theodosius I (r. 379–395), Christianity became the state religion and other religious practices were proscribed. In the reign of Heraclius (r. 610–641), the Empire’s military and administration were restructured and Greek was gradually adopted for official use in place of Latin. The borders of the empire fluctuated through several cycles of decline and recovery. During the reign of Justinian I (r. 527–565), the empire reached its greatest extent after re-conquering much of the historically Roman western Mediterranean coast, including Africa, Italy and Rome, which it held for two more centuries. The Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 exhausted the empire’s resources, and during the Early Muslim conquests of the 7th century, it lost its richest provinces, Egypt and Syria, to the Rashidun Caliphate. It then lost Africa to the Umayyads in 698, before the empire was rescued by the Isaurian Dynasty.
The Justinian dynasty was founded by Justin I, who though illiterate, rose through the ranks of the military to become Emperor in 518. He was succeeded by his nephew Justinian I in 527, who may already have exerted effective control during Justin’s reign. One of the most important figures of late antiquity and possibly the last Roman emperor to speak Latin as a first language, Justinian’s rule constitutes a distinct epoch, marked by the ambitious but only partly realised renovatio imperii, or “restoration of the Empire”. His wife Theodora was particularly influential.
In 529, Justinian appointed a ten-man commission chaired by John the Cappadocian to revise Roman law and create a new codification of laws and jurists’ extracts, known as the “Corpus Juris Civilis“, or the Justinian Code. In 534, the Corpus was updated and, along with the enactments promulgated by Justinian after 534, formed the system of law used for most of the rest of the Byzantine era. The Corpus forms the basis of civil law of many modern states.
In 532, attempting to secure his eastern frontier, Justinian signed a peace treaty with Khosrau I of Persia, agreeing to pay a large annual tribute to the Sassanids. In the same year, he survived a revolt in Constantinople (the Nika riots), which solidified his power but ended with the deaths of a reported 30,000 to 35,000 rioters on his orders. The western conquests began in 533, as Justinian sent his general Belisarius to reclaim the former province of Africa from the Vandals, who had been in control since 429 with their capital at Carthage. Their success came with surprising ease, but it was not until 548 that the major local tribes were subdued.
In 535, a small Byzantine expedition to Sicily met with easy success, but the Goths soon stiffened their resistance, and victory did not come until 540, when Belisarius captured Ravenna, after successful sieges of Naples and Rome. In 535–536, Theodahad sent Pope Agapetus I to Constantinople to request the removal of Byzantine forces from Sicily, Dalmatia, and Italy. Although Agapetus failed in his mission to sign a peace with Justinian, he succeeded in having the Monophysite Patriarch Anthimus I of Constantinople denounced, despite Empress Theodora’s support and protection.
The Ostrogoths captured Rome in 546. Belisarius, who had been sent back to Italy in 544, was eventually recalled to Constantinople in 549. The arrival of the Armenian eunuch Narses in Italy (late 551) with an army of 35,000 men marked another shift in Gothic fortunes. Totila was defeated at the Battle of Taginae and his successor, Teia, was defeated at the Battle of Mons Lactarius (October 552). Despite continuing resistance from a few Gothic garrisons and two subsequent invasions by the Franks and Alemanni, the war for the Italian peninsula was at an end. In 551, Athanagild, a noble from Visigothic Hispania, sought Justinian’s help in a rebellion against the king, and the emperor dispatched a force under Liberius, a successful military commander. The empire held on to a small slice of the Iberian Peninsula coast until the reign of Heraclius.
In the east, the Roman–Persian Wars continued until 561 when the envoys of Justinian and Khosrau agreed on a 50-year peace. By the mid-550s, Justinian had won victories in most theatres of operation, with the notable exception of the Balkans, which were subjected to repeated incursions from the Slavs and the Gepids. Tribes of Serbs and Croats were later resettled in the northwestern Balkans, during the reign of Heraclius. Justinian called Belisarius out of retirement and defeated the new Hunnish threat. The strengthening of the Danube fleet caused the Kutrigur Huns to withdraw and they agreed to a treaty that allowed safe passage back across the Danube.
Although polytheism had been suppressed by the state since at least the time of Theodosius I in the 4th century, traditional Greco-Roman culture was still influential in the Eastern empire in the 6th century. Hellenistic philosophy began to be gradually amalgamated into newer Christian philosophy. Philosophers such as John Philoponus drew on neoplatonic ideas in addition to Christian thought and empiricism. Because of the active paganism of its professors, Justinian closed down the Neoplatonic Academy in 529. Other schools continued in Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria, which were the centres of Justinian’s empire. Hymns written by Romanos the Melodist marked the development of the Divine Liturgy, while the architects Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles worked to complete the new Church of the Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia, which was designed to replace an older church destroyed during the Nika Revolt. Completed in 537, the Hagia Sophia stands today as one of the major monuments of Byzantine architectural history. During the 6th and 7th centuries, the empire was struck by a series of epidemics, which devastated the population and contributed to a significant economic decline and a weakening of the Empire. Great bathhouses were built in Byzantine centres such as Constantinople and Antioch.[61
The Frankish Empire.
The Franks were Germanic people who, during the migration period, departed from their homeland on the Rhine west to Gaul. At the end of the 5th century, the Frankish king Clovis king of most of Gaul. The West Goths who used to prevail in southern Gaul, was chased south to Spain. His wife was a Christian and in the midst of a dramatic battle, he turned to Christ and prayed for mercy and help and won the battle.
The Kingdom of Franks became a great empire under Charles the Great (768–814). The Pope crowned him emperor of Rome on Christmas Day 800 ac. When his son took over, there was strife and by the agreement in Verdun in 843 the kingdom was divided between his three sons, into France, Germany and Italy. The emperor title was to follow Italy.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goths :
The Goths (Gothic: 𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌸𐌹𐌿𐌳𐌰, romanized: Gutþiuda; Latin: Gothi, Ancient Greek: Γότθοι) were a Germanic people who played a major role in the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the emergence of medieval Europe.
In his book Getica (c. 551), the historian Jordanes writes that the Goths originated in southern Scandinavia, but the accuracy of this account is unclear. A people called the Gutones – possibly early Goths – are documented living near the lower Vistula River in the 1st century, where they are associated with the archaeological Wielbark culture. From the 2nd century, the Wielbark culture expanded southwards towards the Black Sea in what has been associated with Gothic migration, and by the late 3rd century it contributed to the formation of the Chernyakhov culture. By the 4th century at the latest, several Gothic groups were distinguishable, among whom the Thervingi and Greuthungi were the most powerful. During this time, Wulfila began the conversion of Goths to Christianity.
In the late 4th century, the lands of the Goths were invaded from the east by the Huns. In the aftermath of this event, several groups of Goths came under Hunnic domination, while others migrated further west or sought refuge inside the Roman Empire. Goths who entered the Empire by crossing the Danube inflicted a devastating defeat upon the Romans at the Battle of Adrianople in 378. These Goths would form the Visigoths, and under their king Alaric I, they began a long migration, eventually establishing a Visigothic Kingdom in Spain at Toledo. Meanwhile, Goths under Hunnic rule gained their independence in the 5th century, most importantly the Ostrogoths. Under their king Theodoric the Great, these Goths established an Ostrogothic Kingdom in Italy at Ravenna.
The Ostrogothic Kingdom was destroyed by the Eastern Roman Empire in the 6th century, while the Visigothic Kingdom was conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate in the early 8th century. Remnants of Gothic communities in Crimea, known as the Crimean Goths, lingered on for several centuries, although Goths would eventually cease to exist as a distinct people.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francia :
Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks (Latin: Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. After the Treaty of Verdun in 843, West Francia became the predecessor of France, and East Francia became that of Germany. Francia was among the last surviving Germanic kingdoms from the Migration Period era before its partition in 843.
The core Frankish territories inside the former Western Roman Empire were close to the Rhine and Maas rivers in the north. After a period where small kingdoms interacted with the remaining Gallo-Roman institutions to their south, a single kingdom uniting them was founded by Clovis I who was crowned King of the Franks in 496. His dynasty, the Merovingian dynasty, was eventually replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. Under the nearly continuous campaigns of Pepin of Herstal, Charles Martel, Pepin the Short, Charlemagne, and Louis the Pious—father, son, grandson, great-grandson and great-great-grandson—the greatest expansion of the Frankish empire was secured by the early 9th century, and was by this point dubbed the Carolingian Empire.
During the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasties the Frankish realm was one large kingdom polity subdivided into several smaller kingdoms, often effectively independent. The geography and number of subkingdoms varied over time, but a basic split between eastern and western domains persisted. The eastern kingdom was initially called Austrasia, centred on the Rhine and Meuse, and expanding eastwards into central Europe. Following the Treaty of Verdun in 843, the Frankish Realm was divided into three separate kingdoms: West Francia, Middle Francia and East Francia. In 870, Middle Francia was partitioned again, with most of its territory being divided among West and East Francia, which would hence form the nuclei of the future Kingdom of France and the Holy Roman Empire respectively, with West Francia (France) eventually retaining the choronym.
The German-Roman Empire.
Although Italy was given the imperial title after the agreement in Verdun in 843 ACh, the country was fragmented into small-state fighting each other and there were also civil war going on in the small kingdoms. But then they agreed to choose an emperor and it became the German king Otto 1 and thus the German-Roman Empire arose in 962 ACh. Emperor Otto 1 had little power in Germany and was completely under the great vasalls. He tried to strengthen his power with the support of the clergy and turned bishops and abbots into landlord. Then it was an advantage that the learnings could not be inherited, for the bishop and the abbot offices were not hereditary. Later emperors would insert bishops, but then they came into conflict with the pope.
The German-Roman Empire fell as a result of the Napoleon´s Wars.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_Roman_Empire :
The Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Romanum Imperium; German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, pronounced [ˌhaɪ̯lɪɡəs ˌʁøːmɪʃəs ˈʁaɪ̯ç] (listen)) was a political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.
From the accession of Otto I in 962 until the twelfth century, the Empire was the most powerful monarchy in Europe. Andrew Holt characterizes it as “perhaps the most powerful European state of the Middle Age”. The functioning of government depended on the harmonic cooperation (dubbed consensual rulership or konsensualer Herrschaft by Schneidmüller) but this harmony was disturbed during the Salian period. The empire reached the apex of territorial expansion and power under the Hohenstaufen in the mid-thirteenth century, but overextending led to partial collapse.
On 25 December 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish king Charlemagne as emperor, reviving the title in Western Europe, more than three centuries after the fall of the earlier ancient Western Roman Empire in 476. In theory and diplomacy, the emperors were considered primus inter pares, regarded as first among equals amongst other Catholic monarchs across Europe. The title continued in the Carolingian family until 888 and from 896 to 899, after which it was contested by the rulers of Italy in a series of civil wars until the death of the last Italian claimant, Berengar I, in 924. The title was revived again in 962 when Otto I, King of Germany, was crowned emperor by Pope John XII, fashioning himself as the successor of Charlemagne and beginning a continuous existence of the empire for over eight centuries.[e] Some historians refer to the coronation of Charlemagne as the origin of the empire, while others prefer the coronation of Otto I as its beginning. Henry the Fowler, the founder of the medieval German state (ruled 919 – 936), has sometimes been considered the founder of the Empire as well. The modern view favours Otto as the true founder. Scholars generally concur in relating an evolution of the institutions and principles constituting the empire, describing a gradual assumption of the imperial title and role.
The exact term “Holy Roman Empire” was not used until the 13th century, but the Emperor’s legitimacy always rested on the concept of translatio imperii, that he held supreme power inherited from the ancient emperors of Rome. The imperial office was traditionally elective through the mostly German prince-electors.
During the final phase of the reign of Emperor Frederick III (ruled 1452–1493), Imperial Reform began. The reform would largely be materialized during Maximilian I‘s rule (from 1486 as King of the Romans, from 1493 as sole ruler, and from 1508 as Holy Roman Emperor, until his death in 1519). The Empire transformed into the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation. It was during this time that the Empire gained most of its institutions that endured until its final demise in the nineteenth century. Thomas Brady Jr. opines that the Imperial Reform was successful, although perhaps at the expense of the reform of the Church, partly because Maximilian was not really serious about the religious matter.
According to Brady Jr., the Empire, after the Imperial Reform, was a political body of remarkable longevity and stability, and “resembled in some respects the monarchical polities of Europe’s western tier, and in others the loosely integrated, elective polities of East Central Europe.” The new corporate German Nation, instead of simply obeying the emperor, negotiated with him. On 6 August 1806, Emperor Francis II dissolved the empire following the creation of the Confederation of the Rhine by French Emperor Napoleon I the month before.
Kyev Rus, “Gardarriket”.
Kyev Rus existed in parallel with the German-Roman Empire and was for a long time the largest empire in Europe, measured in aerea. It was greatest in the 11th century under Vladimir 1 and Yaroslav 1, but when Yaroslav died in 1054, it was divided between his sons and reduced by internal strife. Nevertheless, it remained until the Mongols invaded Russia (1237–1241).
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_invasion_of_Kievan_Rus%27 :
The Mongol Empire invaded and conquered Kievan Rus’ in the 13th century, destroying numerous southern cities, including the biggest ones Kiev (50,000 inhabitants) and Chernihiv (30,000 inhabitants), with the only major cities escaping destruction being Novgorod and Pskov, located in the North.
The campaign was heralded by the Battle of the Kalka River in May 1223, which resulted in a Mongol victory over the forces of several Rus’ principalities. The Mongols retreated, having gathered their intelligence which was the purpose of the reconnaissance-in-force. A full-scale invasion of Rus’ by Batu Khan followed, from 1237 to 1242. The invasion was ended by the Mongol succession process upon the death of Ögedei Khan. All Rus’ principalities were forced to submit to Mongol rule and became vassals of the Golden Horde, some of which lasted until 1480.
The invasion, facilitated by the beginning of the breakup of Kievan Rus’ in the 13th century, had profound ramifications for the history of Eastern Europe, including the division of the East Slavic people into three separate nations: modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, and the rise of the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Moscow started its independence struggle from the Mongols by the 14th century, ending the Mongol rule (the so-called “Mongol yoke”) in 1480, and eventually growing into the Tsardom of Russia.
The Mongol empire lasted for 162 years and is the largest empire that has been, measured in area. But it was also shared between the sons of the emperor and then it dissolved.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongol_Empire :
The Mongol Empire of the 13th and 14th centuries was the largest contiguous land empire in history. Originating in present-day Mongolia in East Asia, the Mongol Empire at its height stretched from the Sea of Japan to parts of Eastern Europe, extending northward into parts of the Arctic; eastward and southward into the Indian subcontinent, Mainland Southeast Asia and the Iranian Plateau; and westward as far as the Levant and the Carpathian Mountains.
The Mongol Empire emerged from the unification of several nomadic tribes in the Mongol homeland under the leadership of Genghis Khan (c. 1162–1227), whom a council proclaimed as the ruler of all Mongols in 1206. The empire grew rapidly under his rule and that of his descendants, who sent out invading armies in every direction. The vast transcontinental empire connected the East with the West, and the Pacific to the Mediterranean, in an enforced Pax Mongolica, allowing the dissemination and exchange of trade, technologies, commodities and ideologies across Eurasia.
The empire began to split due to wars over succession, as the grandchildren of Genghis Khan disputed whether the royal line should follow from his son and initial heir Ögedei or from one of his other sons, such as Tolui, Chagatai, or Jochi. The Toluids prevailed after a bloody purge of Ögedeid and Chagatayid factions, but disputes continued among the descendants of Tolui. A key reason for the split was the dispute over whether the Mongol Empire would become a sedentary, cosmopolitan empire, or would stay true to the Mongol nomadic and steppe-based lifestyle. After Möngke Khan died (1259), rival kurultai councils simultaneously elected different successors, the brothers Ariq Böke and Kublai Khan, who fought each other in the Toluid Civil War (1260–1264) and also dealt with challenges from the descendants of other sons of Genghis. Kublai successfully took power, but civil war ensued as he sought unsuccessfully to regain control of the Chagatayid and Ögedeid families.
In 1368, the Han-ruled Ming dynasty took over the Yuan capital of Dadu, marking the collapse of the Yuan dynasty in China proper. The Genghisid rulers of the Yuan then retreated north and continued to rule the Mongolian Plateau. The regime is thereafter known as the Northern Yuan dynasty in historiography. The Ilkhanate disintegrated in the period 1335–1353. The Golden Horde had broken into competing khanates by the end of the 15th century and was defeated and thrown out of Russia in 1480 by the Grand Duchy of Moscow while the Chagatai Khanate lasted in one form or another until 1687.
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Catholicization, Ruthenization, Cossacks and Russian empire. What about the serfdom?
Because of pressure from the great mongol kingdom, Ukraine was ruled by the union of Poland and Lithuania. In 1569, Ukraine entered the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Ukrainian nobility switched to Catholicism, but the peasants were ruthenizited. The Cossacks were originally ruthenizited peasants who fled from the serfdom. Since then, Ukraine was split between Poland and Russia.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruthenia :
Ruthenia (/ruːˈθiːniə/; Latin: Ruthenia or Rutenia, Polish: Ruś, Belarusian: Рутэнія, Русь, Russian: Рутения, Русь, Ukrainian: Рутенія, romanized: Ruteniia or Русь, Rus) is an exonym, originally used in Medieval Latin as one of several terms for Kievan Rus’, Kingdom of Galicia-Volhynia, and, after their collapse, for East Slavic and Eastern Orthodox regions of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland, corresponding to what is now Ukraine and Belarus.
During the early modern period, the term Ruthenia started to be mostly associated with the Ruthenian lands of the Polish Crown and the Cossack Hetmanate. Bohdan Khmelnytsky declared himself the ruler of the Ruthenian state to the Polish representative Adam Kysil in February 1649. Grand Principality of Ruthenia was the project name of the Cossack Hetmanate integrated into the Polish–Lithuanian–Ruthenian Commonwealth.
Lands inhabited by Ukrainians (Ruthenians) of the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria (1772–1918), corresponding to parts of Western Ukraine, were referred to as Ruthenia by the Austrian officials. As of now, with Ukrainian national identity dominating over most parts of the former Ruthenia, the term is mostly used for the territory between Central and Eastern Europe inhabited by Rusyns, on the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains in parts of Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia.
By the 15th century the Moscow principality (or Muscovy, Moscovian Rus) had established its sovereignty over a large portion of ancient Ruthenian territory and began to fight with Lithuania over the remaining Ruthenian lands. In 1547 the Moscow principality adopted the title of The Great Principat of Moscow and Tsardom of the Whole Rus and claimed sovereignty over “all the Rus'” — acts not recognized by its neighbour Poland. The Muscovy population was Eastern Orthodox and preferred to use the Greek transliteration Rossia (Ῥωσία) rather than the Latin “Ruthenia”.
In the 14th century the southern territories of ancient Rus’, including the principalities of Galicia–Volhynia and Kiev, became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which in 1384 united with Catholic Poland in a union which became the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569. Due to their usage of the Latin script rather than the Cyrillic script, they were usually denoted by the Latin name Ruthenia. Other spellings were also used in Latin, English, and other languages during this period. Contemporaneously, the Ruthenian Voivodeship was established in the territory of Galicia-Volhynia and existed until the 18th century.
The use of the term Rus/Russia in the lands of ancient Rus’ survived longer as a name used by Ukrainians for Ukraine. When the Austrian monarchy made the vassal state of Galicia–Lodomeria into a province in 1772, Habsburg officials realized that the local East Slavic people were distinct from both Poles and Russians and still called themselves Rus. This was true until the empire fell in 1918
Since then, Ruthenian people have been divided into three orientations: Russophiles, who saw Ruthenians as part of the Russian nation; Ukrainophiles, who like their Galician counterparts across the Carpathian Mountains considered Ruthenians part of the Ukrainian nation; and Ruthenophiles, who claimed that Carpatho-Ruthenians were a separate nation and who wanted to develop a native Rusyn language and culture.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ukraine :
During the 14th century, Poland and Lithuania fought wars against the Mongol invaders, and eventually most of Ukraine passed to the rule of Poland and Lithuania. More particularly, the lands of Volynia in the north and north-west passed to the rule of Lithuanian princes, while the south-west passed to the control of Poland (Galicia). Also the Genoese founded some colonies in Crimean coasts until the Ottoman conquest in the 1470s.
Most of Ukraine bordered parts of Lithuania, and some say that the name “Ukraine” comes from the local word for “border,” although the name “Ukraine” was also used centuries earlier. And it is more likely that the name points towards the country’s traditional production of grain. Lithuania took control of the state of Volynia in northern and northwestern Ukraine, including the region around Kyiv (Rus), and the rulers of Lithuania then adopted the title of ruler of Rus’.
Despite that, many Ukrainians (then known as Ruthenians) were in high positions of power in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, comprising local rulers, gentry, and even the Lithuanian Crown itself (see Algirdas and Dmytro Dedko). During this time, Ukraine and Ukrainians saw relative prosperity and autonomy, with the Duchy functioning more like a joint Lithuanian-Ukrainian state, with freedom to practice Orthodox Christianity, speak Ukrainian (especially demonstrated by the significantly low linguistic overlap between the Ukrainian and Lithuanian languages), and continue to engage in Ukrainian culture practices, remaining unabated.
The Grand Duchy of Moscow and the Russian Empire.
The Mongols invaded Kyev Rus, Moscow was invaded and burned. Nevertheless, the Rurik dynasty continued in Moscow, but now through cooperation with the Mongols.
Kyev Rus joined the Polish-Lithuanian Union so that together they could stand up to the Mongol empire. The Duch of Moscow rose against the Mongol Empire and then became a competitor to the Polish-Lithuanian Union. It also was about the competition between the Catholic and the Orthodox Church.
But then Russia became the tsar-empire with the role model of the Roman Empire, but with Christianity as religion (“Keiser “ and “Tsar” comes from the surname of Julius Caesar). Tsar Peter 1 led a cultural revolution from medieval society to modern times, with science and rationalistic system, by orienting himself to the west. Then he even moved the capital from Moscow to St. Petersburg.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Duchy_of_Moscow :
The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Muscovite Russia, Muscovite Rus’ or Grand Principality of Moscow (Russian: Великое княжество Московское, romanized: Velikoye knyazhestvo Moskovskoye; also known in English simply as Muscovy from the Latin Moscovia) was a Rus’ principality of the Late Middle Ages centered on Moscow, and the predecessor state of the Tsardom of Russia in the early modern period. It was ruled by the Rurik dynasty, who had ruled Rus’ since the foundation of Novgorod in 862. Ivan III the Great titled himself as Sovereign and Grand Duke of All Rus’ (государь и великий князь всея Руси)’
The state originated with the rule of Alexander Nevsky of the Rurik dynasty, when in 1263 his son Daniel I was appointed to rule the newly created Grand Principality of Moscow, which was a vassal state to the Mongol Empire (under the “Tatar Yoke“), and which eclipsed and eventually absorbed its parent duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal by the 1320s. It later absorbed its neighbors including the Novgorod Republic in 1478 and the Principality of Tver in 1485, and remained a vassal state of the Golden Horde until 1480, though there were frequent uprisings and several successful military campaigns against the Mongols, such as an uprising led by Dmitri Donskoy against the ruler of the Golden Horde, Mamai, in the Battle of Kulikovo in 1380.
Muscovites, Suzdalians and other inhabitants of the Rus’ principality were able to maintain their Slavic, pagan, and Orthodox traditions for the most part under the Tatar Yoke.
Ivan III further consolidated the state during his 43-year reign, campaigning against his major remaining rival power, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and by 1503 he had tripled the territory of his realm, adopting the title of tsar and claiming the title of “Ruler of all Rus'”. By his marriage to Sophia Palaiologina, niece of Constantine XI Palaiologos, the last Byzantine emperor, he claimed Muscovy to be the successor state of the Roman Empire, the “Third Rome“. The immigration of Byzantine people influenced and strengthened Moscow’s identity as the heir of Orthodox traditions. Ivan’s successor Vasili III also enjoyed military success, gaining Smolensk from Lithuania in 1512 and pushing Muscovy’s borders to the Dnieper. Vasili’s son Ivan IV (later known as Ivan the Terrible) was an infant upon his father’s death in 1533. He was crowned in 1547, assuming the title of tsar together with the proclamation of the Tsardom of Russia (Russian: Царство Русcкое, Tsarstvo Russkoye).
The grand Duchy of Moscow became the Russian empire.
Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Empire :
The Russian Empire,[f] also known as Imperial Russia, was an empire that extended across Eurasia from 1721, succeeding the Tsardom of Russia following the Treaty of Nystad that ended the Great Northern War. The rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Swedish Empire, Poland–Lithuania, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Qing China. The Empire lasted until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third-largest empire in history, at one point stretching over three continents—Europe, Asia, and North America—the Russian Empire was surpassed in size only by the British and Mongol empires. With 125.6 million subjects according to the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it featured great economic, ethnic, linguistic, and religious diversity.
From the 10th through the 17th centuries, the land was ruled by a noble class, the boyars, above whom was a tsar, who later became an emperor. Tsar Ivan III (1462–1505) laid the groundwork for the empire that later emerged. He tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from its beginning in 1721 until 1762. Its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent, the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov, ruled from 1762 until the end of the empire. At the beginning of the 19th century, the empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west into Alaska and Northern California, in North America, on the east. By the end of the 19th century, it would acquire Central Asia and parts of Northeast Asia.
Emperor Peter I (1682–1725) fought numerous wars and expanded an already vast empire into a major European power. He moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of Saint Petersburg, which was largely built according to Western design. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, scientific, Western-oriented, and rationalist system. Empress Catherine the Great (1762–1796) presided over a golden age; she expanded the state by conquest, colonization, and diplomacy, while continuing Peter I’s policy of modernization along Western European lines. Emperor Alexander I (1801–1825) played a major role in defeating Napoleon‘s ambitions to control Europe, as well as constituting the Holy Alliance of conservative monarchies. Russia further expanded to the west, south and east, becoming one of the most powerful European empires of the time. Its victories in the Russo-Turkish Wars were checked by defeat in the Crimean War (1853–1856), which led to a period of reform and intensified expansion in Central Asia. Emperor Alexander II (1855–1881) initiated numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe officially involved the protection of Eastern Orthodox Christians within the Ottoman Empire. This was one factor leading to Russia’s entry into World War I in 1914 on the side of the Allied Powers against the Central Powers.
The Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy until the Revolution of 1905, when a nominal semi-constitutional monarchy was established. It functioned poorly during World War I, leading to the February Revolution and the abdication of Emperor Nicholas II, after which the monarchy was abolished. In the October Revolution, the Bolsheviks seized power, leading to the Russian Civil War. The Bolsheviks executed the imperial family in 1918 and established the Soviet Union in 1922 after emerging victorious from the civil war.
Jesus will use me and I shall use what he has given me.
Olav Haraldson the Holy was only twelve years old when he went on a Viking voyage and he returned to unify Norway to a kingdom under Christianity. He unified a Norway larger than the one Harald Fairhair unified, but fell at the Battle of Stiklestad. But the people and the church made him a saint and it became important for the unification of Norway with Christianity. For the Vikings had traveled both to “the Gardar Kingdom” and “Miklagard”, England and Gaul and learned about Christianity. There was someone who preached it, faith comes from the preaching and the preaching from Christ’s word, that is most fundamental.
With modern communication technology, we can preach much more effectively, but personal communication between man is still the point and we depend on Jesus being with us and that God does His work with His Word and His spirit in us and between us.
There were big tasks that were put on the young boys in the Viking Age and they grew with the tasks. In our time, heavy loads are also loaded on people, from they are children. It is obviously quietly organized according to the role model of the land-lords and is expressed through politics.
But Jesus criticized the Pharisees and the scribes for loading heavy burdens on the people, without touching them themselves. But he called on all who were struggling and had a hard time carrying and said that with him they should rest. And it by letting us know something through revelation.
Matt.11, 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus´ disciples wondered who was the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, then he answered them this way;
Matt.18: 25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.
26 Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
The point, I suppose, is to make oneself small as a child of God, who needs the love and care of the Father, so that one accepts it and becomes filled with the Holy Spirit, so that God may do his work in us, with us and through us. He does great work in us, with us and through us and that is how we can grow great in the kingdom of God. It may also serve as unifying many people, in the kingdom of God, so many are saved. It is fundamental in society between people and will hopefully bear fruit, also politically, but then it is secondary. That it is fertile for the people also by being unifying is more fundamental. I can think of my nearest relatives, secondly distant relatives, the Norwegian people and further the people of the Nordic countries and those who were from here, all the way back to the Viking Age, whether they travelled to the Kyev Rus, England or Normandy or later travelled even further away.
Kyev Rus was the predecessor of Russia, White Russia and Ukraine. Now there is war between Russia and Ukraine. That´s sad for the people, but I do not see it as my task to engage in such practical political matters.
Tsar Peter 1 was westward oriented with his interest in science and the rational system. So he thought more like me, but it’s been a long time, a lot has happened since then. But I still think and receive renewal, by seeking the Lord with all my heart and experience Jesus being with us and giving us spirit and life from heaven. The Spirit reveals and glorifies him to me and to us. This is how I gain a spiritual insight that I otherwise didn´t get and it seems to support my rational insight as well. He has given me a spiritual gift of mercy by his Spirit, and I will use it. God revealed his salvation to us in Christ, so I believe He reveals his salvation to me and a woman whom He gives me to wife, that He saves her as my wife. God’s eye perils throughout the earth, that with his power he can come to the aid of those who sticking to him with all their heart, and so I think he gives me help in the form of a wife. He’ll use me and I’ll use what he gives me, then I’ll have to stick my eyes on him, because really he’s the one using us.
I have seen the Ukraine-war in historical contest and shown compassion for the people on both sides, but the war as a political and military matter I have not written so much about. And it doesn’t engage me that much either. It is surely weird, but Christ prophesied that it would be war, but we’re going to lift our eyes and wait for His return. It is important for us to have a living faith and a living hope, so that we see that he is with us every day. For the kingdom of God is in us and we are in it and it is most fundamental in our society. We shall be faithful in small affairs, and bear good fruit there. There I will also use my gift of grace, I think God gives me a wife as a gift of grace, so I will use her as a gift of grace both in the Church and in the community, for the blessing of myself, my family and my close relatives, for the local community and my friends. Then engaging politically becomes a small part of social engagement. There are so many people who have engaged in politicizing the woman, but for me it will eventually be by using her as a gift of mercy from God.