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If Vlad Really Wants to Emulate Peter the Great, He'll Have to Grow a Foot Taller

Depending on the source, Vlad (the Impaler) Putin is either 5'7" (170 cm) or a 5'5" (165 cm) fellow who wears lifts in his shoes. Conversely, Peter the Great is said to have been 6'8" (203 cm).

But Vlad also falls short, as usual, in the history department, recently telling a group of scientists and entrepreneurs "You might think he was fighting with Sweden, seizing their lands," Putin said, referring to the Northern Wars which Peter launched in 1700, lasting until 1721, as he forged a new Russian Empire. "But he seized nothing; he reclaimed it!" Vlad said, arguing that Slavs had lived in the area for centuries. He got that backwards: the Rus', from whom Russia and Belarus took their names, were Swedish Vikings.

"The scholarly consensus holds that [the Rus'] were originally Norse people, mainly originating from present-day Sweden, settling and ruling along the river-routes between the Baltic and the Black Seas from around the 8th to 11th centuries AD. They formed a state known in modern historiography as Kievan Rus', initially a multiethnic society where the ruling Norsemen merged and assimilated with Slavic, Baltic and Finnic tribes, ending up with Old East Slavic as their common language." Contemporary Russian historians might disagree with this version of their history, but they can't explain why Volodymyr the Great (c. 958–1015), Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Kiev, proudly claimed to be descended from the Rus' leader Rurik. wikipedia

"Calling of the Varangians," part of early Kievan Rus' history. Алексей Кившенко

According to the 12th-century Kievan Primary Chronicle, a group of Varangians known as the Rus' settled in Novgorod in 862 under the leadership of Rurik. Rurik's relative Oleg conquered Kiev in 882 and established the state of Kievan Rus', later ruled by Rurik's descendants.

Left image: Varangian runestone.

Right image: Distribution of Varangian runestones: almost all in Sweden. wikipedia


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