Russia and Ukraine are moving away from each other not only in politics, but also in interpretations of a common history. Back in 80, we were taught that Kievan Rus was the cradle of three fraternal peoples: Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian. But the new “feudal fragmentation”, which followed the collapse of the Soviet Union, slowly migrated to the works of researchers and school textbooks.
In Ukraine, from the beginning of the 90-ies, the concept of the Chairman of the Central Rada, Mikhail Hrushevsky, who declared Russia to be exclusively an “ancient Ukrainian state”, became official. Russia remained silent for a long time and, finally, struck back a “blow”.
The familiar phrase “Kievan Rus” is now quietly disappearing from scientific works and school textbooks of the Russian Federation. It is replaced by the term “Old Russian State” devoid of geographic references to Kiev, which turned out to be abroad. Politics once again reshapes the story for the masses.
In fairness, we note that Kievan Rus as the official name of the early medieval state of the Eastern Slavs never existed. The chronicles, on the basis of which modern historians build their schemes, called this state simply Rus, or Russian land. It is under this name that she appears in The Tale of Bygone Years, written by a monk Nestor, a contemporary of Vladimir Monomakh, at the turn of the 11th — 12th centuries in Kiev.
But the same justice makes us recall that the term "Kievan Rus" was coined not in Kiev, but in ... Moscow, in the XIX century. Authorship of it some researchers attributed to Nikolai Karamzin, others - to Mikhail Pogodin. But thanks to Professor of the University of Moscow Sergey Solovyov (1820 — 1879), he widely used the term “Kievan Rus” along with “Rus Novgorod”, “Rus Vladimir” and “Rus Moskovskaya” in the famous “History of Russia since ancient times ". Soloviev adhered to the so-called concept of "changing capitals". The first capital of the old Slavic state, in his opinion, was Novgorod, the second was Kiev, the third was Vladimir-on-Klyazma, the fourth was Moscow, which did not prevent Russia from remaining one state.
The term "Kievan Rus" gained popularity thanks to the Moscow historian of the nineteenth century. Sergey Solovyov
After Solovyov, “Kievan Rus” from scholarly works penetrated into books for secondary schools. For example, in M. Ostrogorsky's repeatedly re-published “Russian History Textbook” (he endured 1915 editions for 27 for a year!) On page 25, you can read the main topic “The decline of Kievan Rus”. But in pre-revolutionary Russia, history remained an elite science. Half of the population remained illiterate. In gymnasiums, seminaries and real schools studied an insignificant percentage of the population. By and large, the phenomenon of mass historical consciousness did not exist yet - for men who had met 1917 for a year, everything that happened before their grandfathers happened “under the Tsar Peas”.
There was no need for the concept of the "cradle of the three fraternal peoples" and the tsarist government. Before the Great October Revolution, Great Russians, Little Russians and Belarusians were officially considered to be three Russian peoples. Consequently, they still, figuratively speaking, lay in the same Russian cradle. No one was going to outweigh it a thousand years ago - in the half-dwelling places of the chronicles of the field, the Drevlians and the Krivichi, who from their 10th century also didn’t give a damn how their descendants in the 20th century would be called “Old Russian” or “Old Ukrainian” tribes. Or ancient Belarusian, as an option.
All changed the revolution and ... Stalin. Promising the masses a wonderful communist future, the Bolsheviks with no less zeal began to redo the past. More precisely, rewrite his picture. He supervised the work of the personal leader and teacher, distinguished by enviable hard work and organizational skills. In the middle of 30, Soviet schoolchildren received a textbook "A Short Course in the History of the USSR", where without any doubts it was clearly and unambiguously written as cut down with an ax: "From the beginning of the 10th century, the Kiev principality of Slavs is called KIEV RUSSIA." This textbook was intended for third-graders. Thus, with the help of Stalinism and totalitarianism, the phrase “KIEV RUSSIA” was hammered FOR THE FIRST TIME MASSOVO into the heads of several generations. And who would dare to argue with Comrade Stalin and his Education Commissariat that this is exactly what she was called in the 10th century? Oh her to the demon, this story! There would survive during the great fractures!
For high school students. A map from the history textbook of M. Ostrogorsky 1915
DRIVER INSTRUCTIONS. Twenty pages were occupied by a section called “Kievan Rus” in the Stalinist textbook “History of the USSR” for the 8 class edited by Professor G. Pankratova. By the way, despite the fact that the official Soviet historical science, until the collapse of the Soviet Union, was at war with the Vikings, denying their contribution to the creation of Russia, Pankratova’s textbook was not free from the remnants of pre-revolutionary Normanism. At least, he did not deny the Scandinavian origin of the founder of the Rurik dynasty.
I quote this “History of the USSR” for the 8 class, while retaining all the peculiarities of the original spelling in Ukrainian - in the language in which students of Ukrainian schools in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic studied this ideologically important subject: “Through the lands, filled with their words, having passed through the waterway, scooling the Baltiisk sea from Chornim: “the way of the Varyag among the Greeks”, tobto from the land of the Varyagiv - Scandinavia - at Vyzantia… Tsim Shlyakh in the 9th century. walked, shukayuchi making money Іnoі ponds znishchuvali abo pіdkoryali sob mystsevy Slov'yanskih princes і were on their іх misse. After the re-entry, in the middle of IX Art. one of these shukach_v useful - Rurik - established in Novgorod, yakiy buv key from p_vnochі to dnіprovskogo way ".
Academician Grekov grabbed his head. This was one of the history conferences at the end of the 40s. All at the behest of Stalin!
Then came the story of Prince Oleg of Novgorod, who seized Kiev from people with clearly non-Slavic names Askold and Dir. But the schoolchildren could only guess what connection he had with his predecessor Rurik and why this clearly volitional invasive action of the Novgorod prince in relation to Kiev should be considered the “union” of small Slavic states - Novgorod and Kiev - under the authority of Prince Oleg.
He taught the Stalinist textbook and about Rurik. After all, he was established in Novgorod not “according to legend”, but according to the message of “The Tale of Bygone Years” by Nestor the Chronicler, who tells about Novgorod’s decision in this way: “In the year 6370 from the creation of the world (in 862 AD) the Varangian was expelled overseas, And they did not give them tribute, and they began to own themselves, and there was no truth among them, and the race was born, and they were quarrelsome, and they began to fight each other. And they said to themselves: “Let us look for a prince who would own us and judge according to the law”. And they went overseas to the Vikings, to Russia. Those Varyags were called Rus, as others are called Swedes, and other Varyags were Normans and Angles, and others were Gotland, and so were these. Chud, Sloven, Krivichi and the whole of Russia said: “Our land is great and rich, and there is no order in it. Come reign and own us. " And three brothers were elected with their clans, and they took the whole of Russia with them, and they came and sat down, the eldest, Rurik, in Novgorod ... And from those Varangians nicknamed the Russian land. "
Not a word about Kievan Rus, right? Only about the Russian land. And initially in the north - in the area of Novgorod. Already this Russia was multinational. After all, apart from the Slavic tribes, Sloven and Krivichy, among those who called for the Vikings, Finnish people are Chud and all (the first lived in the Baltic States, the second - east of Nevsky Lake). These are the Finno-Ugrians, most hated by our nationalists (they are considered to be the ancestors of the “Muscovites”), who, according to the chronicles, became Rus before the Kiev glades! After all, Polyan of Rurikovich was yet to be subdued, so that they too would “Russify”. As stated by Nestor: "Glades, which are now called Rus".
Oh, this story! Well, she does not want to unconditionally surrender to politics! After all, if you believe Nestor, then it turns out that not only Kievan Rus, but even just Rus, Kiev was not captured by Novgorod prince Oleg, whose squads consisted of Scandinavian Varyags (“Russia”), northern Slavs (Slovenes and Krivichi) and Finns (chudi and vesi).
VARYAGA SILENT! Stalin was, above all, a politician, not a historian. He introduced through the school and universities in the mass consciousness the myth of Kievan Rus, in order to divert attention from the long period preceding it.
According to the chronicles, Prince Oleg of Novgorod seized Kiev in 882 year. By this time, the Vikings had been hosting in the north, in the area of Ladoga and Novgorod, for almost a century. Sailing from across the Baltic Sea, they took tribute from the Slavic and Finnish tribes. Ladoga became the first stronghold of the Vikings. Novgorod, after Rurik established himself - the second. The names of the first Russian princes were of Scandinavian origin. Oleg (Helgi), Igor (Ingvar), Askold (Haskuld) speak for themselves. They really do not resemble the Slavic Vladimirov and Svyatoslavs.
All this caused numerous questions about the true history of the origin of Russia, which Stalin did not want to answer. So why not turn the conversation to another topic? Why delve into the history of the appearance of the Varyags in Novgorod and evaluate their role in the creation of the ancient Russian state? Let's just write that Oleg fell in Kiev from Novgorod, without going into details of its origin. And we will call Russia Kiev, so that the inhabitants of Soviet Ukraine remember that they, too, are just a little bit, but still Russians.
Academician Grekov fulfilled the instructions of Stalin on the introduction of Kievan Rus into the consciousness of the masses
Comrade Stalin proclaimed that Russia was founded not by the Swedes, but by the Slavs, and gave appropriate instructions on this matter. None of the historians could even conceive of disobeying him. The decisive battle was declared to the historic “sabotage” and intrigues of the Normanists! “Soviet historical science, following the instructions of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, basing the comments of comrades Stalin, Kirov and Zhdanov on the“ Abstract of the history textbook of the USSR ”, developed a theory about the pre-feudal period ... there is no places for the Normans as creators of the state among the wild East Slavic tribes, ”wrote Dean of the Faculty of History of Leningrad University Vladimir M in 1949 in his paper“ Fighting Normanism in Russian Historical Science ” avrodin.
By this time, the unfortunate Normanists — both the dead, like the pre-revolutionary Karamzin and Solovyov, and the living, who were subdued under the pulpit, were finally “defeated” by academician Boris Grekov. This Lysenko from history, born in Mirgorod and taught before the revolution in the women's gymnasium, has already become famous for the exact execution of the Stalinist instructions in the monographs "Kievan Rus" and "Culture of Kievan Rus", published in 1939 and 1946. He had no particular choice. Boris Grekov hung on Stalin's hook: in 1930, he was arrested on the so-called “Academic cause”, recalling that in 1920, the future academician was in the Crimea at Wrangel. Colleagues historians were well aware that the Greeks invented "Kievan Rus", serving the order of the regime. But to object to him was to argue with Stalin.
All these details were forgotten with time. The current Ukrainian schoolchildren, who are taught this most Kievan Rus never existed, do not know anything about Grekov or about his true inspirer with a Caucasian mustache. They also do not ask too many questions to pass tests without any problems. But we all know that Russia was just Rus. And not ancient. And not Kiev. Neither can it be privatized, nor can it be handed over to the archive of history. I am sure that this country is still awaiting amazing transformations. Simply we are not able to present them yet.