President Vladimir Putin of Moscow Vs Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ of Kiev
I was working late last night on Book Five, ‘The Saga of Prince Vladimir the Great of Kiev’, in my ‘The VARANGIANS’ Series when I saw on the internet that President Vladimir Putin of Moscow had just attacked Kiev and I lowered my head in disgust. Then I wondered how President Vladimir Putin (ruled 1999-2022) would stack up against the earlier leader of Rus’ (Russia), the thousand year earlier reign of Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ (ruled 972-1015) of Kievan Rus’. Let’s have a look at the two:
President Vladimir Putin:
Vladimir Vladimirovich (his dad was also a Vlad) Putin was born October 7th 1952 in Saint Petersburg and studied law at State University before joining the KGB intelligence services. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Vladimir joined the administration of President Boris Yeltsin and was soon appointed Prime Minister. After Yeltsin resigned, Putin took over as President and has ruled as either Prime Minister or President ever since. Vladimir’s main accomplishments to date are:
1. Improved the Russian economy his first eight years in office.
2. Led Russia to victory in the Second Chechen War.
3. Led Russia to victory in the First Georgian War.
4. Led Russia to conquer the Crimea in 2014.
5. Led Russia to attack Kievan Ukraine in 2022.
6. Vladimir Putin has two wives (not concurrently) and numerous children.
Prince Vladimir (Valdamar) the Great:
Prince Vladimir (Danish – Valdamar) ‘the Great’ Sveinaldson was born in Kiev (perhaps during the Pecheneg siege of Kiev) in 968. He was of the Skioldung Fridleif-Frodi line of Danish kings and his father was Prince Sviatoslav (Danish – Sveinald) of Kiev who had given his lands to his three sons and had returned to Denmark as Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ in order to depose his nephew King Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormaldson (Sveinald=Svein ‘the Old’ and Gormald=Gorm ‘the Old’, ‘the Old’ referring to the ‘Old’ Skioldung line of kings and not referring to age). Prince Vladimir(Valdamar) was raised by his mother Malfrieda in Novgorod but they both fled to Norway in 977 to escape the fratricide of his older brother Prince Yaroslav (Danish – Ivar) of Kiev who had just killed the middle brother Prince Oleg (Danish – Helgi) of Chernigov. They went to Trondheim and Ladejarl Haakon Sigurdson, who had adopted Valdamar’s father Sveinald, who, in turn, had taken Jarl Eirik Haakonson as his Blud brother. Svein and Eirik took their Viking and Varangian warriors east and reinstated Vladimir/Valdamar as ruler of Novgorod. When Vladimir turned the marriageable age of twelve he conquered Polotsk and forced Rogneda Rogvolodsdottir, who had just turned twelve as well, to marry him and when his older brother Yaroslav objected, Vladimir/Valdamar attacked Kiev and drove Yaroslav out. Svein and Eirik realized that the two would never get along so the Blud brother killed Yaroslav, the one guilty of fratricide. Valdamar became Grand Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ of Kievan Rus’. Vladimir’s accomplishments that gave him the byname ‘the Great’ were:
1. Led the Rus’ of Novgorod in an attack on Kiev in 978.
2. Led the Kievan Rus’ in attacks on Poland in 981, the Vyatchians in 982, the Yatvingians in 983, the Radimichi in 984 and the Volga Bulgars in 985, all the time collecting concubine wives as he progressed.
3. Soon he had several wives and 700 concubine wives in and around Kiev.
4. Led the Rus’ in attacking the Crimea and captured Cherson from the Byzantine Roman Empire.
5. Led 6,000 Rus’ troops in Anatolia to put down a Roman revolt against their Emperor Basil.
6. Was rewarded with marriage to Basil’s sister, Princess Anna Porphyrogennetos, who had the blood of Caesar Augustus flowing through her veins. Their offspring were then called Caesars and the Czars of Russia were born.
7. Of course, there were strings. Prince Vladimir had to give back Cherson and had to convert to Orthodox Christianity in order to marry Anna and, of course, the rest of Rus’ converted as well, for which Vladimir was eventually sainted.
8. He was constantly at war with Pecheneg nomads in southern Rus’ so he forced them to convert to Christianity as well…problem solved.
9. He led Rus’ troops to support his father, King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark, in his attacks against England following King Athelred’s slaughter of all Danes in the Saint Brice’s Day massacre of 1002. With Vladimir’s help, Sweyn finally conquered England on Christmas Day 1013, but was killed, likely poisoned, five weeks later.
10. Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ fled England and returned to Rus’ and, like his father before him, apportioned out his lands to his many sons, who were mostly Czars and were glad to send the Grand Prince back to England with fresh troops from the east.
11. Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ reconquered England in 1016 and became King Canute ‘the Great’ and ruled England, Denmark and Norway until his natural death in 1035.
What they have in common:
1. Vladimir ‘the Great’ has attacked Vyatchians, Yatvingians, and the Radimichi while Vladimir Putin has attacked Chechnyans and Georgians.
2. They have both attacked the Crimea.
3. They have both attacked Kiev.
4. Vladimir ‘the Great’ sold the Rus’ line of Khazar Vayar and Vladimir Putin sells his own brand of Gorbusha Putina Caviar.
What they don’t have in common:
1. Vladimir Putin has not attacked England…yet.
2. Vladimir Putin doesn’t have 700 wives…yet.
3. Vladimir Putin worked for the KGB which, in its early form, was responsible for wiping out the Czars of Russia (although there are still plenty of Czar offspring).
4. Vladimir ‘the Great’ was sainted by the Orthodox Church and Vladimir Putin has not been…yet. Coincidentally, both were born non-Orthodox (Vlad ‘the Great’ was Aesir, Vladimir Putin likely Atheist, but they both have accepted the Orthodox faith to some extent).
Please comment if you know of other likenesses or differences:
“The VARANGIANS” Series:
‘The Varangians’ series of five books is about the Danish Varangian Princes of early Rus’ (Russia), based on The Nine Books of Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus and the Russian Primary Chronicle of Nestor. The Russian monk Nestor asserts that Rus’ was founded by three brothers, Rurik, Sineus and Truvor, but the Danish names in Book 5 of Saxo’s work are Erik, Sigfrodi (King Frodi) and Roller, three brothers from Denmark and Norway.
Book One of the five book Varangians Series places the Saga of King Frodi the Peaceful from Book Five of The First Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1200) into its proper chronological location in history. In 1984, when I first started the book, I had placed the main character, Erik’s (Hraerik’s) birth at circa 800 CE, but have since revised it to 810 to better fit with the timelines of the following books in the series. Saxo had originally placed the saga at the time of Christ’s birth and later experts have placed the story at about 400 CE to correspond with the arrival of the Huns on the European scene but when Attila was driven back to Asia, the Huns didn’t just disappear, they joined the Khazar Empire north of the Caspian Sea and helped the Khazars control the western end of the famous Silk Road trade route.
When King Frodi’s Danes started their ninth century ‘Southern Way’ incursions into the rivers of present day Russia, they ran into the Khazar Khaganate that was controlling Silk Road trade there and cooperation looked promising when he married King Hun’s daughter, Princess Hanund. But she cheated on him and he sent her back to Khazaria in disgrace and things got ugly, fast. Two Norwegian princes, Hraerik and Hraelauger Hraegunarson, sons of the famous Hraegunar Lothbrok, visited Frodi’s court in Liere with a dangerous plan to protect their own Nor’Way trade route to Khazaria, but that plan changed when Prince Hraerik fell in love with and married Princess Gunwar, King Frodi’s sister.
When news arrived in Liere that the Huns planned to attack Denmark, Prince Hraerik convinced King Frodi to assemble a Varangian Army of the North and lead a pre-emptive strike against the Khazar Empire. Following the capture of Kiev, the three brothers, Frodi, Hraerik and Hraelauger established the Hraes’ (Rus’) Trading Company and built an empire that exists in many forms to this very day, including Russia, Normandy, Great Britain and L’Anse Aux Meadows in America. The wealth of the Hraes’ Trading Empire they created powered the prolific Viking expansion in Medieval Europe that still fascinates us today.
Book One, “The Saga of Hraerik ‘Bragi’ Hraegunarson,” recreates Book Five of Saxo’s work to illuminate the origins of the name Rus’ and how it evolved from Hraes’ in ninth century Russia and how the name Varangians originally meant Va Rangers or Way Wanderers of the Nor’Way. The book examines the death of Princess Gunwar (Hervor) at the hands of the Hunnish Prince Hlod and how it drives Prince Hraerik ‘Bragi the Old’ Hraegunarson to write a famous poem of praise that both saves his head and rallies the northern kingdoms to fight the infamous Battle of the Goths and the Huns on the Don Plain of Gardariki (Gnita Heath of Tmutorokan).
Book Two, “The Saga of Helgi ‘Arrow Odd’ Hraerikson,” recreates Arrow Odd’s Saga of c. 1200 to illustrate how Arrow Odd was Prince Helgi (Oleg in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev, by showing that their identical deaths from the bite of a snake was more than just coincidence. The book investigates the true death of Hraegunar Lothbrok by poisoned blood-snakes and how his curse of ‘calling his young porkers to avenge the old boar’ sets up a death spiral between swine (Sveinald) and snakes (Gorm ‘the Old’) that lasts for generations. It then goes on to depict the famous Battle of the Berserks on Samso, where Arrow Odd and Hjalmar the Brave slay the twelve berserk grandsons of King Frodi on the Danish Island of Samso, setting up a death struggle that takes the Great Pagan Army of the Danes from the ravaged coast of Norway to England and on to Helluland in Saint Brendan’s Newfoundland.
Book Three, “The Saga of Ivar ‘the Boneless’ Hraerikson,” reveals how Ivar the Boneless Ragnarson was actually Prince Eyfur (Igor in Slavic) Hraerikson of Kiev and then King Harde Knute of Denmark. By comparing a twenty year lacuna in the reign of Prince Igor in the Russian Chronicles with a coinciding twenty year appearance of a King Harde Knute I (Hard Knot) of Denmark in European Chronicles, Prince Igor’s death by sprung trees, which reportedly tore his legs off, may have rather just left him a boneless and very angry young king. Loyal Danes claimed, “It was a hard knot indeed that sprung those trees,” but his conquered English subjects, not being quite as polite, called him, “Ivar the Boneless”.
Book Four, “The Saga of Svein ‘the Old’ Ivarson,” demonstrates how Prince Sviatoslav ‘the Brave’ of Kiev was really Prince Svein Eyfurson of Kiev, who later moved to Norway and fought to become King Sweyn Forkbeard of Denmark and England. But before being forced out of Russia, the Swine Prince sated his battle lust by crushing the Khazars and attacking the great great grandfather of Vlad the Impaler in a bloody campaign into the Heart of Darkness of Wallachia that seemed to herald the coming of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse with the 666 Salute of the Army of the Impalers. The campaign was so mortifying that the fifteen thousand pounds of gold that the Emperor of Constantinople paid him to attack the Army of the Impalers seemed not nearly enough, so Prince Svein attacked the Eastern Roman Empire itself. He came so close to defeating the greatest empire in the world, that later Danish Christian Kings would call his saga, and the sagas of his kin, “The Lying Sagas of Denmark” and would set out to destroy them, claiming that, “true Christians will never read this saga”.
Book Five, “The Saga of Valdamar ‘the Great’ Sveinson”, establishes how Grand Prince Vladimir ‘the Great’ of Kiev was also known as Prince Valdamar Sveinson of Gardar, who supported his father, Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’, in attacks upon England and later became King Canute ‘the Great’ of England and also King Knute ‘the Great’ of Denmark and Norway. Unlike his father, he came to the aid of a Roman Emperor, leading six thousand picked Varangian cataphracts against Anatolian rebels, and was rewarded with the hand of Princess Anna Porphyrogennetos, a true Roman Princess born of the purple who could trace her bloodline back to Julius and Augustus Caesar. She was called Czarina, and after her, all Rus’ Grand Princes were called Czars and their offspring were sought matrimonially by European royalty.
By recreating the lives of four generations of Russian Princes and exhibiting how each generation, in succession, later ascended to their inherited thrones in Denmark, the author proves the parallels of the dual rules of Russian Princes and Danish Kings to be cumulatively more than just coincidence. And the author proves that the Danish Kings Harde Knute I, Gorm ‘the Old’ and Harald ‘Bluetooth’ Gormson/Sweyn ‘Forkbeard’ were not Stranger Kings, but were Danes of the Old Jelling Skioldung Fridlief/Frodi line of kings who only began their princely careers in Rus’ and returned to their kingly duties in Denmark with a lot of Byzantine Roman ideas and heavy cavalry and cataphracts.