Ukrainian conflict is between ‘heirs of Kyivan Rus’ and ‘heirs of Golden Horde’

"Kalka" by Pavel Ryzhenko depicts the Mongol Horde's victory over Kyivan Rus at the Battle of Kalka (circa 1223)

"Kalka" by Pavel Ryzhenko depicts the Mongol Horde's victory over Kyivan Rus at the Battle of Kalka (circa 1223) 

Analysis & Opinion, History, Politics, Russia, Ukraine, War in the Donbas

“The Ukrainian-Russian conflict is to a significant degree a conflict between the heirs of Kyivan Rus [Ukraine] and the heirs of the Golden Horde” [Moscow], according to Andrey Piontkovsky, and one of its key results will be “an intensification of the swallowing of Russia by China.”

Andrey Piontkovsky, prominent Russian scientist, political writer and analyst

Andrey Piontkovsky, prominent Russian scientist, political writer and analyst

In the course of a wide-ranging interview yesterday with Artem Dekhtyarenko of Ukraine’s Apostrophe news agency, the Russian commentator argues that it is a mistake to see what is taking place in Moscow as “a strengthening of the ties of Russia and China.”

Instead, he argues, it is part of a long ongoing process that has accelerated in the course of the Ukrainian crisis of “the swallowing of Russia by China.” At the recent Victory Day parade in Moscow, something “symbolic” happened that had never occurred “in the thousand year history of Russia:” three units of the Chinese military took part.

Alexander Nevsky, the ruler of Muscovy (Grand Principality of Moscow) submitting to Batu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan and the ruler of the Golden Horde, at the Mongol khan's court. Muscovy was a late medieval Rus' principality centered on Moscow and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia.

Alexander Nevsky, the ruler of Muscovy (Grand Principality of Moscow) submitting to Batu Khan, a grandson of Genghis Khan and the ruler of the Golden Horde, at the Mongol khan’s court. Muscovy was a late medieval Rus’ principality centered on Moscow and the predecessor state of the early modern Tsardom of Russia.

“For the Chinese who devote enormous importance to symbols,” Piontkovsky says, “this was as it were a parade of their victory” because it represented “a foretaste of their complete victory over Russia.”

A year ago, the Chinese clearly signaled that this is how they view things: Beijing’s prime minister told a gathering in St. Petersburg that “you have big territories, and we have many Chinese workers. Let’s unite these resources for the strengthening of our common economic potential.”

It is a mistake to see what is taking place in Moscow as “a strengthening of the ties of Russia and China.” Instead, it is part of a long ongoing process that has accelerated in the course of the Ukrainian crisis of “the swallowing of Russia by China.”

The Chinese had never permitted themselves to express such notions so boldly, the Russian analyst continues; but it is clear that they now have “complete confidence that having cut itself off from Western civilization, Putin’s Russia will become an easy catch” for Beijing.

That is all the more so, Piontkovsky continues, because there are influential people in Russia itself who “welcome this process” because they “consider the Golden Horde to have been the golden age of Russian history.” Thus, “the swallowing of Russia by China is a return to its deepest historical roots.”

Those who think in this way have a certain measure of truth on their side, the Russian commentator concludes, and that in turn means that the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia is “to a significant degree” a conflict between the two states these two countries emerged from, Kyivan Rus in the case of Ukraine and the Golden Horde in the case of Russia.

Alexander Nevsky, the ruler of Muscovy, with his sworn brother Sartaq Khan, a great grandson of Genghis Khan and the son of Batu Khan, who succeeded Batu as khan of the Ulus of Jochi (Golden Horde or Kipchak Khanate). Alexander received yarlyk (license) to become Grand Duke of Vladimir in vassalage to the Kipchak Khanate.

Alexander Nevsky, the ruler of Muscovy, with his sworn brother Sartaq Khan, a great grandson of Genghis Khan and the son of Batu Khan, who succeeded Batu as khan of the Ulus of Jochi (Golden Horde or Kipchak Khanate).

More on History:

How Moscow hijacked the history of Kyivan Rus’

Ukraine and Russia “share a long and common history” FAQ

5 facts about “Novorossiya” you won’t learn in Russian history class

Ignorant of history, Russians blame Lenin and Stalin for Moscow’s problems in Ukraine

 

Edited by: A. N.

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  • Jack McColley

    Exactly my point of view. Russia has placed itself in the mouth of the dragon.

    • Gogol

      Goble/Piotntkovsky prop crackpot ideas.

      • Jack McColley

        The dragon will also devour trolls.

  • puttypants

    Why do you refer to it as Russia when there was not Russia until Peter the Great. It was Muscovy???

    • Gogol

      For that matter, when did Ukraine come about?

      • laker48

        As Ruthenia ot Kyivan Rus’ in the 9th and 10th centuries. It was baptised in the second half of the 10th century and baptised Muscovy in the 13th century.

  • Preston Wigginton

    Were the jews what rule Ukraine part of the Kyivan Rus? I do agree that Russia has a “Mongol” element to it.

  • Michel Cloarec

    The annexation of Crimea, was a big mistake of putin. The sleeping chinese cat did woke up !

  • Michel Cloarec

    Russians : be clever , learn Mandarin , it will help !

  • Michel Cloarec

    The Chinese would never share power with Russia, not even in the role of an “elder” brother. Putin would be nothing more than a puppet. The Chinese middle classes would buy every last scrap of real estate and every dacha with a wood floor and a roof – leaving the Russian peasant class living in dirt-floor hovels throughout the Siberian wastelands

  • toioioio

    in reality were talking about the same people.
    Slavs. real kievan russ have looong ceased to exist.

  • Turtler

    I agree with the analysis by and large, but the attempts to erase Moscow’s history and claim it was all “Finno-Urgrian” or “Finnic” are as much hogwash as the “Russian” attempts to monopolize the Rus heritage, claim they are the “elder brother”, or what have you. Contrary to the links, we have plenty of evidence that Moscow had predated the “Mongol Yoke” for over a century (though there wasn’t much to write home about, it was a small river fort post that was a tributary of Vladimir-Suzdal before the Mongols rode in). It also hadn’t been Finnish for centuries before then.

    The traditional founding mythology of Rurik and the original (Norse Trader/Conqueror) Rus do indeed make a connection to the Vikings and likely did occur in a population that was largely Finnish. But at the same time the records of the Khazars indicate the Slavic presence in most of what was now the land of Moscow, and all sides involved got very Slavicized very quickly, including the Rurikids.

    I know because I’ve actually done some research in the field, and have even gamed in the setting for things other than pure contemporary politics. There is no need to try and further undermine Muscovite claims to the Rus title or legitimacy to conquer Ukraine, It Already Doesn’t Have Any. And Moscow only did rise to power by acting as a loyal collaborator of the Khan, using Mongol muscle to force its’ people and the neighboring states to pay tribute to it, and then betraying the Mongols when the time was right for its’ own power play.

    There’s no need to go further and start going off about how we need to write off over a century of the city’s history or that it was all Finnic when it certainly wasn’t and hadn’t been for a while. That’s just the kind of Russian “Slavophile” myth Putin uses. And we can see the results.