Today is Forgiveness Sunday, the last day before the start of Great Lent on Monday in the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church's calendar. To mark the start of the great fast, we are sharing for RogueMoney readers a video from our friends at Russia Insider's YouTube channel describing the baptism of Prince Vladimir, the patron saint of the current Russian President and the Viking descended monarch considered the founder of Orthodox Christian Rus, the medieval forerunner of the modern Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus (three nations joined by ties of family, blood, language and faith regardless of whether certain Galician nationalist sects in Ukraine and its Diaspora deny this, insisting against the genetic and historical evidence that most Russians are descended from Mongol-Tatars).
This program explains the origins of Rus from scattered pagan tribes to princely city states established at strategic chokepoints along the riverine trade routes from the Baltic to the Black Sea and the wealthy Byzantine Empire. It has been viewed by millions of Russians and can be considered in the context of an increasing emphasis on Russia's Orthodox Christian heritage in pro-government mass media, which is likely to increase as we approach the 100th anniversary of the Tsar-martyr Nicholas II's abdication on the Ides of March 15th, 1917. The program conspicuously argues the ancient roots of Russia's claim to Crimea, what Putin famously declared to the State Duma is 'our Jerusalem', with the Greek colony of Khersones as the site of Prince Vladimir's baptism. -- JWS