I sent this post to thrash after hearing that Uvalde police officers stood in the hallway outside a classroom, the murder scene, as children dialled 9-1-1 begging for help. The officers now say that they made the “wrong decision.” They did make the wrong decision. They were facing a gunman and could not make a decision. It was a case of analysis paralysis. Uvalde tells, in horrid terms, the story of police officers shooting unnecessarily or not shooting because they suspect or know the person they are attacking is armed.
Outside the building where the NRA (National Rifle Association) convention is taking place, one can read in large letters “acres of guns & gear.” Under the circumstances, that sign is offensive. The gunman was eighteen years old, and he may have been mentally unfit when he fired. Why are eighteen-year-olds sold a weapon?
Former President Donald Trump told members of the National Rifle Association to “arm law-abiding citizens” in response to “evil.” Under the circumstances and coming from the mouth of a former president of the United States, that statement is inappropriate.
There are many conclusions to be drawn from this latest American tragedy, but two will suffice. Ban the wearing of firearms and enable police officers (the “militia”) to act when they must. In Uvalde, 19 children and 2 adults died who might have been saved.
“A well regulated [sic] militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The United States has a well-regulated militia, so “the security of a free state” is not endangered except by those who misread the Second Amendment. The ability to purchase and wear firearms infringes upon the “security of a free state.” In other words, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution forbids the wearing of deadly weapons as these endanger the “security of a free state.” The American National Rifle Association could be described as a parallel government.
In short, the insufficiently-controlled use of firearms has just led to the death of nineteen (19) innocent children and two (2) teachers. Therefore, the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is currently used to threaten the “security of a free state” and promote a social disorder.
My love and sincere condolences to all who have lost a child or a dear one at Uvalde, Texas.
Ivan IV, the Terrible, was a self-declared Tsar of all Russias. A “Chosen Council” validated his claim to the tsardom. However, by killing his son in a fit of rage, he ended the Rurik Dynasty. His predecessors initiated:
the centralisation of Russia
its independence from Mongol suzerains, and
Rus’ independence from Roman Christianity
To a large extent, all of the above occurred under the rule ofIvan III, the Great, the son of Vasily II. Ivan the Great married a Byzantine Princess, Sophia, the former Zoë. It was a second marriage, and Sophia was a Catholic. This marriage did not prevent the growth of an Eastern Orthodox Tsardom. Ivan III took back land that had been part of Kievan Rus’, but he failed to reconquer Ukraine. Ivan the Great had two sons: Dmitry, by a first marriage, and Vasily, Sophia’s son. Dmitry was crowned, but Ivan III changed his mind. Vasily II, born to Sophia Palaiologina, would succeed him. Dmitry and his mother were jailed for life.
As the Duchy of Moscow grew into the Tsardom of Russia, the competition for the principality of Muscovy was fierce: uncles, brothers and impostors could contest the legitimacy of a claim, fiefs, or fiefdoms. The sorry fate of Vasili II (1415-1462), Ivan III’s father, is a testimonial to fratricidal conflicts. Vasily II’s uncle Yury (1434) and his cousins Vasily the Squint-Eyed and Dmitry Shemyaka (1446–47) laid claim to the throne. Vasily II was arrested and blinded by his cousin Dmitry Shemiyaka (1446). This was extreme cruelty. Despite blindness, Vasily II regained his rightful bequest, and his son, future Ivan III, provided the help blind Vasily II needed.
As the legend goes, Varangian Viking Prince Rurik was invited to rule an East Slavic territory, where he founded Kievan Rus’. Prince Oleg would rule Novgorod, and Kyiv would be the capital. Several princes of the Rurik dynasty conquered and annexed Rus’ land’s territory. However, the principal architect of a centralised Rus’ was Ivan IV, a self-declared Tsar of all Rus’, recognized by a “Chosen Council.” (See Ivan IV, Britannica and Ivan the Terrible, Wikipedia). However, Ivan IV killed Ivanovich, his son and heir, and a Rurikid prince. Besides, Ivan Ivanovich’s mother was a Romanov, Anastasia Romanovna. Feodor I, Ivan IV’s second son with Anastasia Romanovna, would reign. Still, he was “sickly and weak.” (See Feodor I, Tsar of Russia, Wikipedia.)
Ivan IV killed his son Ivan Ivanovich in a fit of anger. He was a Rurikid, and Boris Godunov (1557-1605) had witnessed the homicide of Tsarevich Ivan Ivanovich and Ivan IV’s profound grief. Ivan had a second son by Anastasia Romanova. Feodor was a prince of the Rurik Dynasty, but, as we have noted, Feodor was frail. Ivan IV appointed a regency council led by Boris Godunov, the witness. A third son Dmitry (1582-1591), born to Maria Nagaya, was sent to his appanage, Uglich, where he died mysteriously at 8 years old. Dmitry may have suffered an epileptic crisis. (See Dmitry of Uglich, Wikipedia.) However, one suspects that Boris Godunov had Dmitry killed so he could reign as Tsar. Dmitry was impersonated. A False Dmitry I reigned briefly. Maria Nagaya had “recognized” him for personal gains. She renounced him. Had the genuine Dmitry ascended the throne, he would have been a prince of the Rurik dynasty, but young Dmitri was sent to Uglich. This is how Boris Godunov cleared his way to the throne, ending the Rurikid dynasty. Boris Godunov was of East Slavic and Tatar descent.
I have not discussed Ivan IV’s oprichnina, a police force that could act with impunity. Nor have I mentioned the Massacre of Novgorod. One pillaged mercilessly. But we have seen that one blinded opponents and killed the rightful heir to the throne in the quest for power. Moreover, we have travelled lightly. There were Tsaritas and interregnums. Ivan IV had two more heirs, but the death of Ivan Ivanovich doomed the Rurik dynasty. Fear of opponents led Ivan IV to surround himself with a force that eliminated accountability. Ivan the Terrible’s oprichninawas a deadly force. They terrorized Rus’. Oprichniki could rape, torture, and kill in the name of power. Another Rurik prince could not ascend the throne.
The entire episode of the oprichnina leaves a bloody imprint on Ivan’s reign, causing some doubts about his mental stability and leaving historians with the impression of a morbidly suspicious and vindictive ruler.
This post shows how the Grand Duchy of Kyiv dissolved before the Mongol Invasion. Novgorod became independent of princely rulers. Kyiv was absorbed by Vladimir-Suzdal, which in turn was absorbed by the Duchy of Moscow, but dukes and princes were Rurikid princes for several generations, including Ivan the Terrible
First, Kievan Rus’ lost Novgorod, which Prince Oleg had ruled.
When Kiev declined, Novgorod soon (1136) declared its independence from princely power, and, although it accepted princely protectors from various neighbouring dynasties, it remained a sovereign city until conquered by Muscovy (Moscow).
He also obtained an exemption for Russian from a draft of men for a planned invasion of Iran.
(See Saint Alexander Nevsky, Britannica.)  
Moreover, Vladimir welcomed the Theotokos of Vladimir, the Virgin of Vladimir, an icon created in Constantinople and sent to Kyiv as a gift before being transferred to the Assumption Cathedral in Vladimir.
Third, Alexander Nevsky’s youngest son, Daniel of Moscow (1261 – 1303), born in the Duchy of Vladimir-Suzdal, inherited the least of his father’s patrimony, Moscow. Ironically, Moscow developed into the Grand Duchy of Moscow. The Duchy of Moscow grew by conquering or annexing neighbouring principalities. In other words, Vladimir “gradually evolved into the Grand Duchy of Moscow.” Daniel of Moscow’s successors were Rurikid Princes, including Ivan the Terrible.
Time had elapsed since Vladimir the Great, Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kyiv, and the ruler of Kievan Rus’ from 980 to 1015, converted to Christianity (988) and imposed Christianity on the entire population of Kievan Rus’. Still, Vladimir the Great ascended the throne after a fratricidal war of succession. His father, Sviatoslav I of Kyiv, did not leave clear instructions about his line of succession. Vladimir’s brother, Yaropolk, murdered his other brother, Oleg of Drelinia, and conquered Rus’. Vladimir fled to Scandanavia and returned with an army of Varangian Vikings. He reconquered Rus’ and was Prince of Kievan Rus’.
Kyiv declined before the Mongol Invasion. It fragmented. It would enjoy a modest degree of independence as a Ukrainian Cossack state, but Ivan Mazepa and Charles XII of Sweden lost the battle of Poltava, in 1709.
In 1238, Kievan Rus’ was sacked by Mongol invaders. Batu Khan founded the Golden Horde, later consisting of Tatars and Turkic people. Ögedei Khan, the third son of Genghis Khan, succeeded Batu Khan. Ögedei ruled briefly. He died in 1241, ending the Mongol invasion of Russia. (See Mongol Invasion and List of conflicts in Europe, Wikipedia). However, Rus’ were vassals of the Golden Horde and Ösbeg Khan, or Ös Beg, adopted Islam. Laws would no longer reflect the Norse jurisprudence of the Russkaya Pravda.
The Golden Horde would remain active until 1480 – 82, when it was defeated at the Great Stand on the Ugra River. The Crimean Khanate and the Kazakh Khanate, the “last remnants of the Golden Horde,” survived until 1783 and 1847. (See Golden Horde, Wikipedia.) In 1354, Rome north, Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire. After their victory, the Ottomans conquered countries neighbouring present-day Russia. When the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Empire, Greek scholars fled to Italy carrying books and initiated the Renaissance. But artists, who produced icons, headed to Muscovy. Icons would henceforth be created in Muscovy.
Kyiv would enjoy a degree of independence as a Ukrainian Cossack state, but Ivan Mazepa and Charles XII of Sweden lost the battle of Poltava in 1709. But despite the Ukrainian diaspora, Ukraine remained, and it is currently defending the territorial integrity it gained in 1991 when the USSR collapsed.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannatica, [t]here is no book-length study of Nevsky in English. Information may be found in A. E. Presniakov, The Formation of the Great Russian State: A Study of Russian History in the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Centuries (1970; Orig. pub. in Russian, 1918); and George Vernadsky, A History of Russia, vol. 3, The Mongols and Russia (1953).
Ivan IV was the Grand Prince of the Duchy of Moscow who may have named himself the Tsar of all Russias, but a Tsar who had moments of insanity. In a fit of rage, he killed his son and could not believe nor undo what he had done.
One wonders whether Vladimir Putin will ever realise that Ukrainians are defending themselves? This invasion is madness so profound that Putin does not want other countries to help Ukraine. He will destroy Britain if Britain opposes him. He seems to believe that Ukraine is his possession and that he can do as he pleases …
That one man should be allowed to unleash such devastation as Ukraine is suffering makes no sense. Putin, and Putin alone, stands between war and peace. No one should be this powerful. Moreover, President Putin may no longer be completely aware of what he is doing. He may be ill. At any rate, he will not be brought to his senses.
Millions have left Ukraine, and thousands of lives have been lost, but, ironically, because the world knows Putin could use nuclear and chemical weapons, it is paralysed. Have we out-weaponed ourselves? An army! Give Ukraine a multinational army that will end this massacre. Ukraine must defend itself. I remember the Holocaust and pogroms.
I sound like a preacher and will, therefore, close this post. I apologise for not being an active blogger. I haven’t recovered. Ilya Repin (5 August [O.S. 24 July] 1844 – 29 September 1930) was a Ukrainian-born Russian artist.
Kievan Rus’ dates to the Rurik dynasty. Prince Rurik was a Varangian Viking who entered an East Slavic territory. He and his two brothers were asked to rule future Ukraine because of political strife. Prince Rurik’s brothers died, so Rurik alone founded Kievan Rus’, “a loose federation in Eastern Europe and Northern Europe” (see Kievan Rus’, Wikipedia).
The Primary Chronicle or Tale of Bygone Years (12th century) is a written history. Although it is not altogether accurate, it remains a precious document. For instance, it provides the name of a few Varangian Princes who ruled Kievan Rus’, an independent state. The first Varangian Prince is Prince Oleg (879–912), who protected Varangian traders from Khazar incursions.
Sviatoslav I (943–972), Grand Prince of Kiev was given a Slavic name. Prince Sviatoslav’s father, Igor of Kiev, was assassinated when Sviatoslav was a child. His mother, Olga of Kiev, avenged Igor’s death by burying Drevlians alive. They had come to fetch her believing she would marry a Drevlian ruler. Olga reigned until her son grew of age. Prince Sviatoslav moved his capital from Kiev to Pereyaslavets in current-day Romania. Prince Sviatoslav was a conqueror. Under his rule, Ukraine would grow to be the largest country in Europe.
Yet, although Ukraine did not gain its independence until the collapse of the USSR, the former Soviet Union, Ukraine is pushing back Vladimir Putin‘s forces so energetically that one expects Ukraine to survive. Nationhood is not always defined by borders. Ukraine is an ancient culture.
On Good Friday, I remembered the sayings of Jesus on the Cross. Regarding the objectionable invasion of Ukraine, the first saying would be the most important, but forgiving would be difficult: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do ( Luke 23:34).” One would like a multinational army to fight alongside Ukrainians and push out the Russians. Providing weapons seems insufficient. But would Vladimir Putin see intervention as other than humanitarian? At any rate, Putin is not at liberty to destroy a country. Will autocracies replace democracy?
I had to revise my post on the word Ruthenia. I am sure all of you realised that the exonym Ruthenia is derogatory. However, I forgot to include a quotation that clarifies that exonyms could be insensitive.
After the Battle of Batih (Batoh), on 3–4 June 1652, between 3,000 and 5,000 elite Polish soldiers and officers, including 3,500 members of the szlachta,were tied up and massacred in two days of methodical beheadings and disembowelments.
During the Cossack Hetmenate, Ukrainians exercised greater control over their country. Therefore, Bohdan Khmelnytsky is a hero to Ukrainians, but he could be ruthless. All of us are paying a price for the current war in Ukraine. Wars kill and they are costly. I read today that Russia opposed gifts of powerful weapons to Ukraine on the part of the United States. Does anyone expect Ukrainians not to defend their country?
Outsiders have often given Ukraine the name Ruthenia, which is confusing. Ruthenia is an exonym, a name for a place that is only used outside that place. But Ukraine, an endonym, is the name Ukrainians give their country.
Exonyms and Endonyms
There are exonyms and endonyms. According to Lexico, “many exonyms can be considered insensitive and preference is given to the endonym.”(See Exonym [other examples], inLexico). Ruthenia, an exonym, would mean a small Ukraine, which is insensitive. However, it has often been the meaning of the exonym Ruthenia, since the state of Kievan Rus’, today’s Ukraine, was founded in the 9th century by Varangians, Vikings from Sweden mainly. Kievan Rus’, was vandalized by Mongols in the 13th century. (See Mongol Invasion of Kievan Rus’, Wikipedia.) Since the Mongol Invasion, Ukraine has been under external control except for the years when it was a Cossack Hetmanate, from 1648 to 1764. Ivan Mazepa was the Cossack Hetman of Zaporizhian Host in 1687–1708. He died in Turkey, where he and Charles XII of Sweden had fled after their defeat at the Battle of Poltava (8 July 1709).
Ukraine has been independent since 1991, but Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014. The current war is a continuation of the annexation of Crimea.
In short, the Latin word Ruthenia reflects the foreign domination of Ukraine. The Russian army entered Ukraine in February 2022, when it was directed to do so by Vladimir Putin. President Putin may think that Russia will defeat Ukraine, but Ukraine will probably survive.
At a NATO-Russia summit in 2008, Vladimir Putin “told US President George W. Bush that ‘Ukraine is not even a state!'” while the following year Putin referred to Ukraine as “Little Russia.” (See Vladimir Putin, Wikipedia.)
Sweden’s defeat at Poltava was a turning point in the history of Europe. After the Battle of Poltava, Charles XII and Ivan Mazepa fled to Turkey for protection. Ivan Mazepa died in Turkey at the age of 70. In 1721, Sweden ceased to be an Empire, and Ukraine remained under Russian control until 1991, or the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Ukraine had also been autonomous for a few years after the Russian Revolution of 1917.
Under the control of Sweden, Ukrainians were likely to gain more independence and escape brutality. It did not during World War I (See Alchetron.com). Cruelty toward Ukrainians did not start with the current invasion of Ukraine. When Tsar Nicholas II ordered the quelling of riots at Odessa, it was a blood bath. But Ukraine always remained a nation. Many Ukrainians speak Russian, but they have retained their own language, and they are the Petits Russes who commandeered the Potemkin.
Ukraine has survived as a nation, so a nation is not necessarily a country. Ukraine did not have territorial integrity until 1991, but its territorial integrity is now threatened by Vladimir Putin’s invasion. Ukraine has been attacked, and it is defending its territory. So, what we are witnessing isn’t altogether a war. It is an invasion, and it seems a genocide. I read and heard that Russians did not know what was happening in Ukraine. This could be the case, but I wish they knew Putin has invaded Ukraine and could help send their President to an international court of justice. The more prolonged Putin’s attacks and destruction, the more substantial the bill, assuming Putin fails to annihilate Ukraine. He must not be successful. Sanctions may not suffice, and various ententes to prevent war could turn the world into Vladimir Putin’s accomplice.
The list of works I had taken from Wikipedia’s entry on Ivan Mazepa disappeared briefly. Yesterday evening, I could no longer find it. I most certainly do not wish to spread hatred for the people of Russia. On the contrary. Vladimir Putin is hurting both his people and the people of Ukraine. The people of Ukraine fell at Poltava, and Putin’s forces are destroying Ukraine once again.
Let us hope the Ukraine crisis ends as soon as possible. Ukrainians are suffering, and the world fears a war. Negotiating with Vladimir Putin is difficult.