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Swedish Vikings in Ukraine
Introduction

Swedish Vikings
- Sweden
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- Ukraine 

Norw. Vikings 
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Norway 
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Once driven out of the northern part of Russia, the Swedish Vikings headed south and west through the Russian rivers Dnepr and Volga in search for new trade posts in the Abbasidian Caliphate, which they had heard of as rich in trading goods, plenty of food, and -- above all -- beautiful women (who could be captured as slaves!).  

Some of them continued beyond and reached so remote places as Samarkand [in present-day Uzbekistan] and Baghdad. There are no Viking remains of importance in these places, but thousands of silver coins originating there have been unearthed on the Swedish island of Gotland by archaeologists. 
 
Ukraine 2003. Joint-issue with Estonia. Arrival of Scandinavian Seamen. Stamp #1 on a set of 2. Ukraine 2003. Joint-issue with Estonia. Arrival of Scandinavian Seamen. Stamp #2 on a set of 2.

  • Ukraine 2003. Joint-issue with Estonia. Arrival of Scandinavian Seamen. The Ukrainian stamps were issued in a vertical set of three, with a label between the stamps, designating ancient trade routes. 

In spite of their alleged peaceful intentions as explorers and traders, in 860 their natural violence and brutality broke out again when attacking Constantinople [in present-day Turkey] with such ferocity and brutality, that the local Turkic peoples were stricken by horror, but could do nothing to resist the invaders. Yet later, when the situation had calmed down, the Vikings were hired to serve in the so-called Varingian life-guard [Viking army] of the Byzantine emperors. The Rus [Swedish Vikings], headed by the chieftain Helgi [the Russian version of the name is Oleg] now had free hands to establish the first Russian state around Kiev in present-day Ukraine. It is believed, but not linguistically proved, that the Vikings gave name to present-day Ukraine. 

For decades patriotic Soviet historians have tried to disprove and invalidate this assumption. But no matter how history may or may not be proved, it is an undeniable fact that the first Ukrainian bank notes issued after the independence from Soviet sovereignty depict viking motifs.
 
Ukraine 1991. Bank note of 1 Karbovanets, showing the image if a "Viking Daughter". Pick #81. Ukraine 1992. Bank note of 100 Karbovantsiv, showing the image of a ViKing Ship. Pick #88a.

  • Ukraine 1991. Bank note of 1 Karbovanets, showing the image if a "Viking Daughter". Pick #81.

  • Ukraine 1992. Bank note of 100 Karbovantsiv, showing the image of a ViKing Ship. Pick #88a.  

In 988 a prince in Kiev (of Viking origin), Vladimir [Volodymir or Valdemar], converted to the new faith of Orthodox Christianity, and made his subjects do the same. This act not only opened Russia to the Mediterranean culture, but created also a local culture which separated Russia from the rest of Europe, who at that time largely had converted to Roman Catholicism. Read more here about Kiev, now designated as World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO. 

The saga of the Swedish Vikings in
Sweden     Estonia     Ukraine

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Copyrighted 14th January 2007. All Rights Reserved
Revised 15-feb-2007

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Contact me: Ann Mette Heindorff