Russia, the Kievan Rus, and the Mongols: Crash Course World History #20

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In which John Green teaches you how Russia evolved from a loose amalgamation of medieval principalities known as the Kievan Rus into the thriving democracy we know today. As you can imagine, there were a few bumps along the road. It turns out, our old friends the Mongols had quite a lot to do with unifying Russia. In yet another example of how surprisingly organized nomadic raiders can be, the Mongols brought the Kievan Rus together under a single leadership, and concentrated power in Moscow. This set the stage for the various Ivans (the Great and the Terrible) to throw off the yoke and form a pan-Russian nation ruled by an autocratic leader. More than 500 years later, we still have autocratic leadership in Russia. All this, plus a rundown of some of our favorite atrocities of Ivan the Terrible, and a visit from Putin!
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Published on


Jun 7, 2012




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Boyan Asenov
Boyan Asenov 3 months ago
Gmackematix 3 months ago
Is it just Americans who rhyme Basil with hazel instead of with dazzle?
kunik61 3 months ago
Бранибор Крутояр
russia not Kievan Rus!
john Konstantin
john Konstantin 4 months ago
Even though Russian doesn't sound like swedish the Vikings could have founded Russia or the Kievian Rus because they also inhabited England and Germany and those languages sound nothing alike either
Carmilla 4 months ago
Yeah, I'm sure Putin would never rig an election... she types in 2020...
Dominic Bonano
Dominic Bonano 4 months ago
The language thing doesn't necessarily negate the Scandinavian origin of the Kievan Rus. English is still a predominantly germanic language, despite having a French ruling class for centuries, granted I don't know if Ukrainian or Russian have any remnants of Scandinavian influence or how that compares to the French influence on the English language, and what other variables might come into play. Like England was conquered by the French Normans and was therefore forced to use French as the official language of trade and government. If a small circle of Vikings created an outpost in a land heavily populated by Slavs, and if its purpose was trade, their interest would be more in the direction of seducing locals to trade with them, rather than subjugating them and making them adopt their ways and language. Their outpost might attract locals to settle nearby and ultimately form a town or city, that ends up being largely populated by natives to that area, despite it being "founded" by foreigners. Ultimately diluting the genetic, cultural, and linguistic remnants of the Scandinavians. I guess that basically just combines the two theories.
Анастасия Лёвочкина
Чувак, молодец, практически без ошибок
Hanna W
Hanna W 4 months ago
anyone know the painting shown at 2:59
muumipeiko 4 months ago
It would be a bit of an overstatement to say that Ivan the Fourth ruled from 1533. He was born in 1530 and his mother was a regent at that time and she was the one who ruled the country. He started ruling independently only in 1547
Donghyun Park
Donghyun Park 4 months ago
Was the sound at 8:33 a fart?
khashafiq hijazi
khashafiq hijazi 4 months ago
Why did you study Russian, John? Because you were a Commie right? Hahahaha
Ty Harris
Ty Harris 4 months ago
14 32
14 32 4 months ago
Hi I'm John Green! Me: 😐 Also me: he knows russian 😮
Jasmine Janbay
Jasmine Janbay 4 months ago
I heard "Slav" and all I can think about now is the crazy alternate reality alien genius from Voltron...
Steve Repa
Steve Repa 4 months ago
should be Moscow - via , the Kievan Rus, and the Mongols - Russia , the empire came later like Britannia for the English ( pre - Russian History)
Necrophiliac 4 months ago
iN tHe wINteR!?!?!?!?
Alan Lipp
Alan Lipp 4 months ago
"Drink is the joy of the Rus', not the Russian. And, Kievan Rus was baptized in 988, not the 11th century
Stephen Sedillo
Stephen Sedillo 4 months ago
0:37 YOU DIDN'T SAY "wait for it..."!!!!!
life of Kiev
life of Kiev 4 months ago
Hello! And I have questions, here is Kievan Rus and Kiev, if you don’t know, the history of Ukraine doesn’t belong to the history of Russia! Here is a fact for you! One Ukrainian historian said that Ukraine and Russia have a different history .. yes, yes it is a fact, and if you need proof, look at RUvid or the Internet of the word Mikoli Grushevsky. Farther.....! I looked at old Russian and it is very similar to Ukrainian. And yes .... tavo historian tavo if you know what I mean. He wrote the history of Ukraine ... and had to write 11 ... volumes but ... something went wrong this volume was supposed to be the last .... I don’t know the history of Ukraine but almost everything knows these facts in Ukraine !!! If you're interested, you can watch the historian’s channel; he’s talking about the history of Ukraine; they’re talking about Kievan Rus))).This historian in Ukraine was very influential. And wanted the truth ....
Mrbigolnuts 4 months ago
4.5 million views? I'm guessing every American history student is paying more attention to these videos rather than their teachers....probably a good thing
Ай Горит
Ай Горит 4 months ago
Vladimir chose to convert the Rus to Byzantine Christianity in the 10th century (988). Not 11th century
Alexei Khaidurov
Alexei Khaidurov 4 months ago
Thai will be a good Assassins Creed game. IM NOT BIASED FOR BEING A BIT RUSSIAN!
Alexei Khaidurov
Alexei Khaidurov 4 months ago
I speak Russian too! Привет я Алексей
Andreas Englund
Andreas Englund 4 months ago
Nej, helt klart!
JustFortune 4 months ago
So. We call Ivan IV the terrible. But at the same time, the Bartholomew night happened in France. And other massacres in many countries of Europe. Why does not nobody call the monarchs of Europe terrible?
Alex Sem
Alex Sem 5 months ago
If you know russians, you know they are haters, they hate all people in the world, and think they are smarter then other, and they producing total depression, this country its a bomb, who will destroy all planet, you'll see
Uliana Leshchuk
Uliana Leshchuk 5 months ago
Kievan Rus was not Russian, the people were Ukrainian. This is a common misconception.
V_da_Gr8 5 months ago
@Uliana Leshchuk no, it's the opposite
Uliana Leshchuk
Uliana Leshchuk 5 months ago
Although, Ivan the Terrible was not Ukrainian he was Russian. It is a very complicated history because Russia, even today, constantly tries to control Ukraine.
GamX 5 months ago
who else is watching in 2020 and bored of quarantine
Pacpacpac Xapqbac
Pacpacpac Xapqbac 5 months ago
So now it is 2020. Putin is still usurping the throne, created secret police (and more - secret trolls)
Imamiablo 5 months ago
Russia and Kievan Rus? Lol, well, Russia is as related to Kievan Rus as it is related to Eastern Germany.
Ethan Erwin-Marteniez
In Soviet Russia, you do not conquer Mongols, MONGOLS CONQUER YOU
V_da_Gr8 5 months ago
Malismarma _
Malismarma _ 5 months ago
What is the picture at 4:50
Alex Sem
Alex Sem 5 months ago
Kievan Rus its not russia. not even close. russia its horde
DnD Ulitharid
DnD Ulitharid 5 months ago
Ivan IV started off good. Then pulled a vlad the impaler before vlad the impaler did it and murdered the nobility and all threats. Overall he made russian kings the most terrifying kind of kings
Elena Novikova
Elena Novikova 5 months ago
When he put people on the screen that was not Russian I speak Russian
Seth Austin
Seth Austin 5 months ago
Johnny Moneybags, be my friend!!!!!!
Аня Литвин
Аня Литвин 5 months ago
Putin обнуляется!! 2020
Lukas Lambraia
Lukas Lambraia 5 months ago
Watching this in 2020, just as good as I remember it being. Who else is here during the quarantine?
Drink my bleach
Drink my bleach 4 months ago
@Grubby bum ofc Vikings sound much cooler
Grubby bum
Grubby bum 4 months ago
I am. And this guy's a dummy. Kiev was obviously founded by Vikings. his logic is stupid
Morten 6 months ago
The Vikings did found the Kievan Rus, however they only ruled as a Norse-speaking elite minority for a few generations before they gradually "Slavisized". A few examples of the remaining norse influence can be found in Russian names, such as Vladimir (from Valdemar), Ivan (from Ivar) and Olga (from Helga). Other examples are the Russian suffix of 'grad' in city names (i.e. Volgograd) coming from gård/gärd/gard. Also, the Ukrainian word for council (rada) can be traced to the Norse "råd", which shows the increased Norse influence on Ukraine than the Russian version of the word - "soviet".
Zeiss 4 months ago
@Alex Sem kievan rus never excisted, the name was given by historians to mark the place, the name itself was never used.
Zeiss 4 months ago
@Alex Sem diffirence between kiev and ukraine, yes kiev ancient city of slavs, not of ukraine, ukraine only excist for 100 years
Zeiss 4 months ago
@Alex Sem ukraine was made by ussr, their was never 'ukraine', nobody ever talked about that, you act like they ever spoke of that country thousands years ago
Alex Sem
Alex Sem 5 months ago
@Boyar in your logic Kiev didnt exist for 19th century? dont reading tatarian(pseudorussian) propoganda, they history its just lie, in their history books "russia" is most peacefull country in the world, and they only defended, all teir history, but in reality this people producing only wars
Boyar 5 months ago
@Alex Sem Modern day Kiev was built by architects and builders from Saint Petersburg and Moscow in 19th century. Old Kiev was destroyed by Batu Khan in 1240. Neither Kiev does have any connection to borderland Galitsia and Volynia.
YT Ayon
YT Ayon 6 months ago
what is the source for this video?
Thejaywalker 123
Thejaywalker 123 6 months ago
Trying to write notes on this video for a history quiz kinda difficult to write notes on a fast paced video and to space out everything
рднаскелА Шимкус
Hah! YOU wrong With Иван IV Opricnina- not police ЭТО как королевский домен В Европе
рднаскелА Шимкус
А так все cool
Grym Pruruege
Grym Pruruege 6 months ago
I remembered when CBS 60 Minutes has done an interview with John Green
IBeClucky 6 months ago
He is a big cringe
Zara Wardle
Zara Wardle 6 months ago
Tritone 6 months ago
Я тоже говорю по русски. !!!!!
Skylar Jenkins
Skylar Jenkins 6 months ago
what are the three regions of Russia?
Василь Бурлаченко
Какой бред, особенно про переход центра Руси с Киева в Москву, Московия - это государство воевавшее в составе золотой орды против Руси, на самом деле, наследником Руси стало Великое княжество Литовское, Русское и Жемайтское, которое в свою очередь так же воевало с Ордой и Московией, и первая крупная победа славян в стремлении освободить Русь, произошла не на мифическом Куликовом поле а в 1362г. на Синих водах (р.Синюха, Кировоградской обл.) под проводом князя Ольгерда, и в этом сражении литовско-русское войско сошлось в бою с ордынским войском, в составе которого и московиты состояли, и московский князь лично, о какой Руси в Москве может идти речь? Тот же украинский язык до начала 18 века в Речи Посполитой называли «руськой мовой» это был один из официальных языков государства на равне с литовским и польским до начала ущемлений, им вели дела украинские гетманы и шляхта, и чтоб подписать союзный договор с гетманом Б.Хмельницким, московские послы приезжали вместе с переводчиком, потому что московиты руськой мовы не знали, поэтому я повторюсь: КАКАЯ В МОСКВЕ МОГЛА БЫТЬ РУСЬ? Правильно - никакой, это улус ордынский, присвоивший себе название «Россия» аж в 1721 году, так что господа московиты, пора бы вам сходить нахер и поискать свою историю в заднице у монголоидов, а не перетягивать на себя историю Руси, к которой вы не имеете отношения
Moepowerplant 6 months ago
It may not be that the Mongols successfully conquered Russia in the winter, they invaded during the Medieval Warm Period while Napoleon ruled during the Little Ice Age, his invasion turned out differently.
Lee Oswald
Lee Oswald 6 months ago
Like for speaking Russian 👍
Lee Oswald
Lee Oswald 6 months ago
Also, Ivan Terrible means more strong
Akon Ali
Akon Ali 6 months ago
And Today it's Exactly The Problem of Alcoholism that's Killing So Many Russian Christians , Alcohol has Taken Lives of Many Russians and Main Disease and Problem in Russia the problem due to Christianity Had Prince Vladmir Accepted ISLAM Then Russians Would have Been Saved From This Terrible Disease Of Alcoholism And wouldnt have lost So Many Russian Lives to Filthy Stinky Alcoholism.
Fiddler On The Roof
Fiddler On The Roof 6 months ago
7:40 and this was even before 2016 😲😂 talk about foreshadowing, huh?
TrueSkeptic 6 months ago
Rus means people from the area from what is today Sweden.
Alina Bykova
Alina Bykova 6 months ago
Ivan Kalita’s translation as Johny Moneybag is hilarious though
Otto Heckel
Otto Heckel 6 months ago
your guys intro is like nails on a chalk board
7 months ago
The West see Russian as a Asian, so that they can easily destroy them without thinking twice. just watch Europe The Last Battle why they hate Slavs.
karthik sai
karthik sai 7 months ago
The blind brothers jokes are insensitive.
George Skenderbeg
George Skenderbeg 7 months ago
Why have a crush on a Russian Major when you can have a crush on me, who has Damascus Steel? Edit: Blood Sweater of Lower-Saxon has stolen my treasury, I no longer hold Damascus Steel but will you still love me my lord?
ronald baum
ronald baum 7 months ago
Excellent production. You are a freak, dude!! Very funny and educationally interesting. I have one question. Why is the globe onscreen showing Africa and not Russia? I kept trying to turn the globe northeast.
George Williamson
George Williamson 7 months ago
What I came for: A brief but comprehensive history of Russia, how they became the way they are, and why that matters, all laid out in simple and easy to digest laymans terms. What I got: Where'd you get those pants? And all those teeth? You smell pretty.
Serhii Shepilov
Serhii Shepilov 7 months ago
Why are you lying to people? There is no connection between Russia and Kyiv Rus except centuries of murder and oppression people of Kyiv Rus (current Ukraine and Belarus) by Moscovia (Russia nowadays).
DiosHotpockets 7 months ago
You guessed it the mongols
David Bordelon
David Bordelon 7 months ago
"We don't want to get into an etymological flame war." Literally all that's going on in the comment section 🤣!
David Bordelon
David Bordelon 4 months ago
Totally agree, man.
Russian Goosee
Russian Goosee 5 months ago
David Bordelon I am so tired of people calling each other idiots that can’t just talk it out.
Young Outlaw
Young Outlaw 7 months ago
Maybe it was like England were the The settler was of some culture while the royal family are of Norse or Danish roots thinking in rus Slavic settlers
Arief Rakhman
Arief Rakhman 7 months ago
Ivan the Terrible seems a lot like Joffrey
snurk agurk
snurk agurk 7 months ago
1:11 this point is like saying that the normans didn’t conquer england, british people don’t speak french. It was the language of the ruling class.
Trase Frederick
Trase Frederick 7 months ago
Russian princes paying tribute to the Mongols: "Eto obez'yana, no my dolzhny eto sdelat"
Дмитрий Хворостинин
@Kateryna Shneidmillier what is this reference?
Kateryna Shneidmillier
Trase Frederick I understood that reference! Trying to get as much John Green as possible , he is my latest obsession :D.
Adam Whitcomb
Adam Whitcomb 7 months ago
can we do a one-hour crash course special only on the Mongols? i would watch that all the time
Prince Kalender
Prince Kalender 7 months ago
"This machine kills fascists". Unnecessary violence.
Matthew S
Matthew S 7 months ago
Good god your annoying
LlamaLad 7 months ago
Lmao etomologists are people that study the meanings of phrases so i laughed so hard when he said an etomologist flame war is terrifying
GEORGE STINNEY JR. 8 months ago
Wheres the artifacts?
Antony 8 months ago
"mmmm...... you smell. p r e t t y" -John Green, 2012
Marc Jones
Marc Jones 8 months ago
What about Catherine?!!!
Ivan Spassov
Ivan Spassov 8 months ago
FYI "Slav" originates from "slovo" (слово) which means speach, because all the slavic tribes can comuniicate with eachother in the "same" language. That's why all the slavs call the germanic folks "niemtzi" (ниемци) which means mute/deaf, because they speak a nother language and as a slav you were not able to comunicate with niemtzi.
Edward Nesteruk
Edward Nesteruk 8 months ago
Lets put this straight kyivian rus IS UKRAINE because kyiv is located in ukraine and the kyivian rus flag is a Ukrainian flag with our coat of arms
Мерфі 8 months ago
You completely forgot about Ukraine and Belarus! Why?
David Zhabin
David Zhabin 8 months ago
Russia is the greatest country ever
kunik61 8 months ago
STOP STEAL HISTORY OF UKRAINE. Modern Russian cities used to be under Kyiv, a capital of Ukraine!
Galbrender 6 months ago
с вступлением в Ш.У.Е
Galbrender 6 months ago
Yeah and ? It is Russian history and Ukraine don't country
Софья Бирюза
I'm from Russia, and the way he pronounces russian words is so funny. Anyway, great video, love your courses :3
yourlocalgraverobber x
bbleh 9 months ago
can people stop saying that word slaveni came from the word slave cause in slaven language slaveni came from the word slava which means glory so idk why people have the need to always compare 2 very different type of words, they write simmilar but that is just a coincidence.
Micheal Osikomaiya
Micheal Osikomaiya 9 months ago
Someone conquered Russia in the winter? That's like...their whole plan.
Matvey Solovyev
Matvey Solovyev 9 months ago
Я вам как русский говорю. В видосике всё ок
Brandon Laws
Brandon Laws 9 months ago
You can tell when finals are coming up just by the view spikes on these videos
9 months ago
John please be my dad recognize me
Dlgread202 9 months ago
Watching this the day of my AP World history midterm!
HobbitonPlay 9 months ago
Идиот историк рассказывает сказку для тупых Американцев, история в картинках высшая форма повествования для дебилов на западе!
Registeredmensah 9 months ago
Dislike purely because of the cringy snipes at Putin. Because the west is such a bastion of freedom. Clown
jasonc0065 9 months ago
Who rigs better, Putin or Buhari?
Ser Davos Seaworth
Ser Davos Seaworth 9 months ago
So Russia might have been a Muslim nation if the Russians weren't in love with their Vodka ? That's an interesting thought.
noble grand42
noble grand42 3 months ago
@Akon Ali Heavy alcohol use, dope use, smoking cigarettes, doing little boy ho moe sex heavily are characteristics of Mid East Islam.
fs dds
fs dds 4 months ago
No, Vodka was invented much later, but the Russians love alcohol anyway.
life of Kiev
life of Kiev 4 months ago
Ukrainians came up with vodka).
sampejke 5 months ago
well it wasn't only about vodka ( it wasn't invented yet btw) more about beer and honey-alcohol beverages, but also about Pork! it is very stupid to refuse such precious source of protein, isn't it?
Alex Hunt
Alex Hunt 9 months ago
“...it makes it difficult to mispronounce things, which is my thing...” Five seconds later... “Kiev-ee-an Russ” 0:47
Alex Hunt
Alex Hunt 7 months ago
Kateryna Shneidmillier, you’re right. I must have missed it the first time.
Kateryna Shneidmillier
Alex Hunt And I-van and Basil instead of ee-van and vasili
Aleksei Konev
Aleksei Konev 9 months ago
Случай Когда на западе историю твоей страны знают лучше тебя
Ehsan _hvfun
Ehsan _hvfun 9 months ago
is there anyone in this world liked mongols other than mongolians? :v
Byamba Dugersuren
Byamba Dugersuren 9 months ago
Now yes, even Russians themselves because of the HU band
Adriana P
Adriana P 10 months ago
the thing is though...kievan rus was ukrainian not russian so ;-;
Trouser Troll
Trouser Troll 10 months ago
The Rus were Vikings. Just like the Danes were in England. They still speak English and not Danish or Norwegian.
F J 10 months ago
The early Rus were Norse, there's much evidence that support that. Some "historians" tend to be biased in a certain way.
Dzhamilya Kasymanova
Dzhamilya Kasymanova 10 months ago
Обожаю ваш курс! 💙
Not Seigfreid Suki
Not Seigfreid Suki 10 months ago
I served the Soviet Union...
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