How Russians distort their own history

Paul Fiolkowski
4 min readJun 12, 2023

Russian prince Alexander Nevsky begging Khan Batu, Genghis Khan’s grandson and his adopted father, to vanquish Swedish liberators and keep his people in chains. Alexander Nevsky is a saint and Russian national hero. To get a better grip of this warped and self-destructive logic, imagine Moses kneeling before Pharaoh and beseeching not to let his people go.

Russians portray far-right leader Stepan Bandera as a Ukrainian nationalist and collaborator of Nazi occupiers.

Russians have gladly and remorselessly turned their own country into a pariah state, sacrificed hundreds of thousands of their men and women on the battlefield, and handed absolute powers to secret service thugs for an opportunity to fight against Bandera supporters in Ukraine and re-enslave this former colony.

The true reason why Russians hate and despise Bandera is not for his alleged collaboration with the Nazis but that his myth inspires Ukrainians to get organized to fight for independence from Russia. There’s no sacrifice great enough when it comes to squashing freedom movement of its subjects!

Ironically, Russians revere and worship a collaborator much, much worse that Stepan Bander. And unlike Bandera, this man had never aspired to give his people freedom and independence, on the contrary, he did everything for that never to happen.

His name is Alexander Nevsky.

220 years of Russia’s merciless Mongol Horde occupation from mid-13th century was preceded by destruction of numerous cities and had shaped Russian national identity like nothing else before or after.

When they finally managed to kick out invaders and unite as Moscovy Kingdom, Russian elites had shed most of the resemblance to Kyiv Rus residents and effectively become Tatar-Mongol invaders themselves, with an acquired taste for Eastern despotism and brutal subjugation of their subjects.

Instrumental in Tatar-Mongol ruthless occupation were Russian princes who collaborated with the occupiers to squash rebellions and collect tributes from the peasants and nobility on their behalf.

One of the most despicable collaborators was Alexander Nevsky, who in 1252 received Yarlyk (permission) to become Grand Duke of Vladimir as a vassal of the Mongol Horde. He also became an adopted brother of Sartak’s anda and an adopted son of Batu Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson.

As a vassal of the Mongol Horde, Nevsky put down his brother’s anti-Mongol rebellion, led an army to rout the Swedes and Lithuanians, turned away Catholic proselytizers.

Nevsky personally killed and tortured hundreds of people and all of that as a vassal to make his Mongol masters happy and advance his personal consolidation of power using unsurpassable violence in the spirit of his teachers.

Alexander’s grandson Yury of Moscow married a sister of Uzbeg Khan. Peter the Great, first Russian Emperor’s mother’s family house was Crimean Tatar.

Thus Nevsky’s other historical contribution was the establishment that the union of Russian nobility in foreign faith and interbreeding with Mongols is instrumental in gaining personal power, which ultimately would lead to Rus becoming a rump state of the defunct Mongol Empire.

Russian Eastern Orthodox Church canonized Alexander Nevsky, and in 2008 he was pronounced “The Face of Russia.”

Russians live in denial that they’re direct heirs and descendants of the Mongol Empire, not of Kyiv Rus nor of European Empire perpetuated for 300 years by a German royal dynasty.

The Bolshevik Red Terror in the 1920–1930s was a classic Mongol occupation galore, and Putin’s dictatorship of thieves is in line with the Mongol rulers who fleeced their Russian subjects and didn’t give anything back using local collaborators who enriched themselves.

In the same vein, invasion of Ukraine with leveling of entire cities as scare tactics to subjugate residents and make them khan’s subjects (kidnappings, tortures, forced to accept Russian passports) is straight out of Mongol playbook.

It is clear that Russian soldiers have no agency other than following orders issued by the generals in Moscow who are mere collaborators of the neo-Mongol regime. Soldiers submit to the will of the Kremlin Khan and in turn force the rebellious Ukrainians to do the same.

There’s nothing unique nor different in Putin’s modus operandi, a classic bloodthirsty tyrant repeating mindlessly old historical patterns like Lenin, Stalin, Peter the Great and Alexander Nevsky have done before him, all of whom have become heroes of Russia, believed by the people here to be intrinsically good and righteous “because they acted in the interests of our homeland.”

The Cancer* of Alexander Nevsky was created on the orders of Elizabeth Petrovna, Peter the Great’s daughter and a descendant of the Mongol invaders herself, to honor Alexander Nevsky’s contribution to making Russia a playground for despotism.

Patriarch Kirill has recently stolen silver cancer of Alexander Nevsky from the Hermitage collection allegedly to be installed in the Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg.

Patriarch Kirill, Putin’s close ally, follows on the footsteps of the fine tradition — Bolsheviks looted the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg after the Bolshevik Revolution , grabbing gold and artworks.

The Alexander Nevsky Cancer* has 1.5 tons of silver and greedy Pariah Kirill just couldn’t help himself.

Earlier, he stole the alleged bones of Alexander Nevsky from the cancer. Although specialists claimed that were two right arms in the skeleton set it didn’t deter Patriarch from claiming that they were authentic and belonged to the Great Hero and Saint of Russia .

*I mistranslated raka (shrine, sanctuary) as rak (cancer) to highlight affliction of a hitherto European country with Eastern despotism that it cannot shake off to this day. Cancer as an untreatable disease, however, nothing lasts forever, one day the disease, or curse if you like, shall be dispelled for Russia to re-join the family of European nations after a long absence.

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Paul Fiolkowski

I am just another American expat, who found that yes indeed, the grass can be greener elsewhere.