Information Warfare · Russia

More On Contrived Russian Lineage

I wrote to a friend, yesterday, about the bogus claims by a senior Russian Foreign Ministry member.  Here is his response, worthy of publishing.

One final note, during my research, yesterday, for Russian Ancestry Overstretch – Again, I ran across a lot of DNA evidence, much more than I could possibly list here. Now that DNA technology is maturing, Russia can no longer claim a lineage to Augustus Octavian or Genghis Khan without DNA evidence. Written and verbal claims are quickly becoming meaningless without DNA testing. Russia’s claims are looking more hokey and contrived every day. Show us a haplogroup, show us Y-DNA and mtDNA evidence or keep your bullcrap to yourself.

My friend’s anonymous response and my original note to him at the bottom.

This is the nonsense we have seen numerous humanities scholars, especially professional historians, complain about w.r.t. Russia – displacement of historical fact with appealing myths that support the “Russian World” foundation myth, and legitimise the “Russian World” construct in the minds of the faithful / gullible. This is about robust persistent zombification of the Russian populace.

This practice has a long history, actually, going back to the early Tsars, who fancied themselves the inheritors of the Roman Empire legacy, via Constantinople. The Orthodox Church with its seat in Constantinople had a huge schism with the Catholics in Rome, in 1054AD (, upon which both camps declared themselves to be the legitimate inheritors of the Roman Empire legacy.

At the root of this was simple fighting over territory and flocks, which was really fighting over money and power – the pitfalls of churches wedded to states, as the spiritual becomes subsumed by secular agendas such as stuffing one’s pockets with cash. The fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453AD led to the Russians deciding they were the inheritors of the Byzantine legacy, and thus the Roman Empire legacy, as this was a powerful legitimising myth for the Muscovy leadership caste in a deeply fractured but devoutly Orthodox Russia.

Ivan the Terrible / IV looms large is this mythological game, as he had himself crowned “Tsar of All the Russias” in 1547AD, elevating himself from the earlier title of “Grand Prince [Knyaz] of Muscovy”, a Kyivan Rus era Varyag [Eastern Viking pagan] title. The Russian title “Tsar [ц︢рь]” is Old Church Slavonic form of “Caesar”, the title of the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire (

When Ivan IV was crowned as Tsar, he was declaring himself and Muscovy the inheritors of the Byzantine Empire, which had collapsed four years earlier and been overrun by the Muslim Turks. Ever since the Russians have been gripped by imperial madness, seeing themselves as the true defenders and inheritors of Christendom, having adoped the Byzantine myth that Rome and the Catholics were not legitimate heirs of the Roman Empire.

The myth that Ivan IV was descended from Augustus Octavian is rooted in this belief system, and could only be proven by an mtDNA test of Ivan IV’s line, comparing against female line descendants of Octavian’s sole progeny, Julia the Elder. Proving the Byzantine princesses that married into the Rurik dynasty of the Kyivan Rus’ were genuine descendants of Julia and thus Octavian is genealogical overstretch to say the least! The long running Rurikid Project that studies the DNA of the Rurik dynasty shows that Rurik’s descendants all carry male Y-haplogroup N1c, which is the Finnish gene commonly found in Varyag descendents, or Eastern Vikings, who founded Holmgard, now Novgorod. Feodor I, the son of Ivan IV, was the last of the Rurik dynasty, and produced only one daughter.

Now the claim that on his maternal line, Ivan IV is descended from Ghenghis Khan, is no less a stretch. They would need to prove that one of Ivan IV’s maternal ancestors was a descendant of Batu Khan. Not easily done a millenium later, in the absence of good DNA evidence of Batu Khan’s maternal line.

Propagating myths that are unprovable, but possibly true, or plausibly true, for a particular audience, is the game of conspiracy theorists and purveyors of fake news. Grandioze claims about the bloodlines of Ivan IV fall into this category.

If Russia’s promoters of these bizarre claims want to make their case, they will need sound DNA evidence to prove it. We know why these bizarre claims are being made, which is to propagate a legitimising myth for the “Russian World” construct, that sells to gullible “want-to-believe” Russians and European pan-Slavist crackpots, to in turn legitimise Russian Imperialism in the 21st century. 

Russian officials promoting such myths know exactly what they are doing and why.


On 24/06/2017 07:36, Joel Harding wrote:
Igor put this out today:
“The Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed is the Spiritual Matrix of Eurasia

Eurasia – the main continent of our planet, the cradle of civilization (Kostenki village Voronezh region, Sungir near Vladimir). The key figure of Eurasia is the greatest Russian Tsar Ivan the Terrible, who built the Cathedral of St. Basil the Blessed. Ivan the Terrible – heir to two imperial dynasties of Eurasia. Ivan the Terrible, like Rurikovich, a descendant of the founder of the Roman Empire, Augustus Octavian. Simultaneously, on the maternal line, he is a descendant of Genghis Khan.”

His father was descended from Augustus Octavian.
His mother was descended from Genghis Khan.
Lordy, how does he come up with such bullshit?

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