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Olga of Kiev
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Olga of Kiev

Olga of Kiev
Olga (Olha, Saint Olga, Helga; baptized: Elena, Helen) (879 in Pskov - July 11, 969 in Kiev), belonged to the Varangian (Scandinavian) aristocracy in Rus', and married the future Igor, prince of Kiev in 903. After his death, she ruled Kievan Rus as regent (945-c.963) for their son, Sviatoslav I. She spent great effort to avenge her husband's death at the hands of the Derevlians, and succeeded in slaughtering many of them. She was the first Rus ruler to convert to Christianity, in 957 at Constantinople, when she took the name Elena (Helen in English). After her baptism, she made many efforts to spread the Christian religion in Rus'. However, she failed to convert Sviatoslav, and it was left to his son and successor Vladimir I to make Christianity the lasting state religion.

Preceded by:
Rulers of Kievan Rus Succeeded by:
Sviatoslav I