When Olga of Kiev's husband was murdered by the Drevlians in 945, her retaliation made Game of Thrones' "Red Wedding" look like child's play. (thread)

First: Olga took the throne as regent for her young son. She was the first woman to rule Kievan Rus'. But, the Drevlians soon wanted her to marry one of their princes, and they sent twenty diplomats to make it happen.

So, Olga killed them... by burying them alive. 😬
Second: At Olga's request, and not knowing of the fate of their first diplomatic party, the Drevlians sent a delegation of "the best men who governed the land of Dereva".

Olga invited them to bathe in a bathhouse. She locked them inside, set that on fire, and burned them alive.
Third: Olga asked that the Drevlians hold a funeral feast in the city where they murdered her husband.

After the Drevlians got drunk, she and her followers killed five thousand of them.

Fourth: Olga's armies invaded and rapidly took over Dereva. One city, however, held out: their capital of Iskorosten (modern-day Korosten, Ukraine).

So, Olga asked the city for a tribute of three pigeons and three sparrows from every household, to which they agreed...
Olga's forces tied some cloth to each bird, and one night lit them alight and let them fly home.

They returned to their nests within the city, which subsequently set the city ablaze.


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