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St. Olga Dropped From WEF's Influential Women List Over Ukraine Criticism

St. Olga of Kiev ruled over Kievan Rus, a federation of Slavic principalities that included parts of modern-day Russia and Ukraine, from 945 until 960. Public Domain

The World Economic Forum has dropped St. Olga of Kiev from its list of influential women after Ukraine’s ex-president criticized the organization for calling her the founder of Russia.

Before being taken down, St. Olga’s profile on the WEF web page dedicated to International Women’s Month described her as “the progenitor to modern-day Russia” and “the first Russian monarch to convert to Christianity.”

Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko took to social media Thursday to ask WEF to “correct” its description and “check its sources more closely.”

Princess Olha cannot be considered an ancestor of the Russian Federation, because the Moscow Principality would be founded only more than 300 years after she passed away,” he tweeted.

The Moscow Principality, or Muscovy, is believed to have been established by the long-ruling Rurik Dynasty in 1263, while St. Olga died in 969.

WEF later appended its list with a correction, saying “we have removed this reference due to conflicting historical accounts.”

Poroshenko, in his social media criticism of the original post, linked it to Russia’s “imposing lies on the world, its alternative outlook on history and imperial narratives.”

Every day we witness how important it is to protect not only the information space, but also our own cultural heritage, when even competent international institutions could become parts of hostile propaganda,” he said.

Russian and Ukrainian ties have deteriorated after Moscow annexed Crimea from Kiev and a deadly separatist conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

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