The Times podcast: The medieval prince that Putin adores

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting via video in 2020.
(Alexei Nikolsky / Kremlin Pool Photo)

In the war for Ukraine, it’s Zelensky versus Putin. Two men with essentially the same first name fighting for their place in history — not just for their respective countries but for the ancestral roots that Russia and Ukraine share, and that both rulers claim to be the true defender of.

And a prince, who ruled more than 1,000 years ago — known in Russia as Vladimir the Great and in Ukraine as Volodymyr the Great — lies at the heart of that intertwined history. We get into that today.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guest: University of Cambridge lecturer in early Slavonic culture Olenka Pevny

More reading:

Putin’s rationale for Ukraine invasion gets the history wrong

Ukrainian Tales

In battle between Russia and Ukraine, even God is in dispute

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.