The exact date of birth and death of Prince Oleg the Wise are not known for certain. However, the deeds of the semi-legendary Varangian were significant enough for his descendants to remember him as one of the founders of the Old Russian state.
To answer the question of what Oleg the Wise did for Rus, we can briefly list his main achievements during his reign:
- Expansion of the Rurik dynasty’s influence in the southern direction: Smolensk and Lyubech were included in the possessions, Kiev was captured, neighboring tribes of the Severians, Drevlyans, and Radimichs were subjugated.
- Kiev was declared the capital — the northern and southern centers of the eastern Slavs were united.
- Consolidation of power over new territories — fortress cities were founded.
- Taxes were lowered for the Severian tribe (former tribute-payers to the Khazars).
- Novgorod was assigned to pay tribute to the Varangians.
- The dynastic line of the Rurikids was continued — a marriage between Igor and Olga was arranged.
- As a result of a successful campaign against Constantinople in 907, a favorable peace treaty was concluded with the Byzantine Empire, which was reconfirmed by an embassy in 911.
- This marked the beginning of a large-scale confrontation between the emerging Old Russian state and the Khazar Khaganate.