Olga of Kiev was a Ukrainian princess who converted to Christianity. Her son rejected her religion, but Olga's grandson chose to follow her faith. Through him the Ukraine would become a Christian nation. For this Olga was made a saint in both the Catholic and Orthodox faiths. But the princess had another, less saintly side to her.

When she was a young bride, Olga's husband went to the province of Dereva to collect tribute. The people pretended to welcome him, then took him by surprise and killed him. They then threatened Olga and demanded that she marry one of their princes, her husband's murderer. Olga agreed, and told the men that they would be carried in to the wedding ceremony on their boats. But when the men were carried into the wedding hall, they found a massive pit had been dug inside. They were dropped in and buried alive. Then Olga laid siege to Dereva.

After being crushed by Olga's armies, the people of Dereva surrendered, but Olga wasn't quite done yet. She demanded three pigeons and three sparrows be brought to her from the capitol city for each house she spared. Relieved to be giving such a worthless tribute, the people of Dereva complied. Olga had an oil soaked rag tied to each bird's talons and lit on fire. As the birds returned to their nests, the entire city burned to the ground.

A portrait by Mikhail Nesterov, with a few modern touches in honor of the burning of Dereva pay tribute to this most metal of saints in suitably metal fashion.
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