Malusha Malkovna (Old Ruthenian: Малушa) was allegedly a servant (kholopka) for Olga of Kiev and wife of Sviatoslav I of Kiev. According to Slavonic chronicles, she was the mother of Vladimir the Great and sister of Dobrynya. The Norse sagas describe Vladimir's mother as a prophetess who lived to the age of 100 and was brought from her cave to the palace to predict the future. Malusha monuments in Korosten, Ukraine, with her young son Vladimir.
As the chronicles are silent on the subject of Malusha's pedigree, 19th-century Russian and Ukrainian historians devised various theories to explain her parentage and name.
Malusha Malkovna is said to be the daughter of Malk of Lyubech, prince of the Drevlians. The same one that wanted to marry Olga of Kiev after she became a widow. Primary Chronicle records that a certain Malusha died in 1000. This record follows that of Rogneda's death. Since Rogneda was Vladimir's wife, historians assume that Malusha was another close relative of the ruling prince, preferably his wife or mother.
The anti-Normanist historian Dmitry Ilovaisky managed to draw an opposite conclusion: that the Slavic name Malusha was turned into a Scandinavian Malfried. This claim received no wider support.
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- С. Н. Азбелев. Устная история в памятниках Новгорода и Новгородской земли. ISBN 9785860075351. Page 90.
- Dixon-Kennedy, Mike (1998). Encyclopedia of Russian and Slavic Myth and Legend. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio. p. 210. ISBN 1-57607-063-8.