In the year 1254, King of France Louis IX sent an emissary to Batu Khan, who had his camp at the Volga River. The emissary was Friar William Rubruck, one of the most educated people of that time. He had a letter from the King to Batu’s son Sartak, who was believed to have become a Christian. The goal was to get permission to spread Catholicism among the Sartak people. Rubruck’s account of his travels is regarded as one of the masterpieces and a trustworthy source of many little known facts. One of such facts is his account of a province that incorporated Moscow. Rubruck tells his readers that the name of that province was MOXEL and it was distinct from Rus: “From Ruscia, Moxel, and from greater Bulgaria and Pascatir, which is greater Hungary, and Kerkis…”. And continues: “The country beyond the Tanais (Don) is most beautiful, with rivers and forests. To the north are great forests, inhabited by two races of men: to wit, the Moxel, who are without any religion, a race of pure pagans. They have no towns, but only little hamlets in the forest. Their chief and the greater part of them were killed in Germany; for the Tartars took them with them to the borders of Germany, and so they have formed a high opinion of the Germans, and they hope that through them they may finally be freed of the Tartar yoke”.
Footnote to the passage explains:
“The Moxel and Merdas form the two branches of the Finnish
Mordwin people. These names, according to Pallas ( Voyages, i, 104),
correctly transcribed are Mokshad and Ersad, the first name being
applied by them to their race in general. The earliest mention I
have found of this people is in Jornandes (444), where he speaks of
the Mordensimnis among the peoples of Hermanaric’s empire.
Constantine Porphyrogenitus (De Adminis., 166) refers also to the
Mordia country. Nestor (Chronique, 2) calls them Mordwa. Pian
de Carpine (676) speaks of them as Morduani, and in another
passage (709) as Mordni. Barbaro (33) calls this people the Moxii,
and adds that they were mostly pagans.
The editors of Rubruck’s account “The Journey to the Eastern Parts of the World” write in the Introduction that Rubruck was “the first, since Herodotus, to locate correctly the sources of the Don, which flows out of Ivan Lake in Tula”. In other words, Friar William’s account is the one we can trust. (We should also keep in mind that most likely the traveller read his accound to King Louis IX personally). And Friar reported that the Moxel people were “without religion” even in 1254 when Kyiv had been baptized in 988, almost 300 years before! This fact is important because Moscow claims that Vladimir was “their” ruler. But even Karl Marx saw clearly whose successor Russia truly was.(“Gardariki, Ukraine” e-book has more facts about the matter)