17. Olga of Kiev (879-969)
During her reign as one of Russia’s first ruling woman, Olga of Kiev proved herself to be both powerful and vengeful. She established trade routes with neighboring cultures, including the Roman Empire and the Byzantines, and even arranged for the people of Kiev to convert to Christianity without force or coercion. But Olga of Kiev showed that she was a force to be reckoned with after her husband, Igor, was assassinated. The murder was the work of the Drevlians people.
When envoys arrived with an offer from the Drevlian Prince Mal to marry Olga, she responded by burying the messengers alive. She then retaliated for her husband’s murder by setting fire to the Drevlian village and had her troops slaughter anyone who tried to flee.