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Here the Germans had to do with the numerous Polabian and Lusatian tribes which in the past had even crossed the Elbe-Saale line. As soon as Saxony was organized as one of the largest German duchies, the Slavs were pushed back from the mouth of the Elbe and the southeastern corner of the North Sea to the southwestern corner of the Baltic Sea. The series of marches which were supposed to protect the German territory and serve as stepping stones of further expansion, started with the Northern march which was created toward the end of the ninth century at the expense of the Obotrites, the Slavic population of what was later called Mecklenburg.
Olga first went to Constantinople where in 957 she was solemnly received by Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus. Probably, however, no agreement 45 was reached, since two years later she sent her envoys to the German king, Otto I, asking him to send a bishop to Kiev. This was before Otto’s coronation by the pope as Roman Emperor, but in any case it would have brought Russia under papal authority and under Western influence. Just as in the case of the Moravian church almost one hundred years earlier, it would have been a German influence.
The only difference is that in the East the Byzantine Empire had a much older tradition without, however, any possibilities of political expansion, while in the West the empire, “transferred” in 962 to the German kings, was as a matter of fact a new creation serving the purposes of German imperialism. These purposes included the domination of Italy and an eastern expansion that was chiefly directed against the Western Slavs. After the fall of the Moravian State, Germany's immediate neighbors north of the Magyars were the Czechs of Bohemia and the Slavic tribes between the Elbe-Saale and the Oder-Neisse lines.