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Volkhvy were heathen priests in pre-Christian Rus’. Volkhvy were believed to possess mystical powers, particularly the ability to predict the future. The first literary reference to a volkhv occurs in the Primary Chronicle under the year 912; there, the priest-soothsayer predicts Prince Oleh's death. With the adoption of Christianity the pagan priests came under persecution and sometimes tried to channel social discontent against the church. 
Volkhvy were part of the witch hunts in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.