Dark Age: the cruel ruler of Russia, about which historians are silent
920 years ago, on October 19, 1097, the Council of Princes in Lyubech legalized the division of Russia into fiefdoms. This council was preceded by a difficult epoch of Izyaslav, full of strife, trouble and blood, the internecine war of 1094-1097. and the war with the Polovtsy.
At the congress in Lyubech, heart-felt speeches were made about the structure of the world and about “almost destroying the Russian land”, and the Polovtsy “our land should be distributed”. However, in spite of the peace agreements reached, in the same 1097 a new war broke out for the destinies, this time in the west of Russia. The collapse of Russia was continued. The elite ambitions of the princes and the boyars eventually destroyed the empire of Rurikovich, and quite soon in historical terms it would become relatively easy prey for the Western powers, directed by Rome, and so on. "Mongol-Tatars" (the same heirs of the continental Scythian state, like the Rus of Kiev and Vladimir).
Decomposition of the Russian state
After the death of Svyatoslav the Great (964-972), the period of decomposition of the Russian state begins. The elite ambitions of the princes, the narrow corporate interests of the boyars-trade elite and the conceptual and ideological sabotage of the Byzantine version of Christianity against the background of the decline of the ancient pagan (Vedic) faith led to degradation and eventually to the disintegration and death of the Russian empire created by the works of the first Rurik.
At first, Russia was shocked by the struggle of Svyatoslavich. The victory was won by Vladimir, who, in order to strengthen the princely power, first created the pantheon of gods, and then adopted the Byzantine version of Christianity. For this service, the fratricide and voluptuous owner of the harem with hundreds of concubines (where the wife of the murdered brother got into) was later called the church "holy." From this moment began a long period of the merger of Christianity with Russian paganism, which after a few centuries ended the creation of fiery Russian Orthodoxy (glory of right). But before that, the Greek missionaries, with the support of the princes and the boyars, tried to "civilize" the Rus. True, the overwhelming majority of the population adhered to paganism for several centuries, only externally accepting baptism.According to some researchers, another bloody civil war also took place in the years of Vladimir's rule in Russia - the struggle against the pagan "party". Christianity was accepted not so beautifully and voluntarily, as they later began to show, but through much blood. In addition, Vladimir to death had quarreled with the steppe (Pechenegs), with whom his father Svyatoslav had an alliance, and was forced to build a defense system on the southern approaches to Kiev.
His sons staged a new internecine war. According to the official version, it was started by Svyatopolk Okayanny (1015-1016), who killed his brothers Boris and Gleb. According to another version, the rebellion during the life of Vladimir was raised by the Prince of Novgorod Yaroslav, refusing to submit to Kiev. And Svyatopolk was the co-regent of the sick father and was preparing to crush the rebellious Novgorod together with his brothers.
After the death of Vladimir, Yaroslav and Mstislav refused to recognize Svyatopolk as a legitimate prince in Kiev. Only two brothers — Boris and Gleb — declared their loyalty to the new Kiev prince and pledged to “honor him as their father,” and it would be very strange for Svyatopolk to kill their allies. Jaroslav hired the Vikings to fight with the brothers and killed.
The defeated Svyatopolk fled to Poland, to the father-in-law of Boleslav the Brave. In 1018, with the support of the Polish and Pecheneg troops, Svyatopolk and Boleslav marched on a campaign against Kiev (As the Poles of Boleslav the Brave took Russian Kiev for the first time). The squads met on the Bug, where the Polish army under the command of Boleslav defeated the Novgorodians, Yaroslav fled again to Novgorod. There he assembled a new army. Svyatopolk, quarreling with the Poles, was forced to flee again from Kiev from Yaroslav who had returned with the Vikings. He gathered an army. In the decisive battle on the Alta River, Svyatopolk suffered a decisive defeat and soon died. And the winner and his heirs, Yaroslav “The Wise” and Yaroslavichi, rewrote history in their favor, putting all the blame for the civil war on Svyatopolk.
At the same time, Yaroslav was not the sovereign ruler of Russia for a long time. In 1023, another brother of Yaroslav — the militant Tmutarakan prince Mstislav — captured Chernigov and all of the left bank of the Dnieper. In 1024, Mstislav defeated the troops of Yaroslav under the leadership of the Varyag Yakun under Leaves (near Chernigov). Mstislav transferred his capital to Chernigov and, sending ambassadors to Yaroslav, who fled to Novgorod, offered to divide the land along the Dnieper and stop the war: “Sit down in your Kiev, you are the elder brother, and I will have this side.”In 1026, Yaroslav, having collected a large army, returned to Kiev, and made peace with Gorodets and his brother Mstislav, agreeing with his peaceful proposals. The brothers divided the land on the Dnieper. The left bank was reserved for Mstislav, and the right bank for Yaroslav. Yaroslav, being the Grand Duke, preferred to sit on the Novgorod table until 1036 (the time of Mstislav’s death).
Yaroslav asked the brothers to observe the "series", the order of inheritance. The elder, Grand Duke of Kiev, all were obliged to read and obey, like a father. But he also had to take care of the younger ones, to protect them. Yaroslav established a hierarchy of Russian cities and princely thrones. The first in rank is Kiev, the second is Chernihiv, the third is Pereyaslavl, the fourth is Smolensk, the fifth is Vladimir-Volynsky. None of the sons remained without inheritance, each received possession according to seniority.
But Russia was not divided. The younger princes submitted to the elder, Kiev, important issues were solved together. Commons were not given to perpetual use. The Grand Duke will die, Chernigov will replace him, and the other princes will move along a kind of “ladder” (ladder) to higher “steps”.Other cities and lands were not distributed personally, but were attached to the main lands. The right bank of the Dnieper and Turovo-Pinskaya land departed to Kiev. Novgorod directly obeyed the Grand Duke. The two most important centers of Rus, Kiev and Novgorod, which determined the development of the Russian land, should have been in the same hands. Tmutarakan, other advanced outposts of Russia, lands on the Desna and Oka as far as Murom, etc., belonged to the Chernihiv table. But this order was quickly violated.
Heavy legacy Izyaslav
The Kiev table, after the death of Yaroslav, was inherited not by the strongest and most reasonable of his son, like the warrior Svyatoslav or the bookshop Vsevolod. And Izyaslav - it was a weak ruler, who easily turned his wife and close. At this time, the trade-boyar, usurious (including foreigners - Khazar Jews, Greeks) top of Kiev, which enslaved the common people, sharply increased. To meet the ever-growing needs of the rich and powerful, taxes were increased, new taxes were introduced.
In Kiev, predation flourished, embezzlement. The rich were nobles, boyars, merchants, Greeks, Jews, usurers, tiuny, collecting taxes. Nobles and boyars cleaned up the hands of the land and the village.Peasants, who yesterday were free community members, became dependent. The advisers suggested that the Russian Law should be edited - the laws of Russia. Laws came from ancient times, when there was no slavery and the vast majority of people were free community members. According to the Russian Truth for the death of revenge death. Now they made amendments - the blood feud and the death penalty were abolished, replaced with a money vira (fine). And if the offender can not pay, it can be sold to the same merchants, usurers. It is clear that the rich strata of the population could buy off a crime.
In the meantime, the situation on the steppe borders of Russia has sharply worsened. In the steppe was a massacre. Polovtsi broke the Torks and Pechenegs. Those fled, some asked to go to Rus, becoming the “border guard”. The time of the Polovtsian raids began. And Yaroslavich inside Russia themselves violated the order of the ladder. The great Prince of Kiev, Izyaslav, with his mercenary environment, removed Rostislav’s nephew (son of Vladimir Yaroslavich) from rich Novgorod. Soon Vyacheslav Yaroslavich Smolensky died. The transition began on the ladder. From Vladimir-Volynsky, the fifth in rank of the city, Igor was taken to Smolensk.But he did not reign too long, fell ill and died. Rights to Smolensk received Rostislav. In full accordance with the ladder: when the brothers die, their sons begin to move up the stairs. At first - the eldest, then the second oldest, and so on. And Rostislav’s father, Vladimir, was older than Izyaslav. In this scenario, Rostislav was fourth in line at the Kiev table! This did not suit the Grand Duke, his entourage, and Svyatoslav with Vsevolod. Rostislav walked ahead of the sons of the three main rulers of Russia. As a result, the law "edited." Like, when there was a distribution of inheritances, Vladimir was no longer alive. Therefore, Rostislav falls out of the system of a ladder. The children of the deceased brothers, Vyacheslav and Igor, were thrown out of the stairs. They became rogue princes. Smolensk and Vladimir-Volyn became the fiefdoms under the direct control of the Grand Duke and his people.
Rostislav was given Vladimir-Volynsky in feeding, but not according to the system of ladder, but from the Grand Duke's “bounty”. It is clear that Rostislav was offended. His father was the heir of Yaroslav the Wise, a favorite of Novgorod. And now his son was just a vassal of the Grand Duke, Izyaslav wanted - he gave Volyn, he wants - he takes it away,as previously took Novgorod. And the descendants of Rostislav will not be able to climb the stairs, they will not be able to get Pereyaslavl, Chernigov and Kiev. Then Rostislav made an alliance with Hungary, married the daughter of the Hungarian ruler Bela. With such a father-in-law, the Volyn prince became independent of Kiev. However, in 1063, his patron Bela died. Alone Volyn was not to hold. The decisive and enterprising prince came up with one more move - he suddenly took Tmutarakan, which belonged to the Chernigov prince. Here he began to plan a trip to Chersonese or other Byzantine possessions. With such an inheritance, he became one of the most powerful princes of Russia and could claim the heritage of his father. But the Greeks preventively poisoned the Russian prince.
Immediately began a new distemper. She began the independent prince of Polotsk, Vseslav of Polotsk (Vseslav the Prophet), who was considered a sorcerer. Polotsk has long concealed a grudge against Kiev, even from the time when Vladimir I organized the pogrom of the Polotsk principality, killed the local prince Rogvolod, his sons and forcibly took over his daughter Rogneda. When Rostislav brewed porridge in the south, the Polotsk prince decided that a big war would begin, the Yaroslavich brothers would be busy and would not be able to stop him.
He plundered Novgorod.The brothers Yaroslavichi - Izyaslav, Svyatoslav and Vsevolod, in 1067 responded with a trip to Minsk. The city was taken by storm, the defenders killed. City residents sold into slavery, Minsk burned. While Minsk was still holding, Vseslav gathered an army. In March 1067, the two armies converged on the Nemige River. For 7 days the troops stood against each other in deep snow. Finally, Vseslav of Polotsk began to attack in the full moon, and many soldiers fell on both sides. The battle is described in the Word about the regiment of Igor: "... on Nemiga, sheaves are spread from the heads, beat with damasks, put life on the current, blow the soul out of the body ...".
The battle has become one of the largest and bitter internecine battles in Russia. Vseslav's troops were defeated. The prince himself was able to escape. Polotsk land was destroyed. Four months after the battle, Yaroslavlichi called Vseslav for negotiations, kissed the cross and promised safety, but violated their promise - they seized together with two sons, took them to Kiev and imprisoned them.
“Why are we destroying the Russian land?”
In the meantime, discontent with the princely government and the boyars continued to grow in Kiev. The cup of people's patience was overwhelmed by defeat from the Polovtsy. In the late summer of 1068, bogatyr outposts reported that an enemy army was coming from the steppe.Princes Izyaslav, Svyatoslav and Vsevolod raised squads, but the infantry rati did not collect, so as not to waste time. They decided to meet the enemy on the far approaches, drove to the Alta River. Here, the prince's squads suffered a heavy defeat from the Polovtsy. Izyaslav and Vsevolod fled to Kiev, shut up. An avalanche of Polovtsians followed. The Russian land was not ready for the invasion, the villages were burning, the masses of people were full. Then the people of Kiev gathered the assembly and sent a message to the prince: “Here the Polovtsy were scattered throughout the land, give, prince, weapons and horses, and we will still fight them.” However, the prince's entourage was afraid to arm the people. To know she was afraid of a popular uprising. Armed people refused. The crowd is seething. The enraged people defeated the court of the thousand. After tysyatskogo remembered the Grand Duke. Like, why do we need such a weak and cowardly prince? They remembered that another prince, Vseslav Bryachislavich, was languishing in the dungeon and said: “Let's go and free our squads from the cellar”. Unfairly offended, the innocently injured Vseslav seemed a good candidate for the position of prince.
Izyaslav fled from Kiev to Poland and offered the Poles for help Cherven cities. In 1069, Boleslav with the army made to Kiev.Kievans were ready to fight, said nothing and came to Belgorod. However, Prince Vseslav, feeling the instability of his position, left the army at Belgorod and fled to his native Polotsk. In the morning the army found out what was left without the leader and retreated to Kiev. Kievans called as peacekeepers Vsevolod and Svyatoslav. Kiev promised to surrender to the prince if he forgives the citizens and will not let the Poles ruin the city. The Grand Duke promised mercy, but he deceived the townspeople. He released only part of the Polish army, Boleslav remained with the other part of the army. In Kiev, the first to enter the son of Grand Duke Mstislav, who did not give any vows. On the heads of the townspeople fell repression. And the Polish troops stationed in Kiev and the surrounding area. This caused discontent of the Russians, the Poles behaved as conquerors, did not stand on ceremony with the locals, took everything they wanted. As a result, the same story repeated as half a century ago - the Poles began to be beaten and kicked out.
The war continued with Vseslav of Polotsk. The brothers Izyaslav, seeing his "incompetence", soon came out against him themselves, when Izyaslav behind their backs began to negotiate with Vseslav.The brothers Yaroslavichi immediately went to Kiev and demanded that he leave the Kiev table. Izyaslav again fled to the West. The throne took Svyatoslav (1073-1076). Izyaslav began to ask for help from Boleslav, then from the German Emperor Henry IV. The prince promised to recognize himself as a vassal of the Second Reich, to pay tribute if the emperor helps to occupy the Kiev table again. It got to the point that Izyaslav sent his son Yaropolk Izyaslavich to his father's father. On behalf of his father, he kissed the papal shoe, gave Russia under the authority of the "king of kings" Gregory VII, and even expressed his readiness to accept the Catholic faith. The pope crowned the royal crown of Yaropolk in Rome in 1075 and granted him the linen of the Holy See to the Russian kingdom, the power in Kiev was to belong to Izyaslav and his son Yaropolk (For more details, see Boleslav II the Brave and Izyaslav Yaroslavich against Kiev; "St. Peter's flax").
The position of Grand Duke Svyatoslav in Kiev was firm. Poland, at the direction of the papal throne, could not immediately support Izyaslav, since it was connected with the war with the Holy Roman Empire, and Russia was its ally. However, here Izyaslav lucky.In December 1076, Prince Svyatoslav Yaroslavich died suddenly. Vsevolod Yaroslavich, who occupied the Kiev table, found himself in a difficult situation. The Polovtsians again moved in the steppe. The next stage of the struggle between the Polotsk prince Vseslav Brachislavich and Yaroslavichi began. And the Polish king Boleslav immediately forgot about the alliance with Russia and how Svyatoslav helped him against the empire. He gave Izyaslav army, helped recruit mercenaries. In 1077 Izyaslav went to Kiev. Vsevolod chose to negotiate, rather than fight. Izyaslav took the Kiev table for the third time.
The third reign of Izyaslav was short-lived. The Grand Duke wisely forgot about his promise to go over to Catholicism and subordinate Russia to the Roman throne. The struggle with Vseslav continued. Yaroslavichi organized two trips to Polotsk, inviting the Polovtsy to help. In 1078 a new internecine war began. Their nephews, Oleg Svyatoslavich and Boris Vyacheslavich, were dissatisfied with their position against their uncles, Izyaslav and Vsevolod. Their base was the distant Tmutarakan. Connecting with Polovtsy, they broke Vsevolod on the river Sozhitse. Vsevolod ran for help to Kiev. Izyaslav supported his brother: “If there is a part for us in the Russian land, then both of us. If we are deprived of her then both. I will lay down my head for you ”(and that’s what happened).Soon, the combined troops of the princes Izyaslav, his son Yaropolk, Vsevolod and his son Vladimir Monomakh spoke out against the offenders. The decisive battle in Nezhatinoy Niva took place on October 3, 1078. Sich was angry. The rogue princes were defeated. Prince Boris died. The Grand Duke was mortally wounded in this battle.
Board of Vsevolod (1078-1093)
Great reign adopted Vsevolod. Reasonable prince tried to extinguish civil strife. He offered peace to Svyatoslavich. He was left to Tmutarakan, Oleg was offered the Murom-Ryazan principality. However, the princes refused to put up. In 1079, Oleg and his brother Roman gathered an army of representatives of the Caucasian tribes and Polovtsy, and again moved from Tmutarakan to Kiev. Vsevolod met them at Pereyaslavl. He was able to negotiate with the Polovtsian princes, who preferred to fight gold, took a ransom and turned it back. Vsevolod bribed Polovtsy, they killed Roman, and Oleg was given to the Greeks. They exiled him to the island of Rhodes, where he stayed for another fifteen years. Tmutarakan passed under the control of Kiev.
According to another version, the Polovtsy were bribed by the Taman Khazars-Jews, who were tired of restless princes.
Destinations in Russia once again redistributed. Grand Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich did not offend the sons of the deceased brother Izyaslav - Svyatopolk left in Novgorod, Yaropolk gave Western Russia - Volyn and Turov principality. Left Bank of the Dnieper gave his children. In Pereyaslavl he planted the younger son of Rostislav, Vladimir Monomakh - in Chernigov. For Monomakh retained control in the Smolensk and Rostov-Suzdal principalities. Vladimir Vsevolodovich became the right hand, the main assistant of the sick father.
Vsevolod was unable to restore order and calm in Russia. Kiev trade-boyar elite accustomed to the weak prince Izyaslav, twirling them as she wanted. Vsevolod tried to promote his younger warriors, which caused discontent Kiev boyars. Yes, and the warriors themselves Vsevolod behaved no better way. The prince could not keep track of them, in his old age he was ill, rarely left the palace, which was used by those close to him. Predatory continued. New managers vied with old, tried to get rich quickly.
There was no row in Russia. The struggle with Vseslav of Polotsk continued. At the turn of the 1070-1080s, the Prince of Polotsk conducted a campaign near Smolensk, plundered and burned the city. The Volga Bulgars captured Moore, made raids on the Suzdal lands.Again the tribes of the Vyatichi rose up, keeping loyalty to the old faith and having their own princes. Taking advantage of the weakness of the Kiev authorities, they generally fell away from the state. Polovtsi enjoyed the weakening of Russia, made forays. Torquay, who served the Grand Duke, seeing the weakening of the central government, revolted.
Vladimir Vsevolodovich had to put things in order with an iron hand. Now and then he raced with the squads to the north-west, then to the east, then to the south. In response, Vladimir ravaged the Polotsk land to Lukoml and Logozhsk, then conducted another expedition to Drutsk. In the early 1080s, Vladimir Monomakh and the Allied Polovtsy ruined and burned Minsk. Vseslav sat down in Polotsk, preparing for defense. But Monomakh did not go to him, and he did not become fixed in his principality. He took into account the past negative experience when attempts to consolidate the Kiev troops in the Polotsk region led to guerrilla warfare and the growth of Vseslav’s popularity among the local population. Gone local residents he settled in their possessions under Suzdal and Rostov.
Monomakh visited the Oka, punished the Bulgars. He took on the hostile Polovtsy. When they went to Starodub, he broke them on the gums. Khans Asaduk and Sauk were captured.Then Vladimir made a new lightning strike and smashed the horde of Belkatgin Khan east of Novgorod-Seversky. Terrible prince-commander pacified and rebellious Torks.
In the early 1080s, two consecutive winter campaigns were conducted against the tribal alliance of Vyatichi. The fight was hard and bloody. The army of Vladimir laid siege to the capital of Vyatichi Kordno. The defense was headed by Prince Khodot and his son. Vyatichi fought back violently, went to the counterattack. A lot of brave warriors fell on both sides. The capital of Vyatichi was taken, but Hodota left. Together with the pagan priesthood, he raised the people against the Monomakh detachments. The battle was hard. Then the spit found on the stone. Vyatichi were masters of the forest war. Their militia were swept away by professional squads, but the Vyatichi were strong in the forest, ambushed. Skillfully used the knowledge of the area, went out from under the blow, suddenly counterattacked. Monomakh had to storm their oak fortresses, repelling the blows of detachments suddenly appearing in the forest. Along with men, as it was long accepted in Russia, women also fought.
Surrounded by warriors preferred to kill themselves, not wanting to be captured. During the second campaign, Vladimir changed tactics.Instead of storming the remaining cities of Vyatichi and searching in the snowy forests of Khodot, he sought out pagan shrines. Vyatichi took an open battle, trying to protect the holy place for them. But in open battle, their militia lost to professional and better armed warriors. In one of these bloody clashes, the last prince of Vyatichi Khodot fell, and the priests died. The resistance of the Vyatichi was broken, they resigned. Monomakh abolished the veche self-government of the Vyatichi, planted his governors. The lands of the Vyatichi entered the Chernigov principality.
And again, Vladimir did not know peace. Chasing Polovtsian troops. At the same time, the tough and victorious commander managed to be a zealous ruler, not repeating the mistakes of his father. In all cases he tried to grasp personally. Conducted unexpected checks of cities and graveyards. He inspected the economy. He spoke with residents, the rules of the court and resolved disputes. Smolensk, completely destroyed, was rebuilt under his rule; Chernihiv, the victim after the wars and fires, was renovated.