At this time, new rogue princes came to the military-political arena: the son of Smolensk Prince Igor Davyd and the children of the poisoned Rostislav - Rurik, Volodar and Vasilko. Davyd and Volodar seized Tmutarakan, expelling the grand princer from there. Meanwhile, the power in the Byzantine Empire changed: the throne was seized by the cunning and unprincipled Alex Comnenus. He summoned from Rhodes the exiled Russian Prince Oleg Svyatoslavich, elevated him to influence Russian affairs with his help. Oleg pleaded vassal of the Constantinople throne, for which he received ships and soldiers. Oleg suddenly appeared in Tmutarakan, drove out the self-styled princes Davyd and Volodar.
The expelled Davyd Igorevich embarked on the path of outright robbery - he plundered the trade city of Oleshje at the mouth of the Dnieper, where Greek and Russian merchants traded. And Rurik, Volodar and Vasilko Rostislavich decided on a major operation - they decided to take their “father” Vladimir-Volynsky, their father ruled there, they were born there. They arrived when Yaropolk Izyaslavich, who was sitting there, departed for Kiev, and took the city. Grand Prince Vsevolod sent to restore order Monomakh. Rostislavich did not accept the fight and ran away.
The Grand Duke tried to reassure the rogue princes, gave them inheritances. Davyd Igorevich gave Dorogobuzh in Volyn. Rostislavich gave the rich Carpathian cities - Przemysl, Cherven and Terebovl. Restored the rights of Svyatoslav's sons, Davyd gave way to Smolensk, for Oleg recognized the rights to Tmutarakan. True, this did not calm the princes. Davyd tried to grab something else. And Oleg in Tmutarakan, under the auspices of Byzantium, considered himself invulnerable, with the Grand Duke was not considered. His Greek wife even patronized herself as the “Archon of Rus”.
Meanwhile, Yaropolk Izyaslavich, to whom the Grand Duke helped to bring back Volyn, did not even think to be grateful. He considered himself worthy of the best. Yaropolk, heir to the Grand Duke Izyaslav, considered himself deprived. Vsevolod and Vladimir Monomakh took for themselves the best cities - Kiev, Chernigov and Pereyaslavl. His mother Gertrude of Poland, the former Grand Duchess, weaving intrigues, had good connections in the West. Yaropolk Izyaslavich contacted the Polish king Vladislav. He agreed to help. Made a slender plan. At first Yaropolk was supposed to raise a rebellion and secede from Russia, to become a vassal of the Roman throne, and the pope proclaimed him king of Volyn. Yaropolk already had relevant experience: during the expulsion of his father Izyaslav from Kiev in 1073, they fled to the West to go to Pope Gregory VII, who supported Izyaslav and Yaropolk, recognizing him as his vassals. The pope crowned Yaropolk with the royal crown in Rome and granted him the linen of the holy throne of the Russian kingdom (the pope's bull of 17 on April 1075), according to which power in Kiev was to belong to Izyaslav and his son Yaropolk. After the creation of the Volyn kingdom - the vassal of the papal throne, Rome and Poland were to help Yaropolk seize the rest of Russia. It seemed real. In Novgorod, Yaropolk's brother, Svyatopolk, was already sitting, and the sons of Izyaslav had a powerful boyar party in Kiev itself, where the boyars and the usury merchant remembered the gracious rule of Grand Prince Izyaslav.
Yaropolk began to prepare for the separation, to recruit additional troops. However, Vsevolod and Vladimir Monomakh had their own people in Volyn. Dali borrow in Kiev. The Grand Duke immediately sent his son to the Volyn land. Monomakh was traveling light, with one horse guards. He called in the squads of Davyd Igorevich and Rostislavich, who were at enmity with Yaropolk. Yaropolk did not dare to take the fight, ordered the cities to hold on, left the family and fled to Poland. Cities did not resist, surrendered without a fight. Monomakh captured the family of the rebel and his treasury. And Yaropolk abroad received no help. Vladislav I was not a strong and authoritative ruler and fully complied with the dictatorship of a large nobility, provincial magnates came out from under the power of the Polish prince, Polish campaigns in Western Pomerania ended in ruin. Therefore, Poland could not fight with Russia at this time, she herself was on the verge of a new unrest and collapse.
As a result, in 1086, Yaropolk made peace with Vladimir Vsevolodovich and sat down again in Vladimir-Volynsky, which Davyd Igorevich already claimed. However, Yaropolk did not have to rule long. That winter, during a campaign against the Rostislavichi, he was killed near Zvenigorod by his own retainer. He fled to Przemysl under the protection of Rurik Rostislavich. Therefore, they considered Rostislavichi guilty of organizing the murder of Yaropolk.
The Grand Duke decided to completely liquidate the “Izyaslav legacy”. Svyatopolk Izyaslavich, whom the people of Novgorod complained about (the prince was distinguished by love for money, while the usury Jews felt at ease), was deprived of the Novgorod table. Novgorod was given to Mstislav, son of Vladimir Monomakh. Svyatopolk was transferred to Turov, part of the patrimony of the murdered Yaropolk Izyaslavich. And Davyd Igorech received Volyn principality. However, here it turned out wrong. Svyatopolk and Davyd sang. Davyd admired Svyatopolk, who on the ladder was to receive the Kiev table, after the death of Vsevolod. Both disliked Vsevolod and Vladimir Monomakh. They feuded with Rostislavichi. Davyd Igorevich married the daughter of Polish Prince Vladislav and received the support of Poland. Svyatopolk maintained contacts with Jewish moneylenders (Khazars), who wove their network and had powerful positions in the Russian capital. Formed a dangerous union for the Grand Duke.
The threat from Poland and the Izyaslavichs associated with it pushed the Grand Duke Vsevolod to rapprochement with Germany. For Emperor Henry IV, the prince married his daughter Eupraxia. True, the marriage was not successful. Later, the daughter of Vsevolod fled from Germany to Italy and appeared before the pope. At the church council in Constanta (April 1094) and at the synod in Piacenza (March 1095), Eupraxia testified against Henry, accusing her husband of bullying her, forcing fornication with other people, orgies, and participating in satanic rituals (Henry was in the sect of Nicolaes , arranged with the nobility Satanic Sabbaths). A terrible scandal broke out, the emperor again cursed. He was already betrayed by anathema during the conflict with Pope Gregory VII. Henry IV was eventually removed from power by his own son. The complaint of Eupraxia was recognized as fair, and she received absolution. Soon, she returned to Kiev and after some time cut herself into a nun. In addition, Vladimir Monomakh married his son Mstislav on a Swedish princess. Russian princesses were sent to Hungary, Norway and Denmark.
The beginning of the reign of Svyatopolk Izyaslavich
In 1092, the Polovtsian hordes of Bonyak and Sharukan united, broke through the Russian border line. Several cities were defeated, thousands of villages blazed. For the princes so much a powerful campaign was unexpected. Pereyaslavl and Chernigov shut up in the siege, did not have time to put the rati. The great Prince of Kiev, Vsevolod, who was very sick, chose to give a big ransom.
In the spring of 1093, the great Russian prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich died. Everyone was waiting for the Kiev table to be occupied by Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh. He was the most powerful and authoritative prince in Russia. Terrible and intelligent prince feared and respected. However, Vladimir refused this honor: “If I sit in Kiev on my father’s table, then be at war with Svyatopolk, since this table was before his father, Izyaslav”. He considered and did not disrupt the order of the ladder. According to her primacy belonged to the children of the eldest of Yaroslavich, Izyaslav, and of them only Svyatopolk survived. Vladimir did not violate the series so that there was no new internecine war. He gave up the crown to the throne in peace, in fact, he himself elevated it to the Kiev table. He himself sat in Chernihiv. His younger brother Rostislav Vsevolodovich sat in Pereyaslavl.
Polovtsy, who learned about the death of the Kiev prince, decided to receive another tribute from the new prince and sent ambassadors to Svyatopolk. The greedy Svyatopolk and his advisers did not want to part with the money. And the ambassadors were cast into prison. It was a great sin in the ideas of the Polovtsy (as well as all Rus). Stepniaks immediately gathered a large army. Svyatopolk caught himself (he had a small squad - 700-800 fighters), released the ambassadors, but it was too late. Polovtsi invaded the Russian limits. Sieged Torchevsk. Svyatopolk began to prepare the squad for the campaign. Reasonable people from the older squad warned him: “Do not try to go against them, because you have few soldiers ... If you had put up eight thousand, and that would be a little bit. Our land is scorched from war and taxes. Come better to your brother Vladimir Monomakh so that he can help you. ” Svyatopolk asked Vladimir for help. To help the Grand Duke entered Chernigov squad Vladimir and Pereyaslav Rostislav.
Vladimir came to Kiev. Here the princes quarreled, Vladimir favored negotiations, Svyatopolk wanted victory. Polovtsi, meanwhile, continued to ravage the land. And wise men said to the princes, "Why do you argue among yourselves?" And the filthy destroy the Russian land. Then settle, and now go to meet the rotten - either with peace or with war.
Troops came to Trepol, to r. Stugne where the council was held. Vladimir, correctly assessing the situation (the enemy had a significant advantage), suggested not to cross the spilled river, which was a barrier to the enemy's path and enter into negotiations. He said that steppe men would prefer rich gifts to bloody struggle. Svyatopolk strongly opposed, he was supported by the Kiev boyars (they did not want to give gold): "We want to fight, let's move to the other side of the river." The battle took place on 26 May 1093. Svyatopolk stood on the right flank, Vladimir on the left, Rostislav in the center. The first blow Polovtsy crushed squad Svyatopolk on the right wing. The soldiers of Svyatopolk fled. Then they pressed on Vladimir, “and there was a fierce battle, and Vladimir and Rostislav ran, and his soldiers. And they fell, wounded, before our enemies, and many perished. " And on the way was the river Stugna, which rose during the spring rains. Many warriors drowned. Among them was Prince Rostislav. Vladimir tried to save his brother and he almost drowned. The body of Rostislav was later found and mourned.
Svyatopolk returned to Kiev, Vladimir in deep sadness went to Chernigov. A part of the Polovtsy began to ravage the lands left without protection, some continued the siege of Torchesk: “And there was a great cry on our land, our villages and our cities were empty, and we were on the run before our enemies.” Svyatopolk decided on a new battle. Collected Kiev militia and brought into the field. 23 July he fought with Polovtsy on Zhelani. Stepniaks deceived the prince of Kiev with a simplest method, feigned retreat. Kievans rushed to the attack. Violation of the system, it was here that they were hit. Russian army suffered a terrible defeat. The chronicle speaks of the death of two-thirds of the people of Kiev in this battle, and also that the number of the dead exceeded the losses on Stugna (there was mainly a squad of the prince and his boyars). The prince himself with his closest fighters barely managed to escape outside the walls of the city. The besieged Torchesk lasted more than two months. Polovtsi diverted water from the fortress. People were exhausted from hunger and thirst, and surrendered. The city was burned, the inhabitants were taken to slavery.
As a result, Svyatopolk and Vladimir once again fought with the Polovtsy from Halep. Both sides were exhausted and made peace. He was sealed by marriage. Svyatopolk married his daughter Polovtsian Khan Tugorkan (Princess Polovtsian Elena Tugorkanovna).
V.P. Vereshchagin. "Grand Prince Svyatopolk". 1896
The internecine war
Misfortune never comes alone. The defeat of Svyatopolk and Vladimir pleased Svyatoslavich who were waiting for a convenient moment. The independent Oleg Tmutarakansky enlisted the support of the Byzantine Emperor Alexey Komnin, received money and hired Polovtsy (they had many clans and tribes, some could make peace with the Russian princes, others - at that time to fight). Paid Oleg Tmutarakany - gave it to the Greeks in full possession. The second Rome acted in the best traditions of the First - divide and rule. Byzantine basileus, making a bet on the ambitious and offended Prince Oleg, plunged Russia into a new feud, and without war acquired Taman and Kerch, depriving the Russian state of access to the Russian (Black) Sea, an outpost in the Caucasus and a fortress that protected important trade communications.
The elder brother Davyd Svyatoslavich, who was sitting in Smolensk, started the war. He suddenly attacked Novgorod and expelled the son of Vladimir Monomakh Mstislav from there. Vladimir Monomakh lost most of the squad in fierce battles with the Polovtsy and was forced to support his son Mstislav. And at this moment Oleg and the Polovtsi came to Chernigov. Vladimir, not having the strength to fight, shut up in the city. Oleg burned down all the surroundings of the city, Polovtsy plundered and burned the monasteries. The Chernigov boyars supported Svyatoslavich, so Vladimir did not have the support of the city militia. Monomakh with a small squad was not able to keep the big city. However, he lasted 8 days. And the Grand Duke Svyatopolk did not intervene, did not send help. He could consider himself a winner, the strongest prince of Russia was defeated.
Monomakh, seeing the impossibility of further resistance, gave Chernigov to Oleg, while he himself left for Pereyaslav, on the table of his father. Oleg sat in Chernigov, giving the Polovtsi complete freedom of robbery, because otherwise he had nothing to pay them for the trip. "This is the third time, the chronicler noted," he brought the rotten to the Russian land, his sin, God forgive him, and many Christians were ruined, while others were taken prisoner and scattered across different lands. "
To be continued ...