Russian squads led by Monomakh defeated the Polovtsy. The glory of the great commander, protector of ordinary people, spread throughout Russia. Vladimir became the most revered prince among warriors and ordinary people.
The new Grand Prince of Kiev, Svyatopolk Izyaslavich, brought many troubles to his native land. It all started with the fact that the Polovtsian khans sent a representative embassy to Kiev, deciding to confirm peace with the new owner of the Russian land. In 1092, Bonyak and Sharukan organized a powerful campaign on the Russian lands. Polovtsian avalanche broke through the border line, Pereyaslavl and Chernigov were under siege. The Grand Duke Vsevolod could not organize a counterattack, had to buy off and make peace.
Having learned that a new prince in Kiev, the Polovtsy decided to confirm the peace and tear off the new ransom. This was the usual picture of the then relationship of Kievan Rus with the Steppe. The greedy Svyatopolk did not want to part with gold. He was indignant, and clearly did not calculate his strength (he had a squad of all 800 fighters), ordered the Polovtsian ambassadors to be thrown into the framework. It was very rash. Stepniaks treated ambassadors with respect, it was a terrible insult, a challenge. In response to such apparent treachery, the Polovtsi immediately began an invasion, besieged Torchesk. The fortress lasted two months, then it was taken. The villages again flamed up, thousands of people were led to full.
Monomakh came to the aid of the Grand Duke from Chernigov, and his younger brother Rostislav from Pereyaslavl. Monomakh, under pressure from the Boyar Duma and the clergy, recognized the supremacy of Svyatopolk. When the Russian squads reached Tripolya (Trepol), he assessed the situation and offered to enter into negotiations. Troops were few, it was better to pay off. Polovtsi would easily have gone to the world, they didn’t like to take risks and knew the power of the Russian troops. However, Svyatopolk, with the support of the Kiev boyars, strongly opposed, not wanting to pay. He insisted on the battle. The battle took place on 26 on May 1093 of the year on the right bank of the Stugna River.
Inexperience in military affairs and greed of Svyatopolk led to a terrible defeat. Vladimir was against the crossing of the river Stugnu, which rose after the rains. But the Grand Duke was in everything. Russian regiments moved along the Dnieper road, passed Tripoli and, crossing the ancient shaft, stopped. Polovtsi immediately fell on Rus. The Stepnyaks first crushed the right wing, where the Svyatopolk squad stood, and then with all their might they hit the Vsevolodovich brothers. After a fierce battle, the Russian squads began to retreat, they had to cross the deep spring Stugna. It became a heavy obstacle for the heavily armed warriors, who were in a hurry to leave the battlefield of the lost battle. Russian squads, pursued by steppe inhabitants, under a hail of arrows, left the river. Warriors knocked over, they sank. So died Prince Rostislav. Monomakh, trying to save his brother, himself almost died, he was pulled out by warriors. The body of Rostislav was then found and Monomakh took him to Pereyaslavl. It was a heavy defeat, many warriors ingloriously died.
The battle on the banks of the river Stugny is perhaps the worst thing in a commander stories Monomakh. Dozens of battles and fights, he spent with the steppe warriors and all won up. Only once did he have to flee the battlefield. But no fault of their own. The Grand Duke Svyatopolk showed complete incompetence in military affairs, as well as unreasonableness, not listening to the advice of a more experienced warrior Monomakh. Greed prevailed over reason and led to a lot of blood. Monomakh, forced to act according to the will of the Grand Duke and the Kiev boyars, was defeated.
Polovtsi moved to Kiev, after Svyatopolk. The Grand Duke gathered the city militia and rashly led him to the field. 23 July 1093, the battle took place at Zhelani. Stepniaks deceived Svyatopolk with their usual technique, they pretended to be frightened and retreat. Kievans rushed forward and broke the line, then it was them and attacked horse lava. The rout was complete. Svyatopolk fled and locked himself in the city. Now the Grand Duke has already prayed for peace. At the same time and in this situation, he was able to get the benefit - he married the daughter of Tugorkan, got a strong ally and a dowry.
And the troubles of Monomakh did not end there. The defeat of Svyatopolk and Vsevolodovich pleased Svyatoslavich offended and waiting for his time. Oleg, who was sitting in Tmutarakan, received help from Byzantium and hired Polovtsy. And he paid the Tmutarakan principality, giving it to the Greeks in full possession. As a result, Byzantium received Kerch and Taman without a fight, deprived Russia of access to the sea and promoted a new strife. At the same time, Davyd attacked Novgorod and drove Mstislav Vladimirovich (son of Monomakh) out of there. Monomakh was forced to send some of his forces to help his son. And then their steppe appeared Oleg with Polovtsy, laid siege to Chernigov and demanded to give him his “patrimony”. Vladimir, with a squad that had become very thin after the Battle of Stugne, could barely hold the walls of Chernigov. In addition, Oleg had connections with the Chernihiv boyars, who did not like Monomakh for his hard character, so the townspeople did not come out on the walls. The Grand Duke, twice crushed and also did not like the popular Vladimir, did not intervene in the quarrel. Apparently, he thought it useful if Svyatoslavichs would besiege the powerful Monomakh.
As a result, Monomakh was forced to leave Chernigov. He wanted to prevent the complete Polovtsy ruin Chernihiv land. The forty-year-old prince with his wife, four children, with a small retinue, in which only a hundred soldiers remained, left the city. When the formidable prince drove through the Polovtsian regiments, the chronicler noted that the steppe men "licked at him like wolves." But the Polovtsian princes did not dare to "evil" case, as they gave the word to miss Monomakh in Pereyaslavl. Steppe hold the word knew how. Chernigov principality, then one of the largest and most powerful in Russia, went to Oleg Svyatoslavich. Vladimir returned to the city of his childhood, where his father began to rule. Vladimir sat in Pereyaslavl from 1094 to 1113 a year. During this period, he led a tense struggle against the Polovtsy, as the Polovtsian hordes attacked Pereyaslavl principality. With Oleg Chernigov, a significant part of the Polovtsy had an alliance, another part of the Polovtsian khans became close to Vasilko Terebovlsky, and waged war against Poland. Moreover, Monomakh did not defend himself, but launched an offensive. In this struggle, he tried to unite Russia, to get the support of other princes.
Svyatopolk considered himself to be the winner, the strongest prince of Russia was defeated and was seriously weakened. Meanwhile, Kiev continued to decompose. The environment of the Grand Duke was in a hurry to fill his pockets, robbing the people. The boyars, merchants and money-lenders flourished. The Jews found under the special patronage of Svyatopolk - "great freedom and power." And the prince himself was not shy in the ways of profit. He took away the monopoly on the salt trade at the Pechersky Monastery, began to trade salt through the tax farmers. And his son Mstislav reached the point where he tortured the monks Theodore and Vasily - he was told that they had allegedly found a treasure and hide it. In such a difficult situation, the Kiev Metropolitan Efrem left to live out his days in Pereyaslavl. Under the arm of Monomakh, many boyars, warriors, citizens and monks, dissatisfied with the power of Svyatopolk, moved.
Fight with Polovtsy and Oleg
The united defense system of the southern border of Russia - which linked Kiev, Chernihiv and Pereyaslavl, fell apart. The forces of Svyatopolk and Monomakh were undermined. Svyatoslavich were allies Polovtsy. Prince of Chernigov, Oleg, was married to a Polovchanka, the daughter of Khan Asalup. As a result, the brunt of the Polovtsian hordes was aimed at the Kiev and Pereyaslav regions. Polovtsi established contacts with the Crimean slave traders (Jewish Khazars, a fragment of the Khazar Kaganate). The laws of the Byzantine Empire forbade the Gentiles to trade Christians, but local authorities turned a blind eye to it, being tied to slave traders. This shameful and bloody trade was very profitable (later it will be inherited by it to the Crimean Tatars). No wonder European colonizers of Sony years will seize and sell people, gaining "initial capital."
In winter, 1095, even along winter roads, the khans of Itlar and Kitan arrived in Pereyaslavl with their own shelves. They offered Monomakh "peace", that is, they demanded rich gifts. Polovtsian khans did not expect resistance, knowing the small number of the prince's squad. For peace, it is clear that the relative and for a short period, they demanded gifts. The son of Monomakh Svyatoslav went to the Polovtsi as a hostage, and Itlari and the detachment drove into the city. The two closest warriors of Monomakh - Slavyat and Ratibor, outraged by the impudence of the steppe men, suggested destroying the khans. The prince hesitated, the Polovtsy came as guests, exchanged vows with them. Boyars and brigade insisted - uninvited guests. Monomah convinced. At night, the vigilantes disguised in Polovtsian dress stole from the Polovtsian camp of Prince Svyatoslav. Then the Pereyaslav squad with a sudden attack defeated the serene Polovtsian camp, Khan Kitan was killed, the remnants of the Polovtsian troops fled in panic. In the city itself they killed Khan Itlary and his close squad. So it was finished with two well-known Polovtsian khans, who by their raids delivered many troubles to the Rusichs. Only the son of Itlari was able to escape.
Monomakh immediately sent messengers to the Grand Duke. He said that he should immediately attack, while the Polovtsy were not remembered. Do not wait for the blows of the enemy, and attack yourself. Svyatopolk agreed. He sent instructions to the princes to lead the troops. Oleg Svyatoslavich also promised to lead the army, did not lead. Nevertheless, Vladimir and Svyatopolk went to the steppe, crushed the Polovtsian vezhi (villages), and "filled the cattle and horses, camels and servants (people) and brought them to their land." But until complete victory was still far away. In the same year, a large Polovtsian horde laid siege to Yuryev, and stood under the city all summer, without taking the city. Many villages that did not have strong walls were ravaged. Kiev prince again had to pay off the Polovtsian princes, and they promised not to cross the river Ros.
A successful campaign restored the authority of Monomakh. Svyatopolk realized that it was more profitable to be friends with a cousin than to be hostile. He began to listen to his advice. Monomakh proposed to convene a congress of princes in Kiev in order to solve all disputes with the clergy and boyars to unite the Russian land to repel the steppe people. The Grand Duke agreed with him. However, the unity in the fight with the steppe inhabitants was far away. The son of Itlarya avenged his father, having arranged with his detachment a great massacre, after which he took refuge in Chernigov with Allied Oleg. Svyatopolk and Vladimir demanded that Oleg betrayed him or killed him. And then he joined them in a new big campaign against the Polovtsy: "... let us conclude an agreement on the Russian land before the bishops, and before the abbess, and before the men of our fathers, and before the people of the city, together we will defend the Russian land from the pagans." Oleg looked at the situation differently. He did not want to defend other people's destinies from the Polovtsy. In addition, the Allied Cumans were his main support.
Oleg answered defiantly: “It is not proper for me to judge the bishop, or the hegumen, or smerds.” Svyatopolk and Vladimir said to him: “You are not going either to the Polovtsy, nor to the advice to us, that you are plotting against us and thinking that you are nasty. So may God judge us. ” Novgorodians escorted Davyd and again called on the reign of Mstislav Vladimirovich. And in Chernigov were Kiev, Pereyaslav and Volyn ratification. The young son of Vladimir Izyaslav, who was sitting in Kursk, spoke in the possession of Oleg, on the Oka River, and occupied Moore. Oleg discovered that Chernigov did not want to support and fight for him. Svyatoslavich fled to Starodub. An army of cousins followed him. Starodubtsy weathered the assault and the siege of the city lasted a month. Hunger began. Oleg had no choice but to ask for peace. He promised to arrive at the princely congress and engage in common affairs. He was deprived of Chernigov, and distribute the inheritance gathered at the congress.
While the war was going on between Svyatopolk and Monomakh with Svyatoslavich, the Polovtsy again organized a great campaign. They divided the territory of Russia. Svyatopolk was Tugorkan’s son-in-law and he could not go to Kiev. Therefore, the capital city attacked the mighty Khan Bonyak, the ruler of Dnieper. Khan Bonyak was a real scourge for the Russian border areas. One of the most dangerous enemies of Russia in the Russian annals received only swear words: “godless”, “damn”, “predatory”, “silly”. The Polovtsy could not take a big city with a powerful defense, but they ruined the neighborhood. Stepniaks burned down the Grand Duke's courtyard in Berestov, robbed the Pechersk and Vydubitsky monasteries. And the khans Smoking and Tugorkan besieged Pereyaslavl. Pereyaslavltsy stubbornly fought back, waiting for the return of the Monomakh squad. For almost seven weeks, the townspeople and the surrounding tillers held a siege.
Barely reconciled with Oleg, the Grand Duke and Monomakh rushed to save Pereyaslavl. They approached the city from the Dnieper. Polovtsi did not expect the enemy, they thought that the princes are still fighting with Oleg. The blow was a sudden one. The Russian army suddenly fell on the Polovtsian camp, crossing the River Trubezh. At the same time, the townspeople made a sortie. In a fierce battle, the Polovtsy were utterly defeated and fled. Many drowned in the river. They were long pursued, taking rich booty. In the battle of Pereyaslavl Khan Tugorkan himself, his son, the heir, and many other Khans perished. The Grand Duke Svyatopolk, despite the war, ordered to find the corpse of his father-in-law on the battlefield and bury him with honor near Berestov. Svyatopolk and Monomakh also tried to intercept the Bonyak army in the Kiev region. Bonyak left, took thousands of prisoners and huge booty.
Thus, the Russian squad, led by Monomakh, won a great victory over the swimmers for the second time in two years. The glory of the great commander, protector of ordinary people, spread throughout Russia. He was the most revered prince among warriors and common people.
Continuation of the war with Svyatoslavich
Oleg Svyatoslavich did not even think to fulfill the oath and did not appear in Kiev. He went to Smolensk, where the positions of his brother Prince Davyd were strong. At this time, Oleg's younger brother, Yaroslav, returned to Russia from Germany. He joined Oleg. They gathered an army of Smolensk and Vyatichi, who did not forget the brutal war with Monomah. Svyatoslavich went to Murom. There was a young son of Monomakh, Izyaslav, who had previously beaten off this city from Oleg (Moore was then in possession of the Chernigov prince). September 6 Oleg's army 1096 and the army of Izyaslav (consisting of Murom people, Belozerts, Rostov citizens and Suzdal people) came together in battle. Izyaslav fell in battle, and his army dispersed. Then the Chernigov prince swiftly captured Suzdal and Rostov, all the lands of Murom and Rostov princedoms. Most of the boyars Monomakh fled to Novgorod, where the forces of Prince Mstislav - another son of Vladimir Monomakh, some were captured.
Monomakh and Mstislav Novgorodsky, not wanting to wage an internecine war, forgive the murderer. Turned to Oleg. They recognized that Izyaslav had no rights to Murom, and "kings and heroes are dying in rats." They expressed readiness for peace, if Oleg returns Rostov and Suzdal, releases the prisoners. Oleg answered arrogantly, he was already preparing a march on Novgorod, saw himself as the master of most of Russia. Mstislav gathered the Chamber and the Novgorodians supported him, gathered a host. Monomakh sent a squad led by his son Vyacheslav and the Polovtsians allied to him.
At the mouth of the river. Bears Mstislav first encountered the enemy and forced the forward squad of Yaroslav Svyatoslavich to retreat. Oleg did not defend Rostov, where the inhabitants were dissatisfied with the newcomers. Retreated to Suzdal. Then it turned out that Belozertsy and Rostovites are joining the Novgorodians. Oleg and Yaroslav left Suzdal, and before that it was set on fire. Gone to Murom. Mstislav did not pursue Oleg and repeated the peace proposal. Oleg agreed to negotiate, but falsely. He strengthened the army - gathered Ryazan Vyatichi, waited for reinforcements from Chernihiv land. Mstislav also believed in a truce, dismissed part of the troops. Oleg tried to suddenly attack Mstislav Vladimirovich. But he was a good student of his father, managed to gather warriors. In addition, Vyacheslav and Polovtsy managed to join Mstislav before the start of the battle. For two days, two ratios stood on Klyaz'ma. As a result, at dawn 27 February 1097, Oleg went on the attack and was defeated. Novgorod and Polovtsy broke his flank, and Rostov and Suzdal, angered by the ruin of their land, pressed in the center. The defeated Oleg and Yaroslav fled.
This time, Mstislav followed. Yaroslav sat down in Murom, but did not dare to defend himself. As soon as Mstislav's army approached the city, gave up. Oleg fled to Ryazan. When Mstislav approached Ryazan, Oleg fled from there. Mstislav again offered the world: “Do not run away anywhere, but send to your brethren with a prayer not to deprive you of the Russian land. And I will send to the father to ask for you. " Oleg finally agreed.
In the autumn of 1097, in the ancient city of Lyubech, in the patrimony of Prince Oleg, conveniently located on the Dnieper, a congress of the most influential Russian princes was held. Grand Prince Svyatopolk, Vladimir Monomakh, Oleg Chernigovsky, Davyd Igorevich Vladimir-Volynsky, Vasilko Terebovlsky and his brother (Volodar Peremyshlsky) gathered here with small retinues. Princes gathered on the "structure of the world" in order to stop the strife that lasted for many years. In addition, increased external danger. The Polovtsi invaded almost every year and it was not only the border lands that were destroyed. The calls of Monomakh to rally in front of the common danger found the most lively response from the common people, residents of villages and cities, merchants and soldiers. The princes had to reckon with the opinion of the squads.
Monomakh, as the main initiator of the princely congress, addressed the audience: “Why are we destroying the Russian land, bringing quarrels to ourselves? And the Polovtsy plunders our land and rejoices that we are torn apart by internecine wars. From now on, we will unite sincerely and will protect the Russian land, and let everyone own his father ... ”. Sviatopolk Izyaslavich, as the eldest, was left Kiev with the Turovo-Pinsk principality; Vladimir Monomakh - Pereyaslavl principality, Suzdal-Rostov land, Smolensk and Beloozero; Oleg, Davyd and Yaroslav Svyatoslavich - Chernihiv and Seversk land, Ryazan, Murom and Tmutarakan; Davyd Igorevich - Vladimir-Volynsky with Lutsk; Vasilka Rostislavich (with brother) - Terebovl, Cherven, Przemysl.
Now, when trying to capture someone else's “fatherland” and the prince's table, everyone could get a rebuff from the combined forces of the entire Russian land. They took an oath: "If from now on anyone who goes to anyone, we will all be against the cross and be honest." Thus, the order of the ladder with the transition from one capital city to another, from one lot to another, established by Yaroslav the Wise, was destroyed. True, it was assumed that this would not cause the collapse of the Russian state. Kiev recognized the common property, the throne of the Grand Duke of the Russian land passed by seniority, the younger princes were supposed to obey the senior prince in general affairs.
To be continued ...