The restoration of the Galicia-Volyn principality did not please anyone. The first, of course, were the Hungarians, and King Andras II sent, under the leadership of his son Bela, a large army to Galich. A large army is a big defeat. In 1229, all possible factors were against the Hungarians. Daniel met them on the outskirts of Galich and in the course of numerous skirmishes inflicted heavy losses on them, without entering into a great battle. The Magyars deployed their army, but the Rus continued to pursue, and then there were rains, floods and an epidemic among the soldiers. Having suffered heavy losses, the Hungarian army was still able to return home, but had to forget about campaigns against Galich for some time.
But there was no time to rest: to replace the external enemy, the internal enemy raised his head. All the same, Alexander Belzsky, who continued to wish himself in possession of Volyn, teamed up with the Galician nobility, which continued to stir up the water. A conspiracy was drawn up, according to which the Romanovichs were to be burned in the palace during the feast (the princely palaces in Galich were built of wood). The plot opened up by accident: for the sake of laughter, playfully, Vasilko threatened the participants in the plot with a sword, they considered that they had been opened, and immediately laid out everything they knew. Alexander lost his principality, but in 1231, Daniel still had to leave the city, when at the approach of the Hungarian troops the boyars rebelled again. To reign in Galich, Andras of Hungary again sat down.
Daniel could only do the same thing as always: fighting in small wars, enter into alliances in order to use them in the future. After the loss of Galich, he took part in another strife for the capital of Russia, supporting Vladimir Rurikovich, who at that time defended Kiev from Mikhail Chernigovsky. Having received a gratitude to the city in Poros, Daniel distributed them to the sons of Mstislav Udatny, thus luring them out of the enemy camp. In the same year, it was necessary to repel several raids of Hungarians and Bokhovites in Volyn. The latter represented a very high-handed group of tribes, which only indirectly obeyed Kiev and had their own boyars, and, possibly, their own princes (although the Bolokhov princes are a separate issue altogether). During the formation of the Romanovich state, they perceived the new western neighbor as a threat and constantly intervened in their affairs.
In 1233, Daniel again returned Galich, during the siege of which the royal Andras died. The unity of the Romanovic state was restored. Alexander Vsevolodovich, the former prince of Belz, was put in prison, as there was information about his next conspiracy with the Galician nobility, which was headed by a certain Sudislav, who acted in the best traditions of the Kormilichichi. In 1234, he had to again help Vladimir Kiev, who was besieged by Mikhail Chernigov. The blow to the princedom of the latter was a success, but soon the defeat of the Polovtsian army and the Russian prince Izyaslav Vladimirovich, the son of Vladimir Igorevich, one of the three Igorevichs who ruled Galich a quarter century ago, soon followed. Following this, the Galician boyars entered into a conspiracy with Mikhail Chernigovsky, who misinformed Daniel about enemy actions. As a result, in 1235, Galich was open to attack, was lost by the Romanovichs, and with the approval of the local nobility, the very same Mikhail Chernigovsky sat there to rule.
The constant strife and invasions of foreigners, which did not stop in Southwest Russia after the death of Roman Mstislavich, began to bore everyone. (Even the author of this article was tired of describing all these relatively minor conflicts with a constant change in the layout of the unions with an almost unchanged composition of the main actors.) Daniel Romanovich, who also turned out to be against numerous opponents with a small squad, was also tired. After the loss of Galich, he decided on a very radical and controversial step - to recognize himself as a vassal of the recently crowned Hungarian monarch Bela IV, with whom he had a good relationship (Daniil and Bela were brought up at the Hungarian court for some time and to some extent were friends). Alas, the Romanovichs did not receive help in exchange for such a significant concession, and therefore they had to rake all this mess on their own, forgetting the oath of vassal fidelity along the way.
The Bolokhovites and Galicians did not give up and began to make constant raids on Volyn, thereby trying to completely deprive the Romanovichs of any inheritance. In 1236 they made a large raid, but suffered a devastating defeat, many soldiers were captured by the Volyn prince. Mikhail Vsevolodovich (Chernigovsky) and Izyaslav Vladimirovich (who became the prince of Kiev) demanded their extradition, and when they were refused, they began to gather a large army to march on Vladimir. They were joined by the Polovtsy and the Polish Prince Konrad of Mazowiecki, who had views of the northern territories of Volyn. As before, diplomacy was no less effective than swords: instead of hitting the lands of the Romanovichs, the Polovtsy attacked the Principality of Galicia, causing great damage. Conrad was defeated by the younger brother of Daniel, Vasilko, it is possible that with direct or indirect support of the Lithuanians. The remaining army of Mikhail and his son Rostislav (who will play an important role in the future) was besieged in Galich in 1237, and only by a miracle the city resisted. In the joys of success, Michael in 1238 rushed to the campaign in Lithuania, leaving instead to reign his son. Together with him, many Galician boyars from among the radicals also went on a campaign. As a result of this, Daniel got the opportunity to easily occupy the city, and the community fully supported him by opening the gate. The Galician-Volyn principality was restored, this time - finally.
All this time, the Romanovichs had to fight, fight and fight again. Moreover, the described wars were far from the only ones that Daniel and Cornflower had to wage. So, the Lithuanians did not always behave peacefully, who periodically nevertheless raided the Brest land, which was the extreme northern land of the Volyn possessions. A difficult relationship developed at that time with Konrad Mazowiecki, who was at first an ally and then an enemy. In 1238, in addition to the occupation of Galich, he also had to deal with the crusaders who invaded the northern possessions of the Volyn principality. I had to tackle weapon and make the Christian brothers go back, returning the loot. Along the way, taking the opportunity, Daniel returned to his possession the city of Dorogichin. It was a primordially Russian city (like all the land around it), which served as the northwestern outskirts of the Volyn principality. Using the troubles in Russia, the Mazovian princes captured the city somewhere else in the XII century, and in 1237 Konrad presented it to the Dobzhinsky knightly order, from which Daniel took them.
Meanwhile, the Mongols were already coming from the east, having managed to walk fire and sword through North-West Russia and approaching the Romanovichi state ....
The Mongols (also the Mongol-Tatars, also the Tatar-Mongols, I will use all three turns as needed), or rather, the Ulus Juchi, the future Golden Horde, at that time was a well-functioning machine for distributing cuffs to all settled and nomadic peoples, who refused to obey or pay tribute to them. Thanks to the experience adopted by the Chinese along with the Chinese cadres, these steppes were able to besiege the fortresses, take them by storm, and due to the absorption of all the other steppes into themselves, they had a large number. They were commanded by Batu Khan, a skilled and tough military leader who, after Genghis Khan and up to Timur, was probably the only Mongol-Tatar commander who could use the bunch of nomads and dependent sedentaries so effectively, bending everyone on his way to the Adriatic Sea.
However, you should also understand another thing. Batu attacked Russia in 1237 and fought with it for the following years. Yes, he won victories, yes, the supply of cannon fodder to the hashar (auxiliary army) was well established among the Mongols, which was used in siege work and, in which case, was the first wave to storm ... But in any situation with such active military operations and with the resistance that the Russian princes and cities offered, the horde would inevitably suffer losses and decrease in numbers. In addition, far from the entire Mongol army went west, and indeed the ranks of aggressive nomads during the past wars faded. Modern historians, who adhere to a moderate estimate of the number of Batu troops in 1237, call the number from 50 to 60 thousand people. Given the losses, as well as the departure of two tumens to Mongolia before 1241, the size of the horde at the beginning of the invasion of the Romanovich state can be estimated at about 25-30 thousand people, or maybe even less.
With about such an army, Batu came to the Principality of Galicia-Volyn, after which he still had to fight with the Europeans, who, with the full exertion of forces, could put up troops of comparable strength, or even more. Because of this, the Mongols could no longer organize such a massive offensive, fraught with heavy losses; they could not get involved in long sieges, as this led to a loss of time and the risk of additional losses. Thus, the blow that was inflicted on the Galicia-Volyn state turned out to be weaker than that which hit the North-Eastern Russia in 1237-38, and even more so than the one suffered by Central Asia and the state of Khorezmshahs under Genghis Khan.
Daniil Galitsky, even after the defeat at Kalka, began to look back at what was happening in the steppe, and took into account the possibility of a sudden visit by a strong and numerous enemy. However, the way Batu dealt with the rest of Russia at the beginning of his great campaign to the west had a stunning effect on the Romanovichs. The battle in the field began to look like a deliberate suicide. Instead of tough, violent resistance, a completely different strategy was chosen to minimize damage, which from the very beginning was questionable, at least from a moral point of view. The troops were diverted away from the Mongol strike, and garrisons in the cities, if they remained, were very small. The civilian population also ran up to the horde, although this concerned primarily the villagers: the townspeople were in no hurry to leave the attack. At the same time, those who remained in place should not have shown resistance to the Mongols, since in this case they would be guaranteed death, and in the absence of resistance there would be at least some chance of surviving.
During the invasion, Daniel himself was absent from the principality, circling the nearest states and persistently trying to put together a strong anti-Mongol alliance capable of withstanding the steppes. Only once during the invasion will he try to return home from Hungary, but will meet a large mass of refugees and decide not to try to fight the steppes, having only a few hundred of his closest combatants at hand. There is also information that Daniel concluded a personal ceasefire with the Mongols, protecting himself personally and in fact giving his own principality for plunder, but this theory remains only a theory due to insufficient substantiation.
Having abandoned active actions, the Galician-Volyn principality retained a couple of trump cards in its liability. The first of them turned out to be rapid progress in fortification - if the rest of Russia had wooden fortifications that did not represent a great barrier to the Mongols, then in the South-West mixed stone-wooden and exclusively stone fortifications were already being introduced in full force, multiplied by competent application to the terrain, several lines of defense and the removal of forward support units, which prevented the effective use of siege artillery. This greatly complicated the storming of large cities for the horde, and forced to conduct the correct siege or even completely bypass settlements. The second trump card turned out to be the massive use of self-arrows (crossbows) in the defense of cities, which was noted even when defending small fortresses. They did not require serious preparation of the shooter and fired arrows with great force, piercing the Mongolian armor when firing from the walls, which the bows could not boast of. All this could not help adding pepper to the horde in future events.
From the foregoing, it becomes clear that a trip to South-Western Russia for the Mongols has become a more difficult task than the rest of it. There was neither time nor opportunity to thoroughly destroy, rob, besiege and kill. Probably because of the troubles that hit the local population, relatively little is known, from which historians have concluded that the scale of ruin and loss of life on the territory of the principality was, although very serious, but not catastrophic.
The first to be hit was Kiev, which was thrown by his prince, Mikhail Chernigovsky, and where he sent a small detachment Daniil Romanovich. The defense was commanded by the tysyatsky Dmitry (Dmitry). The siege of the city took place in the winter of 1240-1241 and ended in the defeat of Kiev, which was a logical result: having a sufficiently large area, the Russian capital at that time had dilapidated walls due to strife and an insufficiently large garrison, even along with Dmitry’s reinforcements. After that, having made a short respite, the Mongols fell upon the Principality of Galicia-Volyn. The Bolokhovites helped them in this, who went over to the side of the steppes and showed the ways in which it was most convenient to strike in the heart of the Romanovich’s hated state. True, at the same time, the Mongols also demanded tribute from the grain from their newfound allies.
There is no concrete description of what happened in the future, and I do not presume to try to describe in detail the entire invasion, since I will have to invent too much, starting from too little information. However, some specific information is still available. The fate of the three cities has earned special mention in the annals, because therefore they will be primarily focused on.
One of the first to be hit was the city of Galich. Boyars loyal to the Romanovichs, as well as a significant part of those who could hold weapons in their hands, were absent in the city at that time, which predetermined the outcome in advance. Most likely, the remaining townspeople did not resist the Mongols and simply surrendered. Archeology does not confirm any large-scale destruction, except for a series of fires that only partially affected the city fortifications. There are no traces of mass graves. From this we can conclude that the townspeople were simply taken to hashar and actively used in the future. The deserted Galich never again regained his former strength: since 1241 he has rapidly lost his socio-political and economic role, losing first to Holm, the capital of Daniil Romanovich, and then to Lvov, the capital of Lev Danilovich.
A somewhat different picture is observed in Vladimir-Volynsky. It seems that the opinions of the townspeople were divided here, some decided to surrender to the Mongols and repeated the fate of the citizens of Galich, and some decided to fight and died. Because of this, Vladimir survived the ruin, on his territory there are traces of destruction and burial, but they do not correspond in scale to those that would be expected with an active defense of a city of this size: by 1241, its population reached 20 thousand people. In the future, the city will recover quite quickly, remaining the capital of Volyn.
The northernmost of the devastated cities was Berestye (Brest). Apparently, the townspeople initially resisted the Mongols, but then decided to surrender and left the city at their request to recount and facilitate the looting of the city. However, it was not in the habits of the steppes to forgive any resistance, and in similar situations, even making promises of security for surrender, they acted the same. When Roman and Vasilko arrived at the city, it was completely empty and plundered, but without signs of obvious destruction. The corpses of its inhabitants lay in a spacious clearing near the city, whom the Mongols killed as punishment for the fact that the Berestians dared to offer at least some resistance. It is possible that the strongest men were nevertheless taken to hashar and used in the future.
There were cities that resisted the Mongols to the last. Among these, you can specify Kolodyazhin, Izyaslavl, Kamenets. All of them were burned and lost their population. In the ashes of some of them, archaeologists found the remains of self-arrows and tension rings attached to the shooter's belt. All this creates the impression that the Mongols nevertheless with sufficient ease walked fire and sword through the Galicia-Volyn principality.
However, there were completely opposite examples. Stone-wooden or stone fortification, and moreover, correctly located on the ground, turned out to be a tough nut for the steppes. In the case when a fairly large garrison was located on the walls under the command of skilled military leaders, Batu was forced to simply bypass these fortifications, which he did not, for example, with Kozelsky. The Mongols failed to take the relatively new fortresses in Kremenets and Danilov, despite several attempts. At the sight of the Hill, which at that time was probably the most fortified city in Russia and even by Europeans was rated as very well protected, Batu was forced to show off at his walls for some time and go further to Poland, satisfied with the looting unprotected villages in the vicinity of the new capital of the state Romanovich. The captured governor Dmitry, whom the khan continued to carry with him, seeing this, advised him to go further to Europe, since "this land is strong." Considering that the steppe inhabitants did not meet the Galician-Volyn army in the field, and the number of troops was far from endless, the council seemed very efficient to the khan. Without delaying the sieges of well-fortified cities, Batu went with his army further to Poland.
Despite the fact that Batu Khan passed the Principality of Galicia-Volyn principality quickly and devastated it to a much lesser extent than other Russian lands, the losses were still great. Many cities lost the entire population killed in battle, destroyed as a punishment measure or taken to hashar (very few, as a rule, returned from the latter). Significant economic damage was inflicted on the country, especially the handicraft business, which was located in the cities most affected by the steppes. To the guise of the Mongol conquest, the crusaders recaptured Dorogochin from the Rus, and the Bokhovites, together with Prince Rostislav Mikhailovich, tried to seize the principality of Galicia, albeit not entirely successfully.
However, there were positive points. Batu left quickly enough, already in April, defeating the Poles at Legnica. The steppe residents, apparently, walked in a narrow lane, from city to city, and did not affect a significant part of the territory of the state. For example, Bakota remained on the sidelines, which was one of the salt-making centers on the Dniester. Some cities survived the plunder and destruction of the population, thanks to which it was possible to preserve at least some share of the former handicraft production - and in future years in the Galicia-Volyn state it will not only quickly recover, but will also exceed the pre-Mongol period in scale. Finally, by abandoning the field battle and actually surrendering the country's territories for plunder, Daniel Romanovich was able to save his main political trump card at all times - the army. If the prince lost it, then the Galicia-Volyn principality, most likely, would soon end. By preserving it, in April 1241 he was able to proceed to regain control of his state.
As for the Mongols, they, apparently, suffered quite serious losses during a short campaign in the territory of South-West Russia. Their number during the battles in Poland and Hungary is measured from 20 to 30 thousand people, and after the end of the campaign there were already only 12 to 25 thousand. The Mongols had to fight the Europeans in the minority, using the advantages of the cavalry army. Serious sieges of large fortresses were practically not carried out, the military power of the horde quickly degraded to the level of extraordinary robbers and village burners. Ulus Jochi no longer had forces for such large-scale actions, and when they appeared, strife among the Mongols began, and therefore Europe no longer knew such large-scale invasions of the steppes as in 1241-1242. The lack of manpower and means, as well as the serious resistance of the local peoples and the large number of stone fortresses on the road, reduced Batu’s great aggressive campaign to a deep raid into Europe, the use of which boiled down to a great fear of the entire Christian world. As a result, only the nearest territories of Russia and the Balkans fell into dependence on Ulus Jochi.
To be continued ...