Dmitry Donskoy at the 1000th Anniversary of Russia monument in Veliky Novgorod
The reign of Dimitry Donskoy belongs to the most unfortunate and sad eras stories long-suffering Russian people. Incessant devastation and devastation, now from external enemies, now from internal strife, followed one after another on an enormous scale.
The rise of Moscow
Although the Don massacre did not eliminate Moscow's dependence on the Horde kingdom, it changed the situation in the region. In the fall of the same 1380, the Mamaev Horde ceased to exist. In the east, beyond the Volga, Mamai's adversary, the Blue Horde of Tokhtamysh, was located. This descendant of Genghis Khan, having learned about the defeat of his rival for power in the Horde, crossed the Volga, moved to Sarai. Mamai hastily gathered a new army, but the warriors and princes went over to the side of a more successful rival. In addition, there was a good reason: Tokhtamysh was the legal heir of the shed table. Mamai fled to the Crimea with his treasury, but there he was finished off. In fact, the victory of Dmitry of Moscow helped Tokhtamysh to take the Horde throne. When the new Horde tsar informed the Russian princes of his accession, all Russian rulers sent ambassadors to him with gifts. Peace was established with the Horde of Tokhtamysh. However, the Grand Duke of Moscow Dmitry Donskoy did not consider it necessary to personally go to the new ruler of the Golden (White) Horde to receive from his hands a label for the great reign.
A year later, there was a coup in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia. Grand Duke Yagailo Olgerdovich in September 1380 led his regiments to the aid of Mamai to crush Dmitry Ivanovich and his brothers Andrei Polotsky and Dmitry Bryanskiy. However, the Moscow sovereign managed to crush Mamai before the arrival of Yagailo's troops. The Grand Duke of Lithuania was in the same passage from the Kulikov field when he received news of the defeat of the Horde. Jagiello turned the troops back. In October 1381, Jagiello was overthrown by his uncle Keistut Gediminovich. Keistut began a policy of rapprochement with Moscow, he needed peace in the east to resist the crusaders. Keistut reached an agreement with Dmitry Donskoy at the price of abandoning claims to Smolensk and the Verkhovsk principalities (specific principalities in the upper reaches of the Oka). Andrey Olgerdovich returned to Polotsk.
Relations between Moscow and Ryazan have changed. In 1380, the Grand Duke of Ryazan, Oleg Ivanovich, was forced to submit to the power of Mamai and entered into an alliance with him against Moscow. However, he did not bring his regiments to the Kulikovo field. In turn, Dmitry Ivanovich led his troops across the Oka so as to avoid clashes with the Ryazan people. In "Zadonshchina" there is even mention of the death of 70 Ryazan boyars from the side of the grand ducal army. On the other hand, some Ryazan boyars, in the absence of their prince, who moved south with his retinue, plundered the Moscow carts that went after the Battle of Kulikovo in Ryazan. After returning to Moscow, Dmitry established control over many Ryazan volosts. In 1381, the Ryazan prince recognized himself as a "younger brother" and concluded an anti-Horde alliance with Dmitry Donskoy, similar to the Moscow-Tver treaty of 1375. Oleg Ryazansky promised to return the people captured after the Kulikovo battle.
The struggle for the place of Metropolitan of All Russia continued. The mission of Mikhail (Mityai) to Constantinople, the protege of Dmitry Donskoy, unexpectedly ended. The metropolitan candidate on his way from the Crimean Kafa (Theodosius) to Constantinople unexpectedly fell ill and died. In the retinue accompanying him, a dispute began over who to propose to the Russian metropolitans. The supporters of the Pereyaslavl Archimandrite Pimen took the upper hand. He, examining the documents of the deceased Mikhail, found blank letters of the great sovereign. In one of them, he wrote Dmitry Ivanovich's request to the Byzantine emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople to appoint Pimen to the metropolitan of All Russia. Other securities were promissory notes of the Moscow prince to Muslim and Italian merchants at high interest rates. The money received was used for bribery with the aim of "electing" Pimen as Metropolitan. The Holy Cathedral made this decision. The title of Kiev and All Russia was recognized for Pimen. However, his rival Cyprian was left with the title of Metropolitan of Lithuania and Little Russia for life.
Meanwhile, a new clash between the Horde and Moscow was brewing. Tokhtamysh wanted to achieve complete submission of Dmitry Ivanovich and resume the flow of tribute in the same amount. The Golden Horde king fell out with his former patron, Tamerlane. He needed a quiet rear in the west and a lot of money for the war. As a result, Tokhtamyshe decided to go to Moscow in order to pacify Dmitry, seize booty, including prisoners for sale into slavery. The preparations for the campaign against Muscovite Russia were kept secret.
Thanks to the effect of surprise and temporary weakness of Moscow Russia, which suffered huge losses in the bloody battle with Mamai, Tokhtamysh managed to implement his plan. Russian guests (merchants) in the Horde were arrested or killed so that they would not have time to report to Moscow. Numerous ships, on which the Horde army crossed the Volga, were taken away from the Russian guests in the Bulgar city. We marched quickly so that Moscow did not have time to get ready, to mobilize forces. Prince of Nizhny Novgorod Dmitry Konstantinovich and Oleg Ryazansky, in the face of superior forces, expressed complete obedience to the Horde king and avoided the pogrom of their lands. Dmitry Suzdal-Nizhny Novgorod, wishing to secure his principality, sent his sons Vasily and Simeon to the army of the Horde ruler. Oleg Ryazansky indicated fords across the Oka.
Having learned about the appearance of the enemy, Dmitry Donskoy and Vladimir the Brave began to gather troops in Kostroma and Voloka, but they could no longer stop Tokhtamysh. Tokhtamyshe burned Serpukhov and calmly went to Moscow. The city was without top leadership. The Grand Duke and his family were in Kostroma, beyond the Volga. The defense of the city was entrusted to the Lithuanian prince in the Moscow service Ostey (son of Andrei Olgerdovich or Dmitry Olgerdovich) and Metropolitan Cyprian. The Metropolitan fled to Tver, which also expressed obedience to Tokhtamysh. The boyars perceived the absence of the great sovereign as a flight, and the hasty departure of the metropolitan also played a role. As a result, the nobility fled from the capital, on the other hand, refugees poured into the city from the devastated neighborhoods, small towns and villages. Muscovites raised an uprising and decided to give battle to the enemy. On August 23, 1382, the Horde reached Moscow and tried to take the capital city. The townspeople successfully repelled enemy attacks for three days, successfully used firearms weapon - "mattresses" (guns). The success in the defense turned the city around the Muscovites. They smashed the boyar mansions, cellars with wine and honey: “... and got drunk and staggered, boasting, saying:“ Do not fear the arrival of the rotten Tatars in such a strong city ... of our princes ". And then they climbed onto the city walls and wandered around drunk, mocking the Tatars, shamelessly shaming them, shouting different words, full of reproach and blasphemy "(" The Tale of the invasion of Tokhtamysh ").
Unable to take the city and suffering heavy losses, Tokhtamysh began negotiations with Ostey and the best people. The negotiators said that Tokhtamysh had come to fight not with the townspeople, but Dmitry. They promised the mercy of the Horde king. They offered to open the gate, go out with gifts and obey. The sons of the Prince of Nizhny Novgorod, Vasily and Semyon, swore that Tokhtamysh would grant peace to Moscow. The drunken and out of breath Muscovites believed that the voices of a few sober people were drowned in the hopes of the rest of the masses. The gate was opened. The Horde men chopped down the delegation and burst into the capital city that was left without protection.
And she was in the city of the slaughter of evil and outside the city the same great slaughter. And until then they whipped, until their arms and shoulders weakened and they were not exhausted.
Thousands of people died, others were taken away. Moscow was robbed and burned, the prince's treasury and church treasures were taken away. Precious archives perished in the fire.
Then the troops of Tokhtamysh went round, burned and plundered Vladimir, Zvenigorod, Mozhaisk, Yuryev, Lopasnya, Pereyaslavl. However, Tokhtamysh soon had to leave in a hurry. The detachment that approached Voloka was defeated by Prince Vladimir the Brave. Dmitry Donskoy put forward the regiments from Kostroma. The Horde detachments, burdened with prey and light pogroms, lost their combat effectiveness. The Horde tsar immediately left Moscow Russia, burned Kolomna on the way and destroyed the Ryazan region. Tokhtamysh's troops returned to the Horde with huge booty, taking tribute for several years and leading thousands of people to the full. In the fall, Tokhtamysh offered peace to Dmitry Ivanovich. In the spring of 1383, Dmitry sent his son Vasily to Sarai. Dmitry paid Tokhtamysh a "great heavy tribute" (they paid not only in silver, as before, but also in gold), and the Horde king secured the great reign of Moscow.
The siege of Moscow by Tokhtamysh in 1382. Miniature of the Litsevoy chronicle collection. XVI century (the Horde have red - Russian banners)
The burning of Moscow did not become a symbol of its fall. The capital city burned more than once, but it was always restored and it became more and more beautiful. Dmitry Ivanovich again took up hard creative work. Towns and villages were rebuilt. Mikhail Tverskoy and Boris Gorodetsky claimed the grand princely label, but Tokhtamysh preferred richer Moscow. But the Tver Grand Duchy gained independence again. The Tver prince is no longer called the younger brother of the Moscow one, but simply a brother. Kashin was returned to the Tver land.
The Grand Duke of Moscow punished Ryazan. Already in the fall of 1382, the Moscow army made a punitive campaign against the Ryazan principality. The Moscow regiments staged a pogrom "Pushcha ... Tatar troops." In the spring of 1385, Oleg Ryazansky responded by unexpectedly attacking Moscow Russia, capturing Kolomna (in the past it was part of the Ryazan land). Moscow gathered a strong army under the command of Prince Vladimir Andreevich the Brave. The residents of Ryazan retreated to the border fortress of Perevitsk. In a fierce battle, the Ryazan people took over. According to the Nikon Chronicle, "in that battle, I killed many of the Moscow boyars and the best men of Novgorod and Pereslavl." Dmitry Ivanovich had to ask for peace and pay a ransom for numerous prisoners. Later, with the mediation of Sergius of Radonezh, Moscow and Ryazan concluded "eternal peace." In 1387, Oleg married his son Fyodor to Dmitry's daughter Sophia. In the future, the Ryazan prince Fyodor became a loyal ally of Moscow.
Moscow again had to pacify Novgorod. In 1386, the great sovereign moved his regiments to the free city. Novgorodians resigned themselves and paid a large tribute. In the western direction, the situation has deteriorated significantly. In 1384, through the mediation of Olgerd's widow Ulyana Alexandrovna, a preliminary agreement was concluded between Dmitry and Vladimir on the one hand and Yagailo, Skirgailo and Koribut on the other on the marriage of Yagailo with Dmitry's daughter and declaring Orthodoxy the state religion of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia. However, in 1385 Jagiello entered into union with Poland and married the heiress of the Polish throne Jadwiga. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia underwent Westernization and Catholicization. Smolensk, with the support of Ryazan, resisted, but was defeated. Andrey Olgerdovich Polotsk was defeated and taken prisoner, Polotsk fell.
Monument to Vladimir Andreevich the Brave in Serpukhov
The question of succession to the throne
In 1388-1389. Dmitry Donskoy had a conflict with Vladimir Andreevich. Obviously it was related to the issue of inheritance. Feeling the closeness of death, Dmitry Donskoy made a will. In his will, Dmitry was the first of the Moscow princes to include in his possessions the great reign (Vladimir, Pereyaslavl-Zalessky, Kostroma), Beloozero, Dmitrov, Uglich and Galich. Most of the land and income went to his eldest son Vasily. Apparently, Vladimir the Brave insisted on maintaining the old ladder order of inheritance in the Grand Duchy of Moscow. Thus, the eldest of his relatives, Vladimir Andreevich, should become the heir of the seriously ill Dmitry Ivanovich. But the great sovereign transferred power to his eldest son. Moreover, he strengthened autocracy in the Moscow grand ducal house. In the event of the death of one of the younger brothers, his inheritance was divided among all the remaining brothers. But if the eldest son died, then his possessions were entirely transferred to the next oldest son of the Grand Duke.
Dmitry Donskoy was able to maintain order inside the Moscow princely house. The great sovereign arrested the Serpukhov boyars who were in Moscow and took Dmitrov and Galich from Vladimir Andreyevich. Then he bequeathed Galich, Zvenigorod and Ruza to the second son Yuri, and Dmitrov and Uglich - to the fourth son Peter. The enraged Vladimir left for Serpukhov, and then for Torzhok. In 1390 he made peace with the new Moscow sovereign Vasily Dmitrievich. He recognized his cousin's nephew as the “elder brother” and the Grand Duke of Moscow, and renounced claims to Dmitrov and other privileges. In return, he received half of Volokolamsk and Rzhev (then exchanged them for Uglich and Kozelsk). Vladimir the Brave again began to lead the Moscow regiments.
The great sovereign of Moscow Dmitry Ivanovich Donskoy passed away on May 19, 1389. He was not even 39 years old. During his reign, Moscow became the recognized leader of North-Eastern Russia, challenged Lithuania and the Horde. That is, Muscovite Rus became a contender for the role of the main Russian center. The Grand Duchy of Vladimir became the "patrimony" of the Moscow sovereigns. The Moscow Grand Duchy was significantly expanded due to the territories of Pereyaslavl, Galich, Beloozero, Uglich, Dmitrov, part of Meshchera, as well as the Kostroma, Chukhloma, Starodub and Perm lands. Moscow received a white-stone Kremlin. Under Dmitry Ivanovich, minting of a silver coin was first started in Moscow. New fortress cities and monasteries were built, cultural and economic life flourished. The Grand Duke limited the power of appanage princes, including his relatives, and created a military base among the boyars and nobles. Muscovite Rus creates a powerful army that can successfully withstand the strongest neighboring powers: the Horde and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Russia.
On the other hand, the period was extremely difficult for Russia, accompanied by bloody wars, battles, strife and pestilence. Dmitry Donskoy spent most of his life in wars with Tver, Novgorod, Ryazan, Lithuania, Horde and other neighbors. Therefore, some historians believe that the reign of Dmitry Ivanovich was unsuccessful and tragic. Here is the opinion of Nikolai Kostomarov:
The reign of Dimitry Donskoy belongs to the most unfortunate and sad eras in the history of the long-suffering Russian people. Incessant devastation and devastation, now from external enemies, now from internal strife, followed one after another on an enormous scale.
Moscow Russia, apart from minor raids, was twice devastated by the Lithuanians, survived the pogrom of Tokhtamysh. The Ryazan region was defeated several times by the Horde and Muscovites, the Tver land - several times by the Moscow army, Smolensk - several times by the Lithuanians and Muscovites, Novgorod suffered from the campaigns of the Tver and Muscovites. According to Kostomarov, Eastern Russia was then a poor and poor country. Under Dmitry, the devastated Rus' had to "crawl and humiliate itself before the dying Horde" again.
Another famous Russian historian, Nikolai Karamzin, assessed Dmitry's reign in this way:
The magnanimous Dmitry defeated Mamai, but saw the ashes of the capital and cringed to Tokhtamysh.
Obviously, Kostomarov and Karamzin are too biased. Kostomarov was a supporter of the "Ukrainian idea", and Karamzin was a Westerner, who designed in Russia a "classical" (pro-Western) version of history.
Dmitry Ivanovich's life was short and swift, but he immortalized his name on the Kulikovo field. Under him, Moscow began a long journey of gathering Russian lands, including Lithuania and the Horde.