The son of Prince Vsevolod Yaroslavich (1030 — 1093), who consistently owned tables in Pereyaslavl, Chernigov and Kiev, and representatives of the Byzantine imperial dynasty of Monomakh. Her exact name is unknown, the sources have such variants of a personal name: Anastasia, Maria, Irina, Theodora or Anna. Vladimir spent his childhood and youth at the court of Vsevolod Yaroslavich’s father in Pereyaslavl-Yuzhny. He constantly participated in his father's campaigns, when he grew up and matured, led his squad, carried out long hikes, suppressed the uprising of the Vyatichi, fought against the Polovtsy, helped the Poles against the Czechs. Together with his father and Svyatopolk Izyaslavich he fought against Vseslav of Polotsk. In 1074, he married an English princess, the daughter of the last ruling Anglo-Saxon king Harold II (died in battle with the army of the Norman Duke William) Gita Wessex.
He was a prince of Smolensk, when his father became a Kiev prince, Vladimir Monomakh received Chernigov. The Grand Duke Vsevolod did not offend the sons of the deceased Izyaslav - Svyatopolk was left in Novgorod, Yaropolk received Volyn and Turov. The left bank of the Dnieper Vsevolod left for his kind: in Pereyaslavl was his younger son - Rostislav, Vladimir - in Chernigov. For the right hand of his father, Vladimir, the management of Smolensk and Rostov-Suzdal land was preserved.
Vsevolod was difficult on the throne. He got a heavy legacy. In Kiev, he was opposed by unauthorized boyars. His own, Chernihiv boyars were thinned out by wars. The prince in the last years of his life was often ill, could not control the activities of those close, which they used. It was also restless on the outer frontiers: the Volga Bulgars (Bulgars) and the Mordovians burned down Murom, they also invaded Suzdal lands. The Polovtsians insolently looked at them, and the Torks rebelled who undertook to serve Russia. Vseslav of Polotsk burned Smolensk to the ground, hijacked its inhabitants. The riotous Vyatich tribes did not recognize the power of the Grand Duke, the Vyatichi remained pagans.
Military activities of Vladimir. Board of Vsevolod
Vladimir Monomakh had to fight with the enemies of his father and Russia. He now and then sat in the saddle and rushed with the squad to the east, then south, then west. Vladimir responded to Vseslav Brjachislavich’s attack on Smolensk by a series of devastating raids, in which he attracted Polovtsian troops. Drutsk and Minsk were captured. The people captured during the campaigns of Vseslav on Novgorod and Smolensk were released, as well as the inhabitants of Minsk and other Polochans were full of people, they were resettled in Rostov-Suzdal land. Vseslav sat down in Polotsk and was preparing for defense, but Vladimir did not intend to establish himself in his principality and did not go to the capital city.
Vladimir defeated the Bulgarians on the Oka. Intercepted detachments of the khans of Asaduk and Sauk, who destroyed Starodub, the Polovtsy were defeated, the khans were captured. Immediately, without rest, he made a throw to Novgorod-Seversky, where he dispersed another Polovtsian horde of Belkatgin. Freed thousands of captives. Then the prince defeated Torks. The rebels reproved and were dismissed to their homes. Leaders and noble people left captives. Another squad of Torks was scattered at Pereyaslavl.
In the winter of 1180, Vladimir moved the squad to the Vyatichi. Surrounded their capital Kordno. Vyatichi was headed by Prince Khodot and his son. Korydno, after a heavy assault they took, but Khododa left. The uprising continued, it was inspired by the pagan priests. It was necessary to storm one after the other Vyatichi fortresses. Vyatichi, inspired by the priests, fought bravely, and women also fought with men. Surrounded, they preferred to commit suicide, did not surrender. I had to confront the guerrilla tactics. Vyatichi could not survive for a long time in open battle with Vladimir's cavalry guards, but skillfully attacked from ambushes, hiding in the forests and swamps, attacked again. In the spring, when the mudslide began, Monomah withdrew his troops. The following winter, the prince used more cunning tactics. He did not scour the woods in search of Chodot and the surviving Vyatich townships. His intelligence figured out the main shrines of the Vyatichi, and when the troops of Monomakh approached them, the pagans themselves went to battle to protect their shrines. Vyatichi fought desperately, but before the power of a professional army could not stand in open battle. In one of these fights, the last prince of Vyatichi Khodot, and the priesthood of the Vyatichi tribes fell. Resistance was broken. The Vyatichi self-government was liquidated, their lands were included in the Chernigov inheritance, the prince's governors were appointed to them.
Again and again, Vladimir chases the Polovtsy. Sometimes the prince defeated them, sometimes he didn’t manage to overtake, once he almost got into trouble under Priluki, barely managed to escape. Monomakh seemed tireless. Being tirelessly on hikes and traveling, Vladimir managed to reasonably manage his lot. At the same time, he himself listened to affairs, checked the activities of managers, arranged sudden checks, tried them. Smolensk, Chernihiv destroyed during conflicts, was restored under his rule.
However, all peaceful affairs had to be done in the "breaks" between the campaigns and the settlement of conflicts. The son of Smolensk Prince Igor Davyd and the children of Prince Rostislav - Rurik, Volodar and Vasilko considered themselves destitute. Initially, Davyd and the Volodar captured Tmutarakan, expelling the Grand Duke's viceroy. But they were expelled from there by Oleg Svyatoslavovich, whom the new Byzantine emperor Alexey Komnin freed from exile in Rhodes. Oleg pleaded vassal of Byzantium and received military support. Davyd Igorevich hit in a frank robbery, seized and ruined Olesha in the mouth of the Dnieper, incidentally robbing Kiev guests (merchants). And Rurik, Volodar and Vasilko Rostislavichi fought off Vladimir-Volynsky from Yaropolk. He was the possession of their father, where they were born and considered their destiny. The Grand Duke sent to restore order Monomakh. Rostislavichi, having learned about it, ran away.
Grand Prince Vsevolod decided to eliminate the cause of the conflict through political means, to attach rogues to princes. Davyd Igorevich planted in Dorogobuzh in Volyn, Rostislavich allocated Carpathian cities - Przemysl, Cherven, Terebovl. Restored and the rights of Svyatoslav's sons: Davyd received Smolensk, for Oleg recognized Tmutarakan, which he captured. But this could not calm the princes. Some have increased their appetites. Davyd Igorevich wanted to grab something else. Oleg, under the patronage of Byzantium, felt powerful, did not submit to the Grand Duke. His Greek wife called herself the "Archon of Rus".
Yaropolk Izyaslavich, whom the Grand Duke helped to bring back Vladimir-Volynsky, did not lag behind. His mother Gertrude, the daughter of the Polish king Mieszko II Lambert, was unhappy with the situation of her son, believed that he was worthy of the grand prince's table. Yaropolk and Gertrud were demolished with the Poles, concluded an alliance with the Polish king Vladislav. Yaropolk was supposed to separate from Russia for a start, then the Pope promised to proclaim him king of Volyn. Poland and Rome promised to help clean up the rest of the Russian lands. The idea looked quite possible: in Novgorod the brother of the Volyn prince was Svyatopolk, Izyaslavich had good connections with the Kiev boyars. Yaropolk began to prepare for war.
But the Grand Duke and his son had friends in Volhynia, they let him know to Kiev. Vsevolod responded immediately, sent Monomakh with the squad. For Yaropolk it came as a surprise, he did not resist and fled to Poland for help, leaving his family. Cities were ordered to defend. However, the cities did not resist. The traitor’s family and property was seized. And Yaropolk did not find support abroad. The Polish king was engaged in a war with the Pomorians and Prussians. Yaropolk had no money, which made it difficult to find friends. As a result, the prince of Volyn obeyed, asked for forgiveness from the Grand Duke, promised no more to brawl. He was forgiven. Returned the family and inheritance. True, in the winter of 1086, his own squad killed him. The murderer fled to the Rostislavich, apparently, they were the organizers of the murder, because they claimed the land of Yaropolk.
The grand duke divided Yaropolk's lot: he gave his brother Svyatopolk to Turov-Pinsk principality, took Novgorod, passing it to Monstom's son Mstislav (Novgorodians complained of Svyatopolk); Volyn gave Davyd Igorevich.
Vladimir and the Grand Prince Svyatopolk Izyaslavich (1093 — 1113)
Among the Polovtsian tribes occurred unification. Among the clans that settled west of the Dnieper, Bonyak became the leader, Tugorkan to the east, Sharukan rose on the Don. In 1092, Bonyak and Sharukan joined forces, an army of tens of thousands of horsemen broke through the Russian border line. Dozens and hundreds of settlements burst into flames. This blow was unexpected for the Russian princes. Pereyaslavl and Chernigov were blocked. Grand Prince Vsevolod began negotiations with the Polovtsy. Having seized large booty and having received the ransom, the Polovtsian leaders agreed to peace.
In the spring of 1093, Vsevolod Yaroslavich died. Everyone was waiting for Monomah to take the throne, he was noted as a zealous owner and a skilled warrior, was the most powerful prince. But he refused. On ladder (right of law), the primacy belonged to the children of the eldest of Yaroslavichi, Izyaslav - only Svyatopolk was alive, who ruled in Turovo-Pinsk land. Vladimir did not want a new distemper in Russia and voluntarily ceded the Kiev table, in fact, elevated Svyatopolk to the throne. Vladimir himself went to Chernigov.
Polovtsian ambassadors arrived in Kiev to confirm peace with the new grand prince and receive gifts. But Svyatopolk was very avid and stingy, did not want to part with the money. Although in this situation, when Russia only survived one invasion and came to its senses, it would be reasonable to gain time. Svyatopolk not only refused to pay, but also captured the Polovtsian ambassadors. It was a very stupid step, especially given the insignificance of his squad - about 800 warriors (again, because of stinginess). Polovtsi gathered an army and laid siege to Torchesk. Svyatopolk freed ambassadors, but it was too late, the war began.
Vladimir Monomakh from Chernigov and his brother Rostislav from Pereyaslavl came to the aid of the Grand Duke. Vladimir was the most experienced commander, but Svyatopolk claimed leadership, he was supported by the clergy and boyars. Troops moved to Trepolis. Vladimir advised to place shelves for a water barrier and buy time, and then make peace. He said that the Polovtsy, although they have superior forces, would not risk, they would accept a proposal for peace. He was not listened to. Svyatopolk did not want peace in such conditions, since it would have to pay. The Grand Duke insisted on crossing the Stugna troops. The battle took place 26 May 1093. The first attack Polovtsy smashed the right flank - squad Svyatopolk. The center, where Rostislav fought, and the left flank of Monomakh held out, but after the defeat of the forces of the Grand Duke, they began to bypass them, had to retreat. On Stugna, many drowned, including Prince Rostislav. Monomakh found the body of his brother and took him to his ancestral tomb, to Pereyaslavl.
Svyatopolk gathered another army, but was again crushed and closed in Kiev. Precipitated Torchesk, after the Polovtsy diverted the river, which supplied the city with water, surrendered. The Grand Duke asked for peace. But in this situation he was able to find a benefit. He married the daughter of Polovtsian Khan Tugorkan, got a strong ally and dowry.
At that time, Svyatoslavichi raised their heads. Oleg interviewed the aid and the Byzantine emperor, he allocated money for hiring Polovtsy. Oleg paid for the "help" of the Tmutarakan principality, giving it to the Greeks in full possession. Simultaneously, the Smolensk prince Davyd Svyatoslavich with a swift blow knocked out Mstislav Vladimirovich from Novgorod, he retreated to Rostov. Monomah was surprised and pissed off. His squad suffered heavy losses in the battle with the Polovtsy, and now most of it had to be sent to help his son. This was what Svyatoslavichi were waiting for. Oleg's army emerged from the steppe and besieged Chernihiv. Vladimir had to keep the defense with the rest of the squad. Chernigov nobility was willing to transfer the city to Oleg, so the citizens did not come out on the walls. The Grand Duke did not intervene, although Vladimir responded when he had to fight with the Polovtsy. Apparently, he thought it useful that Vladimir would be weakened, or even killed. In 1094, Vladimir was forced to give way to Chernigov, left the city with a small retinue and family. Monomakh retired to Pereyaslavl.
In the capital city the situation was difficult. Svyatopolk was distinguished by acquisitions, so was his entourage. People Svyatopolk robbed the common people. The Jewish quarter of Kiev flourished even more than when Izyaslav. It should be noted that Svyatopolk had connections with rich Jews back in Novgorod. In addition, before marrying the Polovchan woman, a Jewish concubine was planted under him (an ancient way to keep the rulers under control). The Jews were under the special patronage of the Grand Duke. Many Russian traders and artisans went bankrupt. And the prince himself was not shy in the methods of profit. He took away the monopoly on the salt trade at the Pechersky Monastery, began to trade salt through the tax farmers. The son of the Grand Duke from the concubine Mstislav killed two monks Fedor (Theodore) and Vasily. Fedor’s cell was in the Varangian cave, where, according to legend, the Vikings hid treasures. It was rumored that monk Fyodor had found the treasure and hid it again. Upon learning of this, Prince Mstislav Svyatopolkovich demanded these treasures, and during the "conversation" killed the monks. In such a situation, Metropolitan Ephraim left for Pereyaslavl to live out his life. Many famous people, warriors and citizens, dissatisfied with the power of Svyatopolk, moved to Monomakh.
The defense capacity of the South Russian lands has deteriorated. Under the rule of Vsevolod, the principality of Kiev, Chernihiv, and Pereyaslavl represented a single defense system. Now every land was on its own. Besides, Oleg was in league with the Polovtsy and they ravaged the neighboring lands. Kiev did not save the relationship of the Grand Duke with Tugorkan, he did not go to the property of a relative, but did not interfere with other leaders. Polovtsi established good contacts with Jewish slave traders from the Crimea (a fragment of the Khazars) and thousands of prisoners of the river went to the southern countries. Byzantine laws forbade the sale of Christians, but local authorities were tied to merchants and turned a blind eye.
Very often, the Polovtsian leaders, after the raid, came to the princes and offered "peace". So in 1095, two Polovtsian khans, Itlar and Kitan, came to Pereyaslavl to sell peace to Vladimir Monomakh. They camped near the city, the son of Monomakh Svyatoslav went to them as hostages, and Itlar rode into the fortress, where he demanded gifts. Vigilantes rebelled with such arrogance and demanded to punish the Polovtsy. Their opinion was expressed by the closest associate of the Grand Duke Vsevolod and Monomakh himself - Pereyaslavsky posadnik Ratibor. Vladimir doubted, yet the Polovtsi were guests, they exchanged security vows and hostages with them. But warriors insisted. At night, the prince's son was stolen from the Polovtsian camp. In the morning, the Polovtsian camp was crushed, and a detachment of Itlar was massacred in the city itself. Only the son of Itlar could escape, with part of the detachment.
Monomakh sent messengers to the Grand Duke to gather an army and strike at the Polovtsy until they came to their senses. This time, Svyatopolk agreed with Vladimir’s rightness, Kiev land suffered greatly from the Polovtsian raids. Oleg and Davyd Svyatoslavich promised their troops, but they did not lead the soldiers. For the success of the operation was enough squads of Kiev and Pereyaslavl. Many Polovtsian nomads were crushed. This campaign put high prestige Monomakh. He proposed to convene a congress of princes in Kiev and, together with the clergy and boyars, resolve all disputes and work out measures to protect Russia. The Grand Duke was forced to agree with Vladimir.
However, the unity, even formal, was far away. Novgorodians escorted Davyd, again invited Mstislav. Davyd did not calm down, tried to repel Novgorod. The son of Khan Itlara made a foray, massacring where he was. After that, he hid in Chernigov. Svyatopolk and Vladimir demanded the extradition of the Polovtsian or his execution. Oleg did not give out Khan, and did not go to the congress. He stood defiantly, saying that he was an independent ruler who did not need advice. In response, the Grand Duke took Smolensk away from Davyd Svyatoslavich, and the Kiev, Volyn and Pereyaslav ratifications took the floor in Chernigov. A son of Monomakh - Izyaslav, he reigned in Kursk, captured by Moore, who belonged to Oleg. The Chernigov prince saw that in Chernihiv cooled to him, he fled to Starodub. The city lasted a month, repelled several attacks, but was forced to surrender. Oleg was deprived of Chernigov. He promised to come to the congress of princes, to join the all-Russian affairs.
At this time, the Polovtsian invasion began. At that time, Tugorkan and Bonyak went to Byzantium, but they repelled their attack, and they decided to pay damages in Russia. They divided the Russian lands diplomatically. Tugorkan was a relative of Svyatopolk, so Bonyak went to Kiev. And Tugorkan moved to the land of Pereyaslav. As soon as Svyatopolk and Vladimir were reconciled with Oleg, news of the siege of Pereyaslavl came. We rushed to save the city. The army of Tugorkan did not expect the appearance of Russian troops, they believed that the princes were still fighting with Oleg. 19 July 1096, the Polovtsy army was destroyed on the Trubezh river. Tugorkan himself and his son died.
We did not have time to celebrate the victory, when a message came about the destruction of Kiev land by the hordes of Bonyak. The Polovtsi burned down the princely court on Berestov, crushed the Pechersky and Vydubitsky monasteries. Storming the capital city Khan did not dare, but the outskirts of Kiev were devastated. The Grand Duke and Vladimir led the troops to intercept, but were late. Bonyak left with huge booty.
To be continued ...