The Orthodox Byzantium became the victim of this onslaught. She embarked on the path of Westernism, opening wide the doors to foreign advisers, merchants, and usurers. As a result, the great empire collapsed over a hundred years and was occupied by the crusaders. But Russia was not far from a similar fate. Western notions, fashion, morals became popular among the nobility. The Baltics initially depended on the Russians. Latvians paid tribute to Polotsk, Estonians to Novgorod. But the Polotsk princes themselves launched into Latvia German preachers, allowed to build fortified villages. Cultural people, why not let it go? And when they came to their senses, it was already too late. The Germans, one by one, crushed the Polotsk princes, took away their possessions.
But other rulers or enmity with the victims or remained indifferent - they are not beaten. Some princes at this time considered it useful to be related with the Germans, Poles, Hungarians, transferred to their service, became related, changed their faith. Novgorodians came to their senses only when the Germans from Latvia climbed into their lands, into Estonia. But the Crusaders promised to pay the same tribute as the Estonians. With tribute, by the way, they deceived, but they beckoned the merchants and boyars with other benefits.
Back in 1228, Prince Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, Alexander's father, intended to crush the Germans, preparing a great campaign in the Baltic States. Already came numerous Vladimir-Suzdal regiments. But suddenly the citizens of Pskov closed the gates in front of the prince. And the supreme authority of Novgorod, the democratic assembly, suddenly decided that it would not fight with the Germans, too, demanded that the Vladimir regiments be removed. Following the regiments kicked out in the neck of the prince himself.
Casket opened simply. At this time, the rich German cities created a trade and political union, the Ganzu. Russian moneybags were also very interested in participating in the “World Trade Organization”. Even with 1227, the top of Novgorod, Pskov, Smolensk, Polotsk conducted secret negotiations in Riga. Smolensk and Polotsk signed contracts with the Bishop of Riga and Ganza, and the Prince and Pskov crossed the path! They signed contracts only after the expulsion of Yaroslav, in 1230. Although it should be noted that the negotiations were not only on trade topics. The plenipotentiary ambassador of the Pope, Bishop of Modensky, participated in them, and the mood of the partners was so encouraging that he enthusiastically wrote to the Vatican - the Russians would easily convert to Catholicism!
Pope Honorius III was delighted, sent out a letter to all Russian princes. He promised them prosperity "in the arms of the Latin Church," and asked them to express "goodwill." But the benefits for Novgorod and Pskov turned out to be doubtful. The treaties on joining the Ganza became unequal, the Germans poured into their markets, but they were not allowed into theirs. Once Novgorodians were famous as seafarers - now their voyages remain only in the epics about the daring Sadko. Foreigners began to suppress Russian shipbuilding and travels around the Baltic. But the Vatican and the Crusaders tried to draw the Pskov and Novgorod citizens into political dependence. Use against their own fellows!
Among the recipients of the papal invitation to cooperate were the “Suzdal king” Yury Vsevolodovich and his brother Yaroslav (recently expelled from Novgorod). They did not hurry to “express good will” to betray Orthodoxy. On the contrary, they ordered the Catholic preachers to leave their possessions. Then the Western partners pushed Novgorod and Pskov to unleash a war against Yuri and Yaroslav! They were declared enemies of republican "freedoms", veche "democracy". Although in the XIII century. Such slogans did not deceive the majority of Russian people. The common people loved Yaroslav. When the boyars announced that they had to fight him, the mob rebelled and overthrew the pro-German party. Traitors fled to the Germans. Yaroslav Vsevolodovich returned to Novgorod, and he still reprimanded the knights, in 1232 he defeated the Emaygi River on the ice. The Crusaders asked for peace; they had to repudiate attempts to crush Pskov and Novgorod. And next to Yaroslav he studied his 11-year-old son Alexander, his military skills.
But soon the situation changed. In 1237, hordes of Batu poured into Rus. Burning Ryazan, Moscow, Vladimir, Grand Prince Yury Vsevolodovich died in the City. And at the same time, Pope Gregory IX declared a crusade "against the pagans and Russians"! Success seemed to be one hundred percent. The Russians were exsanguinated. With the mediation of the Pope, they concluded an alliance with the Livonian Order, Denmark and Sweden, signed an agreement in Stanby in 1238. And in Russia, the Germans still had quite a few supporters. Now they have an additional argument - they must surrender to foreigners, and they will protect from the Tatars ...
In the literature, for some reason, it is customary to divide the attacks of the Germans and the Swedes. In fact, these were parts of a single plan. In 1240, the Swedes were supposed to hit Novgorod from the Neva, and the Germans from Pskov. Birger was just a bit ahead. Therefore, he was in no hurry, camped. Crusaders will begin the offensive - and the Russians will be seen between two fires. But the young Prince Alexander suspected double danger. He also knew that the veche was unreliable. He did without a veche, without mobilizing the general militia. He rushed at the enemy with a personal squad and a handful of volunteers, but he appeared on the Neva swiftly and scored his first victory, earning the nickname Nevsky.
Success was extremely timely. The Germans were only a few weeks late. They took Izborsk by storm, and besieged Pskov. A city with stone walls could hold on for a long time, but the boyar Tverdilo Ivankovich and his accomplices entered into negotiations and in September 1240 was surrendered to Pskov. Recognized the citizenship of the Order, for this Tverdilo was appointed German governor. From Novgorod to Pskov was closer than to the Neva. The prince would have enough time to rescue. But ... in Novgorod, too, the Ivankovichi hard winners took the upper hand! The boyars in the veche forbade Nevsky to gather troops, moreover, they provoked a riot. The prince who just saved the Novgorod land was kicked out! He went to his tribal Pereslavl-Zalessky.
However, the Russian Westerners miscalculated. The occupants judged that you can no longer flirt with them! Pskov obeyed. On another site, the northern one, the knights crossed the border, bribed the foremen of the Vozhan tribe, and built the Koporye fortress. Crusaders unceremoniously divided the village, free Russian peasants turned into slaves. All trade trapped Riga merchants. A German garrison and two Focht rulers were stationed in Pskov. They themselves enacted laws, exactions, rebellious executed. They crossed the Russians into Catholicism, the pope gave the Novgorod land to the bishop Heinrich Eselsky beforehand. Traitors left only the role of servants - to follow the instructions of the owners. From Koporye and Pskov, knights raided, burned villages, slaughtered and drove people near Novgorod itself. Even those who were at first inclined to succumb to the Order thought to themselves. Not expected ...
Appealed for help to the Grand Duke Vladimir Yaroslav, to his son Alexander. And who else could save Novgorod? During the Tatar invasion, Yaroslav managed to preserve the core of the Vladimir regiments, Alexander was an unsurpassed commander. But he was also a real Christian, he did not remember offenses. He demanded only one, full power at the time of the war. The first counterattack beat off Koporye. In the fall of 1241, his father sent him Vladimir regiments, and Alexander liberated Pskov by a decisive assault. But the enemies were gathering all the forces - the knights of the Livonian Order, the Danes, rose. It was then that the Ice Battle occurred.
Falsifiers tend to lower its value, referring to supposedly small losses - 400-500 knights. Forgetting that knights are notable fighters, unit commanders. For comparison, in 1214, the 70 of the German knights fell in the battle with the French under Buvin, and all of Europe spoke of the severe defeat of the Germans. 400-500 died on the Knights of Lake Peipsi, and 50 was captured! This figure does not apply to ordinary warriors, no one considered them, the corpses lay on "seven miles". It is not by chance that the chronicles called the battle a “slaughter”. The extent of the defeat is confirmed by the reaction of the enemies. The Germans were in complete shock, waited for the invasion, the master of the Order of Balk begged for the salvation of the Danish king, Pope. But Alexander soberly estimated that Russia is not in a position to fight for the Baltic States. Victory he used to make peace. And he warned the enemies very eloquently, slightly paraphrasing the words of the Gospel: “He who comes to us with a sword will perish by the sword. That was where the Russian land stood and will stand. ”
Well, the battle on Lake Peipsi was sung in many works, films. But she unwittingly overshadowed the other achievements of St.. Alexandra. The prince almost a dozen times crushed the Lithuanians, suppressing their raids on Russia. He revived after the Batu invasions of the city, temples, administrative structures. But before the holy prince got another feat. The feat of the greatest humility. He needed to bow his head before the Horde! For the first time since the formation of the Russian state to submit to foreigners! However, the most power was not. A scattering of specific principalities, quarreled among themselves, could not oppose the Khan hordes. It was possible to perish heroically. But ... it meant finally destroy Russia.
Alexander realized this. He took upon himself the feat of humility. Very difficult feat. His father was poisoned. He himself had to go to bow to the Volga, to the Shed, or even far away to the Mongolian Karakorum. True, there was an alternative. Union with the West against the Horde! Pope Innocent IV twice sent respectable embassies led by Cardinals Gold and Gement to Nevsky, wrote personal messages. He was tempted to go to the Latin faith, promised for this all-round support, an alliance with the Crusaders.
Alexander perfectly understood where the papal diplomacy is aimed. Substitute Russia, pitting her with the Horde. Distract the Tatars from hiking in Europe, let them kill the Russians. And the West will take over what remains of our country. In the examples of Byzantium and the recent occupation of the Pskov region, it was obvious that the Europeans see in the Russian principalities in any way not allies, but prey. It was clear and more. Western invaders, unlike the Mongol khans, are not content with tribute. They do not leave any independence to the conquered lands, either spiritual or political. Enslave completely, destroy Orthodoxy.
The prince answered Innocent with a fair amount of irony: “From Adam to the flood, from the flood to the separation of languages, from the separation of languages to the beginning of Abraham, from Abraham to the passage of Israel through the Red Sea, from the exodus of the sons of Israel to the death of King David, from the beginning of the kingdom of Solomon to August the king, from the beginning of Augustus to the Nativity of Christ, from the Nativity of Christ to the Suffering and Resurrection of the Lord, from His Resurrection to Ascension to Heaven, from the Ascension to Heaven to the Kingdom of Konstantinov, from the beginning of the Kingdom of Konstantinov to the first Cathedral, from the first until the seventh all Obora well ignorant, and by teaching you do not accept. " Soon after such a response, Nevsky became seriously ill. Apparently, he was poisoned. He was considered hopeless, but he still survived.
And the consequences that would lead to the opposite choice, история presented us very clearly. In Russia there were two pillars, two outstanding military leaders and politicians, of sv. Alexander Nevsky and Daniel Galitsky. And he made a different decision. He entered into an agreement with the Pope about subordinating the Russian church to him, and received from Rome the royal crown. He dragged Nevsky’s brother, Andrei, into the union. But dad announced a crusade against both Tatars and ... Russians. In 1253, the Western coalition launched an offensive in a very curious combination. On one flank, the Livonian crusaders laid siege to Pskov. On the other, Daniel Galitsky with the Lithuanians spoke to Kiev.
No, among Pskov and Novgorod traitors no longer existed. The Germans broke in so that it did not seem enough. And Galitsky was beaten by the Tatars, but suddenly he learned that the Allied Lithuanians were burning and robbing his own cities. Turned on them. Meanwhile, the Horde crushed hapless Andrei Yaroslavich. And then they flooded the possessions of Daniel Galitsky. They ordered the prince and his subjects to destroy their own fortresses, to single out the ratification against the Lithuanians, the Poles. South Russia turned into a battlefield, was completely devastated. Soon the Lithuanians and the Poles divided it and finally got their hands on it.
Thanks to the wise policy of Alexander Nevsky, Northern Russia resisted. But it was not at all cheap. In our time, bikes have been bred, as if there was no Horde yoke, but a mutually beneficial symbiosis of the Horde and Russia was formed. This is nothing more than cheap pseudo-sensation. The period, more or less reminiscent of cooperation, turned out to be short - during the rule of Batu and his son Sartak. But in the Horde, the Khazar Kaganate began to revive, destroyed three hundred years ago. The descendants of the Khazars, the Khorezm merchants and Jews from the Black Sea cities, rushed to the Shed. They organized a coup, enthroned their protege Burke. He needed money to build a new capital Saray-Berke, he was going to fight with relatives, Iranian Hulagids - he did not share the Transcaucasus with them.
The merchants would give as much gold as they wanted, and in return they would pay a tribute to pay. In cities, "besmermens and Jews" with detachments appeared, committing excesses, robbing people, and capturing the slaves in debt. Well, the princes received the order of Khan to lead troops to him, go to the Caucasus. Although these plans of the Horde turned out to be crumpled. In Yaroslavl, Ustyug, Vladimir, Suzdal, Kostroma, Rostov, the Russian people could not bear the violence and rampant tax collectors, they rose to destroy them. Berke was furious, was ready to throw punitive on Russia.
What could the grand duke do? He could execute the first participants in the rebellion, buy off the khan with their heads. Alexander had just made the shelves for a new campaign on the Order. It was necessary to bring him to Burke, to cajole him — well, they say, they are ready to fight for you. The Russian warriors will go to unknown lands, they will not die for what they are in Khan's strife ... No, Alexander did not punish his subjects, and he also did not fulfill the order to send troops. Instead of the Caucasus, he gave the last command to the warriors - forward to Estonia. And I went to the khan alone. For certain death. What kind of punishment could have expected him for rebellion and apparent disobedience? ... The last campaign organized by Nevsky was victorious, like all his campaigns. Son Dmitriy and brother Yaroslav stormed on taking the powerful fortress of Dorpat, the Order panicked, concluded the world "in full freedom" of the Russians.
But Alexander himself at that time was actually sacrificing himself. Appeared before Burke, trying to save his native country. True, he thought out the arguments sensibly and irresistibly. Give troops? Have mercy, great king, but it means to bare the boundaries of your own ulus. Give it to the Germans. Rebellion? It is the dealers themselves who are to blame. Russia does not refuse to pay, but if you completely ruin people, how will they pay? Why cut the hen that lays the golden eggs? But would it not be more correct to remove tax collectors at all? To collect tribute collected Russian princes, and not visiting likhimtsy?
A miracle happened. Berke did not execute Alexander, did not send punishers. Because Nevsky was absolutely right. Even from the Khan's point of view, everything worked out logically. Khan agreed with the prince. But he saw through both: Nevsky conducts his own policy. Not for him, not for the Horde, but for Russia. Berke no longer trusted Alexander. I have mercy, but I did not allow me to go home. Throughout the winter of 1262, the spring and summer of 1263, the prince stayed in Saray, wandering with the khan's rate on the steppe. Affected and extreme nervous tension, and unusual climate. Alexander is seriously ill. Only then did Berke release him. On the road, it got worse. In Gorodtsa-Volzhsky, with his brother Andrew, he completely collapsed. He turned just 43 year, but he gave himself without a trace - and gave. Burned bright and fast.
Finally, Alexander asked to mow him in his schema. So his youthful dream of monasticism came true. Meekly asked for forgiveness from all, Holy Tain received communion ... In Vladimir at that time Metropolitan Kirill served in the Assumption Cathedral. Suddenly he was stunned by the vision. Alexander himself stood before him. Quiet, bright. He looked at the saint and began to retire to the heights, melted. Metropolitan guessed what it means. He came out to the people with tears and said: “The sun of the Russian land has gone down!” Nobody understood him, and Cyril squeezed out through sobs: “My dear children, know that now the blessed prince great Alexander reposed!” The answer to him was a common, unanimous cry: "We are lost! ..."
It was really so. St. Alexander was the last sovereign, whose colossal authority and talents kept at least the northern part of Russia from disintegration. Nevsky was gone, and she collapsed chaos after the south. Crumbled on udelchiki. Alexander could well have replaced his son Dmitry, an honest, deeply religious, brilliant commander. However, the Novgorodians rebelled and expelled him for the sake of democratic "freedoms". Even his brother Andrei came out against him. I decided to seize the throne of the Grand Duke, slandered Dmitry before the khan, began bringing Tatars against him, indiscriminately burning and plundering Russian cities. The Tver, Rostov, Yaroslavl princes intervened in the fights.
Nevertheless, the Lord did not leave our country. Nevsky's youngest son, Daniel, was born two years before his father’s death. Inheritance he got quite poor. Outskirts of Moscow on the border with Smolensk and Ryazan possessions. Daniel did not get into a mess of strife. He took up farming. He began to improve and establish his small principality. To him from the ruined lands began to flow people. By the way, he also became a saint - St. Daniel of Moscow. In the whirlwind of gloom and doom, a sprout of a new Russian state emerged. Thus, the date of the 750 anniversary of the death of St. Alexander coincides with another important anniversary - this is 750 since the birth of the Moscow principality.
And the people of St. Alexander earned a reputation as a defender of his native country. People prayed to him during the Tatar invasions of Moscow, in the hard times of the Troubles, in the struggle with the Swedes over the Baltic. By the way, in 1941, in the battle near Moscow, the Kalininsky Front struck a distracting blow on December 5. Well, the main blow of the Western and South-Western fronts crushed the Germans exactly 6 December. On the day of St. Alexander Nevsky. Do you think it is a coincidence?