The mystery of the death of Svyatoslav
Researchers believe that after meeting with the Byzantine emperor, when an honorable peace was concluded, returning Russia and Byzantium to the provisions of the 944 treaty of the year, Svyatoslav was still on the Danube for some time. Svyatoslav left the Danube region, but Russia retained her conquests in the Azov region, the Volga region, kept the mouth of the Dnieper.
On the Dnieper Svyatoslav was only in the deep autumn. At the Dnieper rapids it was already waiting for the Pechenegs. According to the official version, the Greeks were not going to release the formidable warrior back to Russia. The Byzantine chronicler John Skylitsa reports that earlier Svyatoslav had a master of political intrigue, Bishop Theophilus of Euchites, had reached the Dnieper. The bishop was carrying expensive gifts to Khan Kure and the proposal of John I Zimiscia for the conclusion of a treaty of friendship and alliance between the Pechenegs and Byzantium. The Byzantine sovereign asked the Pechenegs to no longer cross the Danube, not to attack the Bulgarian lands that now belonged to Constantinople. According to Greek sources, Zimiskhiy also asked to let Russian troops pass unhindered. Pechenegs allegedly agreed with all the conditions, except for one thing - they did not want to let the Rus.
Rusam on the failure of the Pechenegs did not report. Therefore, Svyatoslav walked in full confidence that the Greeks had fulfilled their promise and the road was free. The Russian chronicle states that the anti-Russian-minded residents of Pereyaslavets told the Pechenegs that Svyatoslav was going with a small retinue and with great wealth. Thus, there are three versions: the Pechenegs themselves wanted to strike at Svyatoslav, the Greeks only kept silent about this; the Greeks bribed the Pechenegs; Pechenegs notified the Bulgarians hostile to Svyatoslav.
The fact that Svyatoslav went to Russia in complete peace and confidence confirms the division of his army into two unequal parts. Reaching in boats to the “Island of Rusov” at the mouth of the Danube, the prince divided the army. The main forces under the leadership of the governor Sveneld went under their own power through the forests and steppes to Kiev. They safely reached. No one dared to attack a powerful army. According to the chronicle, Sveneld and Svyatoslav offered to go on horseback, but he refused. With the prince remained only a small squad and, apparently, the wounded.
When it became clear that not to go through the rapids, the prince decided to winter on Beloberezhie, the area between the modern cities of Nikolaev and Kherson. According to the chronicles, the wintering was hard, there was not enough food, people were starving, dying from diseases. It is believed that spring should come Sveneld with fresh forces. In the spring of 972, without waiting for Sveneld, Svyatoslav moved up the Dnieper again. On the Dnieper rapids, a small squad of Svyatoslav was ambushed. Details of the last battle of Svyatoslav are unknown. One thing is clear: the Pechenegs outnumbered the Svyatoslav warriors in number, the Russian soldiers were exhausted by the hard winter. The whole squad of the Grand Duke fell in this unequal section.
The Pechenezh prince Smoking ordered to make a bowl-brother from the skull of a great warrior and to enclose it with gold. It was believed that since the glory and wisdom of the Grand Duke will be transferred to its winners. Raising the cup, the Pechenezh prince said: "Let our children be like him!"
The official version of a straightforward warrior, who was easily deceived by the Romans, putting the Pechenegs under attack, is illogical. Around solid questions. Why did the prince stayed with a small retinue and chose the waterway in the boats, although he always flew swiftly with his cavalry, which had gone with Sveneld? It turns out that he was not going to return to Kiev? I waited for the help that Sveneld should bring and continue the war. Why Sveneld, who reached Kiev without any problems, did not send help, did not bring the troops? Why did not help send Yaropolk? Why did Svetoslav not try to go the far, but safer way - through the White Tower, along the Don?
Historians S. M. Soloviev and D. I. Ilovaisky also drew attention to the strange behavior of the governor of Sveneld, and in the twentieth century - B. A. Rybakov and I. Ya. Froyanov. Currently, this strange fact is noted by researcher L. Prozorov. The behavior of the governor is all the more strange that he did not even have to return to Kiev. According to the Novgorod First Chronicle, Prince Igor gave Sveneld “feeding” the land of the streets, a large union of tribes living in the region from the Middle Dnieper region, above the rapids, to the Southern Bug and the Dniester. The princely governor could easily gain serious militia in the lands.
S. M. Soloviev noted that "Sveneld, by will or bondage, hesitated in Kiev." DI Ilovaisky wrote that Svyatoslav "was waiting for help from Kiev. But, obviously, either in the Russian land at that time, the cases were in great distress, or there they did not have accurate information about the prince's position — help did not come from anywhere. ” However, Sveneld arrived in Kiev and was supposed to provide Prince Yaropolk and the boyar duma with information about the situation with Svyatoslav.
Therefore, many researchers have concluded that Sveneld betrayed Svyatoslav. He did not send any help to his prince and became the most influential grandee at the throne of Yaropolk, who received Kiev. Perhaps in this betrayal lies the source of the murder of Prince Oleg, the second son of Svyatoslav, the son of Sveneld - Lyut, whom he met while hunting in his possessions. Oleg asked who drives the beast? Hearing Sveneldich in response, Oleg immediately killed him. Sveneld, avenging his son, incited Yaropolk against Oleg. The first internecine, fratricidal war began.
Sveneld could be a conductor of the will of the Kiev boyar-merchant elite, who was unhappy with the transfer of the capital of the Russian state to the Danube. In his desire to found a new capital in Pereyaslavtse, Svyatoslav defied the Kiev boyars and merchants. Capital Kiev was relegated to the background. They could not openly confront him. But the Kiev elite was able to subordinate to its influence the young Yaropolk and tighten the matter with sending troops to help Svyatoslav, which was the cause of the death of the great commander.
In addition, L. N. Gumilev noted such a factor as the revival of the “Christian party” in the Kiev elite, which Svyatoslav defeated and driven underground during the pogrom of the mission of the Roman Bishop Adalbert in 961 year ("Coming on you!" Educating the hero and his first victory). Then Princess Olga agreed to accept the mission of Adalbert. The Roman bishop inclined the Kiev elite to the necessity of adopting Christianity from the hands of "the most Christian ruler" in Western Europe - the German King Otton. Olga listened attentively to the envoy of Rome. There was a threat of acceptance of the "holy faith" by the Kiev elite from the hands of the envoy of Rome, which led to the vassalage of the rulers of Russia in relation to Rome and the German emperor. At that time, Christianity acted as an information weapons, enslaving neighboring regions. Svyatoslav harshly stopped this diversion. Supporters of Bishop Adalbert were killed, possibly including representatives of the Christian party in Kiev. The Russian prince intercepted the threads of control from a mind-losing mother and defended the conceptual and ideological independence of Russia.
Long campaigns Svyatoslav led to the fact that his most loyal comrades left with him from Kiev. The influence of the Christian community was revived in the city. There were many Christians among the boyars, who had great profits from trade, and merchants. They were not happy to transfer the center of power to the Danube. The Joakimov Chronicle reports on Yaropolk's sympathies towards Christians and Christians in his environment. This fact is confirmed by the Nikon chronicle.
Gumilyov considers Sveneld to be the head of the surviving Christians in the army of Svyatoslav. Svyatoslav arranged for the execution of Christians in the army, punishing them for their lack of courage in battle. He also promised to destroy all churches in Kiev and destroy the Christian community. Svyatoslav kept his word. Christians knew that. Therefore, it was in their vital interests to eliminate the prince and his closest associates. What role played in this conspiracy Sveneld, is unknown. We do not know whether he was the instigator or just joined the conspiracy, having decided that it would be beneficial for him. Perhaps he was just framed. There could be anything, even Sveneld’s attempts to change the situation in favor of Svyatoslav. No information available. One thing is clear, the death of Svyatoslav is associated with Kiev intrigues. It is possible that in this case the Greeks and Pechenegs were simply appointed the main culprits of the death of Svyatoslav.
"Capture of the Khazar fortress Itil by Prince Svyatoslav". V. Kireev.
The acts of Svyatoslav Igorevich would be enough for another commander or statesman not for one life. Russian prince stopped the ideological invasion of Rome in the Russian lands. Svyatoslav gloriously completed the case of the previous princes — he threw the Khazar Kaganate, this monstrous serpent of Russian epics. He wiped the Khazar capital off the face of the earth, opened the Volga way for the Russians, and established control over the Don (Belaya Vezha).
Svyatoslav trying to present in the form of an ordinary military leader, "reckless adventurer", who wasted the power of Russia. However, the Volga-Khazar campaign was an act worthy of the greatest commander, and was vital for the military-strategic and economic interests of Russia. The struggle for Bulgaria and the attempt to establish itself in the Danube region had to solve the main strategic tasks in Russia. The Black Sea would finally become the “Russian Sea”.
The decision to move the capital from Kiev to Pereyaslavets, from the Dnieper to the Danube, also looks reasonable. During historical the breakthroughs, the capital of Russia was transferred more than once: Oleg the Prophet moved it from north to south - from Novgorod to Kiev. Then it was necessary to focus on the problem of uniting the Slavic tribal unions and to solve the problem of protecting the southern borders, for this Kiev was better suited. Andrei Bogolyubsky decided to make Vladimir the capital city, leaving Kiev, mired in intrigues, where the degenerated boyar-huckster elite drowned all the state's undertakings. Peter moved the capital to the Neva in order to secure Russia's access to the shores of the Baltic (formerly Varangian) Sea. The Bolsheviks moved the capital to Moscow, since Petrograd was militarily vulnerable. The decision on the need to move the capital from Moscow to the east, for example, to Novosibirsk, is ripe (even overripe) at the present time.
Svyatoslav toril the way to the south, so the capital on the Danube had to consolidate the Black Sea coast of Russia. It should be noted that the Russian prince could not know that one of the first cities called Kiev already existed on the Danube. The transfer of the capital greatly facilitated the development and subsequent integration of new lands. Much later, in the XVIII century, Russia will have to solve the same tasks that Svyatoslav outlined (Caucasus, Crimea, Danube). Plans will be revived for the accession of the Balkans and the creation of a new capital of Slavism - Constantinople.
Svyatoslav fought not for the sake of the war itself, although it is still being tried to be shown by a successful "Varangian". He solved strategic super-tasks. Svyatoslav went to the south not for the sake of mining, gold, he wanted to gain a foothold in the region, to get along with the local population. Svyatoslav outlined the priorities for the Russian state - Volga, Don, North Caucasus, Crimea and the Danube (Balkans). The sphere of interests of Russia included Bulgaria (Volga region), the North Caucasus, the way was opened to the Caspian Sea, to Persia, to the Arabs.
The heirs of the great strategist, mired in feuds, quarrels and intrigues, was no longer up to the throw to the south and east. Although some elements of the program Svyatoslav tried to perform. In particular, Vladimir captured Korsun. But in general, the plans and fruits of the victories of the Grand Duke were buried for many centuries. Only under Ivan the Terrible, Russia returned to the Volga region, occupying Kazan and Astrakhan (in its area there are the ruins of the Khazar capital, Itil), began to return to the Caucasus, and plans to subjugate the Crimea arose. Svyatoslav, however, maximally “simplified”, turned into a successful military leader, a knight without fear and without reproach. Although the warrior's actions easily read the strategic plans for the construction of Great Russia.
The titanic power and mysteriousness of the figure of Svyatoslav Igorevich was also noted in Russian epics. His image, as scientists believe, has been preserved in the epic image of the most powerful hero of the Russian land - Svyatoslav. His strength was so enormous that, over time, the narrators spoke, stopped carrying his mother’s cheese the earth, and Svyatogor the bogatyr was forced to go to the mountains.
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