Now Ukrainians are trying in every possible way to quarrel with the Russians, they are setting some brothers against others. All kinds of historical myths - down to the anecdotal tribes of "ukrov", supposedly giving birth to Ukrainians. Although initially there was only one people, Rusich. Of course, in various areas of Kievan Rus there were dialects of the Russian language. In the Dnieper, the Slavs mixed with the Turkic tribes, in Vladimir-Suzdal Rus with the Finno-Ugric. Nevertheless, they recognized themselves as one people. They had common princely dynasties, a common faith, historical destinies.
But in the XII - XIII century. Russia disintegrated, fought, and was crushed by the hooves of Tatar avalanches. But at the same time, a new state, Lithuania, emerged from scattered tribes. The Western Russian principalities, which were not affected by the Tatar invasion, were put under pressure. Gedimin was particularly active in the beginning of the 14th century. He finally subjugated Belarus, set his sights on Volyn and the Dnieper region. Russian princes, who ruled here, were tributaries of the Horde, the Khan army came to them. But Gedimin in 1324 broke these princes and Tatars on the Irpen river, seized Kiev and assumed the title of "Grand Duke of Lithuania and Russian" (by the way, not Ukrainian - such a term did not exist yet).
The power to resist the Horde was impressive. Other Russian lands reached Lithuania. Smolensk region voluntarily passed under her patronage, Bryansk region submitted. Gedymin and his successor Olgerd were quite loyal to new subjects. In the associated principalities remained the same laws, self-government. The rulers did not burden people with excessive exactions, did not encroach on Orthodoxy. On the contrary, semi-wild forest tribes adopted Russian culture and writing. Russian has become the official language in Lithuania. It would seem that Russia will revive again with its capital in Vilna.
But under the auspices of the Horde, Moscow also rose. Tatar khans considered it as a counterbalance to Lithuania. They didn’t press too hard not to push them towards the enemies, they allowed them to contain significant military formations. And additional benefits provided internal features of Moscow Russia. Under Ivan Kalita, the Metropolitan, St. Peter. Moscow became the spiritual center of the Russian people. But sv. Peter determined the basic guidelines of the future state. He instructed to build the "Kingdom of Truth". Of course, it was an ideal. In fact, it was not always possible to provide the “truth”.
But Kalita aspired to such an ideal, brought a firm order in the principality, supported justice, strictly controlled the economy and collection of taxes, stopped abuses. The successors of Kalita, Simeon Proud, Ivan Krasny, Dmitry Donskoy, guided this same ideal. But truth and justice are in themselves oh how much they meant! Moscow Russia has not yet increased its territories, but it has grown by people; they moved here from other principalities, from Lithuanian possessions.
Nevertheless, the outcome of the rivalry with Lithuania looked unequivocal. Could tiny, modest Moscow to withstand a huge and victorious power. And in the 1360's. Tatars broke out "confusion" - unrest. Olgerd immediately took advantage of this. In 1363, Olgerd defeated the Tatars on the Blue Waters, annexed the region along the Bug and the Dniester, became the owner of the entire Right Bank of the Dnieper. The following campaigns joined the Left Bank. On the side of the Lithuanians went Prince of Tver Mikhail. They tried "at the same time" to conquer Moscow - and all of Russia would be ruled by Olgerd and his relatives.
In 1368, 1369, 1373 huge Lithuanian armies invaded Moscow possessions. They left behind themselves solid ashes in the place of villages, piles of corpses, hijacked endless columns of prisoners, masses of cattle. Twice they approached Moscow itself. But sv. Dmitry Donskoy managed to build a stone Kremlin, the new fortress successfully withstood the siege. The military art of Muscovites also grew, and they managed to stop the third invasion near Kozelsk.
In addition, not only military resources played a role in the confrontation. The fact that the “truth” in the Moscow state was bigger than in the Lithuanian one began to make itself felt. Dissatisfied and offended, they moved to the Moscow service, like Dmitry Bobrok from Volyn, Bryansk boyars Peresvet and Oslyabya. Affected and different attitudes to Orthodoxy. In Moscow, it remained the core of all politics, the Grand Duke was primarily aware of himself as a defender of the faith. And the Lithuanian sovereigns, on the contrary, adapted religious views to political needs.
Their western neighbors, Poland, the Teutonic and Livonian orders, were a stronghold of Catholicism, flooded the country with agents and preachers. In 1377, they managed to persuade the dying Olgerd to adopt the Latin faith. He had 11 sons, 5 Orthodox and 6 pagans. The father left the pet, Jagaila, the heir, and the same Catholic advisers found themselves next to him. They set it up with their pagan brothers to start a war against the Orthodox brothers. But they turned to Moscow. Dmitry Donskoy defended fellow believers, and for the first time the border with Lithuania moved to the west. From the obedience of Jagielle came the Dnieper, Chernihiv, Novgorod-Seversky, Bryansk, a number of small possessions - expressed their willingness to be transferred under the authority of Dmitry.
Furious, Jagiello found a powerful ally with the Catholic and pagan parties. Mom, I. In 1380, he led the army to join up with him in order to crush Moscow with joint forces. But even on the Kulikovo Field, his Lithuanian brothers, Andrei Polotsky and Dmitry Bryansky, fought bravely. Jagiello was late for the battle just one day's transition. I learned about the crushing defeat of Mamai and rushed to flee back home. An inglorious campaign undermined his authority even among pagans. He was overthrown by Uncle Keystut. True, the meanness of Jagiella was not to occupy. He invited his uncle to a feast and stabbed him along with all his entourage. Cousin Vitovt imprisoned in a dungeon. But the Lithuanian, Russian princes were outraged, and to sit on the throne, Yagailo bowed ... to Moscow.
After the victory over Mamaia, the prestige of Dmitry Donskoy rose extremely high. The Lithuanian ruler grabbed his daughter, and at the same time recognized the seniority of his father-in-law over himself, promised to obey him, to convert his subjects to Orthodoxy. In 1382, they signed an agreement, sealed them, Jagiello accepted Orthodox baptism. It remains to marry the young. Huge Lithuania obeyed Donskoy! All Russia was about to unite under its supreme power, and the history of Eastern Europe could have gone differently. But ... at that time, Tokhtamysh, who had flown up, burned Moscow.
The international authority of the power of Dmitry, who soared to the skies, immediately collapsed. And the Catholic advisers told Jagielle that it was not necessary to fulfill the contract. It is better to marry the Queen of Poland Jadwig - he will receive the title of king, the whole state, will receive the support of the West. In 1385, Poland and Lithuania joined together, the king crossed over to Catholicism, and began to baptize his subjects according to the Catholic rite. Orthodox equalized with the pagans. They were forbidden to hold public office, to marry with Catholics. Several nobles were executed, the Poles rushed into Lithuania, and they were placed in all key posts.
At this point, my relatives, cousins, rebelled in civil war. And Vitovt escaped from prison to the Germans, managed to pass off his daughter for the Russian Grand Prince Vasily I and declared himself a defender of Orthodoxy. Although honesty and he did not differ. At the same time, he conspired with the Teutonic Order, adopted Catholicism. He began raids on Poland with the knights, Jagiello howled and ... offered him an alliance. If he agrees to submit to the king, then let him take Lithuania. The proposal was made not without a second thought - to take Lithuania meant to suppress numerous rebellious relatives.
But Vitovt was not embarrassed, concluded an alliance with the murderer of his father. As an ally, he chose the strongest of the feudal princes, Skirgaila, promised three boxes and with it crushed the rest of the relatives. With them, Vitovt did not stand on ceremony. His cousin Vignuta poisoned, Korigayle cut off his head, ordered his uncle Narimant to hang on a tree and shoot with bows. And he grabbed for himself. Skirhaila paid off his “best friend” with Kiev, but he also sent poisoners to him, and assigned him Kiev. The two most cruel and treacherous brothers, Jagiello and Vitovt, won the civil war.
Moreover, the new ruler of Lithuania carried out reforms. Vitovt really liked the rules in the lands of the Teutonic Order, and he introduced severe serfdom. The Austrian diplomat Herberstein described Lithuanian Rus: "The people are miserable and oppressed ... For if someone, accompanied by servants, enters the home of a villager, then he can do anything with impunity, rob and take things necessary for everyday use and even brutally beat the villager." “From the time of Vitovt up to our days, they are in such severe slavery that if someone is accidentally sentenced to death, then he is obliged, on the orders of the master, to execute himself and to hang himself with his own hand. If he refuses to do this, he will be cruelly carved, inhumanly tortured and nevertheless hung. ”
But these orders liked the feudal lords, Vitovt gained the support of the nobility. Successes he provided and insidious diplomacy. He seduced the young son-in-law of Basil I with the prospects of a union, married his daughter. But at the same time he again conquered the principalities, which fell away from Lithuania under Dmitry Donskoy. He decided to swallow Moscow itself. He entered into an agreement with the overthrown khan Tokhtamysh - Vitovt will help him return the throne in the Horde, and the khan gives up his Moscow ulus. The Catholic Church and Jagiello ardently supported the project, with Vitovt and Tokhtamysh made German, Polish troops. But they failed, Khan Temir-Kutlug and commander Edigei crushed the united army on Vorskla.
Nevertheless, Vitovt was sure that Russia would not leave him. Another chance fell to him after the death of Vasily I. On the throne, he turned out to be a minor Vasily II with his mother, Vitovt's daughter. Against the boy his uncles rebelled, the boyars intrigue. Vasily I and the regent-mother were forced to seek the protection of the Lithuanian grandfather. Oh, now Vitovt did not miss his. He forced the helpless Moscow sovereign to abandon Pskov, Novgorod — he started the war and laid a tribute to these cities. Ryazan and Tver imposed "unions", and they had to recognize submission to Lithuania.
The result of the rivalry was obvious, Russia was absorbed! Vitovt became proud, he decided to secede from Poland, begged the royal crown from the German emperor. Moscow, Ryazan, Tver grand princes respectfully arrived at the magnificent celebrations on the occasion of the coronation. We have arrived as vassals to congratulate the all-powerful sovereign, to stand by the throne at his celebrations. But the Poles did not want to lose Lithuania, they stole the crown, which they brought to Vilna. The ceremony fell through, and Vitovt died of frustration. Lithuania was again divided by distemper, Catholics were cut with the Orthodox, anti-Polish party with Polonophile.
Most of the Lithuanian nobility did not want to unite with Poland, they understood that they would be killed. But Western partners gradually gained Lithuania. The Poles began to penetrate the charms of the European "Renaissance". Luxury, imported curios, rich outfits, frivolous morals came into vogue. Pans burned time at balls, feasts, lush hunts. They boasted and "freedoms" - they were free-will, they regulated kings, they were buried in verbiage at meetings of the senates and seimas.
Lithuanian aristocrats are tempted. They acquired Polish chefs, musicians, tutors, mistresses. Polish nobles married their daughters to Lithuanian and Western Russian princes, nobles. They were richer than the Poles, owned large estates. And the Lithuanian and West Russian princes with the Pans also willingly married Polish women. They absorbed the “rebirth”, knew how to be cheerful, exciting, show signs of “culture”. The Catholic clergy and Poles dragged their supporters to the highest posts in Lithuania, and in the 15th century. the old Russian culture was supplanted. At the top of society, she was replaced by Polish interspersed with Italian. In 1449, the Inquisition was introduced in Lithuania, they writhed in the torture halls and shouted at the fires the unfortunate, recognized as witches and heretics - this was also part of Western culture.
Moscow Russia was on a different path, centralization, built autocracy. But European models, as it seemed, gave Lithuania undeniable advantages. She was supported by the Catholic West, and Moscow - no one. "Freedom" lured Russian boyars, fat cats. Oppositionists of all stripes ran abroad and received the warmest welcome. Novgorod "golden belts" repeatedly conspired with Casimir, as if to jump under the authority of his state.
However, for ordinary people, the hard power of Moscow sovereigns turned out to be much more preferable than the dominance of aristocrats! It was the autocracy that provided them with justice and "truth", protection from external enemies, and from internal predators. Thanks to this, Vasily II and his son Ivan III broke down the specific resistance. Moscow Russia gradually grew into a vast state. Its army was more disciplined, more trained than the militia of the gentry, and the next king, Casimir, did not dare to confront. Tried to blast mines.
As is known, the dying Byzantium concluded a church union with the Catholics. But Russia rejected it, the Uniate Metropolitan Uniate appointed to Moscow, Isidore had to flee abroad. And then Byzantium itself fell under the blows of the Turks. Uniya hung in the air, the Uniate “patriarch of Constantinople” (the same Isidor became) sat in Rome without a congregation. The springboard for the distribution of the union decided to make Lithuania. In 1458, Pope Pius II appointed Gregory Bulgarin as Metropolitan of Kiev Uniate. Casimir ordered to meet him with pomp, the Orthodox bishops go under his beginning.
In 1461, the Moscow Metropolitan, Prelate Jonah, died, and the Lithuanian king immediately sent an embassy. He persuaded the Moscow sovereign that the metropolitan already exists, Gregory the Bulgarian, he would take the place of Jonah, the church would be reunited, and the common metropolis would contribute to the fraternal union of Moscow and Lithuania. The trick did not pass, the Roman-Lithuanian intrigues were turned from the gate.
Well, Casimir, despite the friendly assurances, did not refuse the war either. If you could break Moscow! In the same way as Jagiello made an alliance with Mamaia, and Vitovt with Tokhtamysh, Casimir made bridges with the Horde Khan Akhmat. Agreed on 1480 to strike together. However, Moscow diplomacy was not asleep, acted efficiently. An alliance was made with the enemy Akhmat, the Crimean Khan Mengli-Giray. He made a raid on Volyn, the Polish and Lithuanian pans were frightened for their own estates, and the march broke down.
Akhmat led a horde to the Ugra, waited for Casimir, but he was not there. Moreover, the population did not sympathize with its sovereign, but with Moscow! The local principalities — Vorotynskoe, Belevskoye, Odoevskoe, and others — were the subjects of the king, but did not give Ahmat any warriors or supplies. Furious, Khan burned 12 cities belonging to Lithuania, but failed to break through the Russian defense. The standing on the Ugra marked not only the end of the Horde yoke for Moscow. It angered the Russian inhabitants of Lithuania. They compared how Ivan III defends his state, and how Casimir, for the sake of Catholic politics, brought the Tatars to their own lands.
This resulted in insurrection, and a number of princes announced that they were switching to the service of Moscow. Transfer together with the principalities. The Lithuanians tried to fight, but they were beaten, and the cities surrendered to the Moscow commanders without a fight. The new Lithuanian sovereign Alexander had to make peace in 1494, give Vyazma and other border areas. And Ivan III in the peace treaty took a very eloquent title - "the sovereign of all Russia."
The Catholic world at that time rolled into a full abyss of decomposition. On the papal throne, he found himself the most scandalous "high priest", Alexander VI Borgia: a poisoner, a pervert, a lover of his own daughter. It is not known what kind of “god” the pope believed in, but he hated Orthodoxy. The successes of the Russians were extremely disturbing to him, and he began to push the Lithuanian Alexander to a rematch. He promised support, helped to conclude alliances with Livonia, Hungary. And in Lithuania itself launched a campaign of okatolichivaniyu. Uniate metropolitan Joseph traveled around the country with detachments of Latin monks and soldiers. They took away from the Orthodox churches, priests were displaced. Having stepped into the city or village, people were forced to cross into Catholicism. Those who resisted were robbed of children, women, and re-baptized by force. Pope Borgia abundantly welcomed such actions. He issued a special bull, congratulated the Lithuanians: "Heretics, at last, are lit up with the true light."
But Ivan III did not keep silent, frankly wrote off that in Lithuania “they are building Latin goddesses in Russian cities, taking wives from husbands, and children are being baptized into Latin law from their parents ... Can I see indifferently oppressed Orthodoxy?” Declared war, and instead of revenge she turned into a disgrace for the Western coalition. Novgorod-Seversky, Chernihiv, Starodub, Gomel, Lyubech immediately crossed to the side of Moscow. The Lithuanian army was utterly defeated in the battle of Vedroshi.
The alarmed Borgia pope instantly became a “peacemaker”. In 1502, he offered his mediation in the settlement, he urged Ivan III to be compliant, not to look for acquisitions in the west. But the emperor ignored the mediation of the pervert Pope and did not show concession, he chose almost a third of the Lithuanian possessions!
From now on, the confrontation has rolled into “one gate”. The West incited Lithuania to new wars, and each time it lost cities and regions. However, the organizers of aggression were able to benefit even from defeats. In 1569, when Lithuania completely broke off, Rome and the Polish pans achieved the conclusion of the “Union of Lublin” - the Grand Duchy of Lithuania lost its independence and was absorbed by Poland, merged with it into one power, Rzeczpospolita.
But as a result of this confrontation, the Russian people for a long time remained divided. Those who lived under the rule of Moscow and St. Petersburg were called “Great Russians” in time. Those who lived under the rule of the Commonwealth, Byelorussians and Little Russians. Somewhere from the XVI century. the designation “Ukraine” also appeared, but it was applied only in the direct sense, as “margin”. The documents of that time mention “Polish Ukraine” (present-day Ukraine), “Moscow Ukraine” (Siverschyna, Belgorod, Kursk, Ryazan), “Sloboda Ukraine” (Kharkov, Izyum, Ostrogozhsk). Designated and "Crimean Ukraine" - the outskirts of the Crimean Khanate, and "Siberian Ukraine." The people of Ukraine themselves called themselves “Russians”, Orthodoxy - “the Russian faith”. By the way, in the administrative division of Poland, Lviv was considered the “Russian province”.