Mstislav the Bold
Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold was one of the most popular and active princes of Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus'
Kievan Rus was a medieval polity in Eastern Europe, from the late 9th to the mid 13th century, when it disintegrated under the pressure of the Mongol invasion of 1237–1240....

 in the decades preceding Mongol invasion of Rus. He was the maternal grandfather of Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky
Alexander Nevsky was the Prince of Novgorod and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city's history. Commonly regarded as the key figure of medieval Rus, Alexander was the grandson of Vsevolod the Big Nest and rose to legendary status on account of his military...

 and the prince Leo of Galicia.

He was the son of Mstislav the Brave
Mstislav Rostislavich
Mstislav Rostislavich , known as "The Brave" , was Prince of Smolensk and Prince of Novgorod. He should not be confused with another prince of the same name, Mstislav Rostislavich Bezokii , who was Prince of Rostov and also Prince of Novgorod and who died in...

 of Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

 by a princess of Ryazan
Ryazan is a city and the administrative center of Ryazan Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Oka River southeast of Moscow. Population: The strategic bomber base Dyagilevo is just west of the city, and the air base of Alexandrovo is to the southeast as is the Ryazan Turlatovo Airport...

. In 1193 and 1203, his bravery in the Kypchak
Kipchaks were a Turkic tribal confederation...

 wars brought him fame all over Kievan Rus'. At that time, he married a daughter of Kypchak Khan
Khan (title)
Khan is an originally Altaic and subsequently Central Asian title for a sovereign or military ruler, widely used by medieval nomadic Turko-Mongol tribes living to the north of China. 'Khan' is also seen as a title in the Xianbei confederation for their chief between 283 and 289...

Köten was a Cuman khan and member of the Terter clan. This Köten is the same Prince Kotjan Sutoevic of the Russian annals, who forged the Russian-Cuman alliance against the Tatars...

. In 1209 he was mentioned as a ruler of Toropets
Toropets is a town and the administrative center of Toropetsky District of Tver Oblast, Russia, located where the Toropa River enters Lake Solomeno. Population: -History:...

. A year later, he came and took the Novgorodian throne, seizing Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich
Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich
Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich may refer to:*Sviatoslav III of Kiev, Prince of Chernihiv and Grand Prince of Kiev*Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich of Vladimir, Grand Prince of Vladimir...

's men (Sviatoslav himself was detained in the archbishop's compound in Novgorod.

On his way to Novgorod, Mstislav delivered the key town of Torzhok
Torzhok is a town in Tver Oblast, Russia, famous for its folk craft of goldwork embroidery. Population: Torzhok has twenty-two large and medium-sized industrial enterprises. Two of them are especially significant...

 from a siege laid to it by Vsevolod III of Vladimir
Vladimir is a city and the administrative center of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, located on the Klyazma River, to the east of Moscow along the M7 motorway. Population:...

. He led two successful Novgorodian campaigns against the Chud
Chud or Chude is a term historically applied in the early Russian annals to several Finnic peoples in the area of what is now Finland, Estonia and Northwestern Russia....

es in 1212 and 1214. In 1215, he expelled Vsevolod IV
Vsevolod IV of Kiev
Vsevolod IV Svyatoslavich the Red was a Rus' prince . His baptismal name was Daniil...

 from Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and elevated his uncle Mstislav Romanovich
Mstislav III of Kiev
Mstislav Romanovich the Old , Prince of Pskov , Smolensk , Belgorod , Halych and Grand Prince of Kiev...

 to the throne.

In 1216, Mstislav mustered a large coalition of princes of Rus' which defeated Vladimir-Suzdal
The Vladimir-Suzdal Principality or Vladimir-Suzdal Rus’ was one of the major principalities which succeeded Kievan Rus' in the late 12th century and lasted until the late 14th century. For a long time the Principality was a vassal of the Mongolian Golden Horde...

 on the Lipitsa River
Battle of Lipitsa
The Battle of Lipitsa was the decisive battle in the succession struggle over the Grand Princely throne of Vladimir-Suzdal following the death of Vsevolod the Big Nest. In the battle, fought on April 22, 1216, the forces of Mstislav the Daring and Konstantin Vsevolodovich defeated those of...

. After that he installed his ally Konstantin of Rostov
Konstantin of Rostov
Konstantin Vsevolodovich was the eldest son of Vsevolod the Big Nest and Maria Shvarnovna.In 1206 and 1207, he was the prince of Novgorod. In 1207, his father sent him to rule the towns of Rostov and Yaroslavl...

 as Grand Prince of Vladimir and married his own daughter to Yaroslav of Vladimir, who had fortified himself in Torzhok. In the meantime, his other enemies had him deposed in Novgorod, and Mstislav had to abandon Northern Rus for Halych
Halych is a historic city on the Dniester River in western Ukraine. The town gave its name to the historic province and kingdom of Kingdom of Galicia–Volhynia, of which it was the capital until the early 14th century, when the seat of the local princes was moved to Lviv...

. In 1219, he concluded peace with his chief rival, Danylo of Halych, who thereupon married Mstislav's daughter Anna.

In 1223, Mstislav joined a coalition of perhaps 18 princes, which, along with Polovtsian allies, pursued the Mongols from the Dnieper River for nine days and joined battle with them at Kalka River
Battle of the Kalka River
The Battle of the Kalka River took place on May 31, 1223, between the Mongol Empire and Kiev, Galich, and several other Rus' principalities and the Cumans, under the command of Mstislav the Bold and Mstislav III of Kiev...

. While three princes were captured and later killed at the battle site, and six more were killed in headlong pursuit back to the Dnieper River, Mstislav is the only prince specifically named among the nine or so who escaped. He managed to escape by cutting loose the boats on the Dnieper River
Dnieper River
The Dnieper River is one of the major rivers of Europe that flows from Russia, through Belarus and Ukraine, to the Black Sea.The total length is and has a drainage basin of .The river is noted for its dams and hydroelectric stations...

 so he could not be pursued.

Mstislav reigned in Halych until 1227, when boyar
A boyar, or bolyar , was a member of the highest rank of the feudal Moscovian, Kievan Rus'ian, Bulgarian, Wallachian, and Moldavian aristocracies, second only to the ruling princes , from the 10th century through the 17th century....

 intrigues constrained him to leave the city to his son-in-law, Andrew of Hungary
Andrew II of Hungary
Andrew II the Jerosolimitan was King of Hungary and Croatia . He was the younger son of King Béla III of Hungary, who invested him with the government of the Principality of Halych...

. Thereupon he retired to Torchesk
Torchesk was a medieval town, located between today's villages of Olshanytsia and Sharky in Kiev Oblast of northern Ukraine some east of Bila Tserkva....

, where he died in 1228.


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