Yuri Vsevolodovich

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(11891238), grand prince of Vladimir on the Klyazma, in northeast Russia, when it was attacked by the Tatars.

In 1211 Yuri's father Vsevolod Yurevich "Big Nest" had him marry Agafia, daughter of Vsevolod Svyatoslavich "the Red," grand prince of Kiev and member of the Olgovich dynasty. The alliance would serve both dynasties well. Before his death in 1212, Vsevolod designated Yuri, the second son in seniority, as his successor to Vladimir. Yuri's elder brother Konstantin challenged his succession and defeated Yuri and his brother Yaroslav at the river Lipitsa in 1216. Konstantin ruled as grand prince until his death in 1218, at which time Yuri reclaimed Vladimir. After 1221 he sent his lieutenants to Novgorod, but the townspeople rejected them. Three years later he attempted to appease the Novgorodians by inviting his brother-in-law Mikhail Vsevolodovich, senior prince of the Olgovich dynasty in Chernigov, to act as his mediator with them. They accepted his offer but his brother Yaroslav objected. Yuri therefore washed his hands of Novgorod affairs in 1226 and turned them over to Yaroslav. Although Yuri was less powerful than his father had been, he took effective military action to stop the Volga Bulgars from attacking Suzdalia. In 1221 he concluded peace with them. After that, he organized campaigns against the Mordva tribes and, in 1232, subdued them. Moreover, to secure his eastern frontier he built the outpost of Nizhny Novgorod. In February 1238, when the Tatars devastated Vladimir, his wife and sons perished. Later the invaders confronted Yuri and his troops at the river Sit, where he was waiting in vain for Yaroslav to bring reinforcements. On March 4 of that year he fell in battle.

See also: golden horde; grand prince; novgorod the great


Dimnik, Martin. (1987). "Yurii (Georgii) Vsevolodovich." The Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, ed. Joseph L. Wieczynski. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press.

Fennell, John. (1983). The Crisis of Medieval Russia 12001304. London: Longman.

Martin Dimnik