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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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War for Chernihiv (1233-1235)

Nicholas Zharkikh

Shortened text of the section. Full text in ukrainian version.

Michael Vsevolodovych’s first attempt to seize Kyiv failed.

But Michael would be a bad Olgovych if he did not make a new attempt, and this new attempt is tentatively dated to the end of 1234.

The coalition forces of Volodymyr and Danylo went on the offensive and marched on Chernihiv. They were joined by Prince Mstislav Glibovych, the second brother of Michael.

Over Ros’ river, near , a battle took place in which the Rus’ princes were completely defeated. Everything obtained by the hard work of robbers in Chernihiv region fell into the hands of new, more convenient robbers.

As a result of the defeat of the Kyiv coalition and the victory of the Chernihiv coalition, Izyaslav became the prince of Kyiv, and Michael Vsevolodovych – prince of Galicia.

Who won and who lost in this war?

In my opinion, all Rus’ princes lost. It was not possible to expel Michael Vsevolodovych from Chernihiv, but the destruction of the Chernihiv land and the suburbs of Chernihiv itself should undoubtedly be considered as its weakening on the eve of the Batu’s campaign and indirect help to the Tatars. And our "state creator" – Prince Danylo Romanovych – is responsible for this.

The destruction of the land of Kyiv and the shameful capture of Kyiv by the Polovtsy should also be considered indirect help to the Tatars. The defeat by the Polovtsy near Torchesk reduced the military potential of the Kyiv and Halych principalities, Danylo was left completely (or almost completely) without an army.

The only side of the conflict that clearly won was the Polovtsy. The capture of the Kyiv prince was their greatest military and political success in the entire history of this nation.

Meanwhile, the enemy continued to do his work. In the same year 1235, in which the Rus’ princes competed in the destruction of Russian lands, the Tatar Khan Ugedei summoned kurultai – a congress of the state’s highest nobility, at which the long-planned march to the west was decided.