Riuryk (Vasylii) Rostyslavych

Image - A portrait of Prince Riuryk (Vasylii) Rostyslavych.

Riuryk (Vasylii) Rostyslavych [Рюрик (Василій) Ростиславич; Rjuryk Rostyslavyč], b ca 1140, d 19 April 1212 (other sources state 1211, 1214, or 1215) in Chernihiv. Kyivan Rus’ prince; grandson of Mstyslav I Volodymyrovych. He governed an independent Derevlianian province in the 1160s from where he went to rule Ovruch in 1168. He later ruled in Novgorod the Great and Kyiv for brief periods in 1173 and 1181. Following the death of Sviatoslav III Vsevolodovych in 1194, Riuryk became prince of Kyiv, which he ruled until 1210 (with interruptions). A falling out with members of the Olhovych house and, later, with Roman Mstyslavych caused Riuryk to seek an alliance with the Cumans. In 1210 he was forced to abdicate the Kyivan throne to Vsevolod Sviatoslavych Chermny; he governed in Chernihiv for the remainder of his life.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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