Iziaslav Mstyslavych

Iziaslav Mstyslavych [Iz'jaslavMstyslavyč], b ca 1097, d 13 November 1154. Grand prince of Kyiv; the son of Mstyslav I Volodymyrovych of Novgorod the Great and grandson of Volodymyr Monomakh. Having ruled for a time in Kursk, Polatsk principality, Pereiaslav principality, Turiv-Pynsk principality, and Volodymyr principality, he seized the throne of Kyiv in 1146 from Ihor Olhovych after the death of Vsevolod Olhovych. His main opponent was his uncle, Prince Yurii Dolgorukii of Suzdal, who defeated him in battle at Pereiaslav and forced him out of Kyiv in 1149. Iziaslav fled to Volhynia, but managed to recapture Kyiv after defeating Yurii in battle in 1150 and 1151; he ruled it thereafter with his uncle Viacheslav Volodymyrovych. Iziaslav was an energetic and popular ruler who wanted to put an end to the subordination of the Kyivan Rus’ church to the patriarch in Constantinople. Under his protection and without the patriarch's approval, the bishops of Rus’-Ukraine elected a Ukrainian, Klym Smoliatych, as Kyiv metropolitan in 1147. After his death the dynastic struggle for the Kyivan throne continued.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 2 (1989).]

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