Mstyslav Iziaslavych

Mstyslav Iziaslavych, b ?, d 19 August 1170 in Volodymyr (in Volhynia). Grand prince of Kyiv from 1167; son of Iziaslav Mstyslavych and father of Roman Mstyslavych. During his father’s reign in Kyiv, Mstyslav ruled the Pereiaslav principality from 1151 and the Volodymyr principality from 1154. Together with his father he fought against the princes of the Olhovych house of Chernihiv and his granduncle, Yurii Dolgorukii. Yurii’s ally, Yaroslav Osmomysl, routed Mstyslav’s army at Terebovlia in 1151. In 1152 Mstyslav twice defeated invading Cuman armies. In 1160 he gained control of Kyiv and placed his uncle, Rostyslav Mstyslavych of Smolensk, on the Kyivan throne. After Rostyslav’s death in 1167, Mstyslav succeeded him in Kyiv. Like his great-grandfather, Volodymyr Monomakh, Mstyslav drew together the forces of all the Ukrainian princes against the Cumans, and defeated them at the Orel River in 1168. He struggled against the princes of Vladimir-Suzdal for supreme rule in Kyivan Rus’. In 1169 he failed to repulse the attack on Kyiv by Dolgorukii’s son, Andrei Bogoliubskii, and fled to Volhynia. Shortly before his death he briefly recaptured Kyiv but was forced to retreat to Volhynia. Mstyslav was buried in the Dormition Cathedral in Volodymyr, which he had built in 1160.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 3 (1993).]

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