Vsevolod Olhovych

Vsevolod Olhovych [Ol’hovyč], b ?, d 1 August 1146 in Vyshhorod, north of Kyiv. Kyivan Rus’ prince; son of Oleh (Mykhailo) Sviatoslavych. He succeeded his father in Novhorod-Siverskyi in 1115 and successfully forced his uncle, Yaroslav Sviatoslavych, out of Chernihiv in 1127. With the support of the Cumans he displaced the ineffectual Viacheslav Volodymyrovych from the Kyivan throne in 1139, after the death of Yaropolk II Volodymyrovych, and turned over Chernihiv to his cousin, Volodymyr Davydovych. Vsevolod was the first of the descendants of Sviatoslav II Yaroslavych to rule in Kyiv, and he maintained his grip on power by manipulating rival princely factions. Dissatisfaction arose among his subjects because of his exploitive rule, and his main administrative officials in Kyiv, Ratsha and Tudor, were accused of ruining the city. Vsevolod also clashed with the Kyivan metropolitan, Mykhail, over the question of appointing bishops. In 1145 Vsevolod appointed his brother, Ihor Olhovych, as his successor, hoping thereby to establish a family claim to the Kyiv principality. When he died the following year, a popular revolt broke out in Kyiv against the Olhovych house and their officials, and the throne was claimed by Volodymyr Monomakh’s descendant, Iziaslav Mstyslavych.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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