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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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The first war for the Galician heritage
(1201 – 1203)

Nicholas Zharkikh

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

As of 1201, the Olgovychs felt a decrease in their political weight compared to the time of Svyatoslav Vsevolodovich († 1194), who was the prince of Kyiv and more or less successfully played the role of suzerain of all Rus’. The traditional object of their expansion should have been Kyiv, but somewhere in the last years of the 12th century the last representative of the Galician Rostislavichs dynasty died – Prince Volodymyr Yaroslavich…

Rus in 1237

Rus in 1237

The basis of the map scheme was borrowed from .

So, in order to expel Roman from Halych, the Olgovychs concluded an alliance with the Kyiv prince Rurik Rostislavich (from the Smolensk Rostislavichs family), temporarily renouncing their claims to Kyiv.

Neither military force, nor diplomacy, nor meanness – nothing helped Roman to take possession of the Kyiv golden throne!

And what about Chernihiv and Olgovychs? In the dry outcome of this first war for the Galician heritage, they gained nothing, but also they did not lose anything. They had some guarantee of neutrality from the Vladimir principality, they tried to maintain an alliance with the Kyiv-Smolensk Rostislavichs (not always successfully), and they were at war with the Galician prince Roman.

… At the same time, on the upper reaches of the Kerulen River, the petty robber Temujin, the son of the equally petty robber Yesugei, was waging his petty war with little-known robbers Tatars. And this "war" was not all happy for Temujin, because some one (one!) Tatar almost killed Toluj, the youngest son of Temujin (in order of blood revenge). If Temujin had continued to engage in robbery and counter-robbery operations, then on the Dnieper, 5,000 kilometers to the west, they might not be sorry for him. But something went wrong there, on the headwaters of Kerulen…