Iurii Dolgorukii

Iurii Dolgorukii


Born 1090’s; died May 15, 1157, in Kiev. Prince of Suzdal’; grand prince of Kiev. Sixth son of Vladimir Vsevolodovich Monomakh.

While his father was still alive, Iurii ruled the Rostov-Suzdal’ Principality. In 1125, after becoming an independent prince, he moved the capital of the principality from Rostov to Suzdal’. After the death of Grand Prince Mstislav Vladimirovich of Kiev in 1132, Iurii turned his attention to the south with the aim of acquiring first the southern Pereiaslavl’ (now Pereiaslav-Khmel’nitskii) and then Kiev; for these activities he received the nickname “Dolgorukii” (literally, “long-armed”). In the first stage of the struggle (1132–35), however, he was unsuccessful.

Under Iurii the boundaries of the Rostov-Suzdal’ Principality were fixed, especially those adjoining the Novgorod feudal republic and the Chernigov Principality. Fortresses were built in border areas (including Ksniatin, Dubna, and, evidently, Tver’) and in central regions (including Pereiaslavl’, Iur’ev-Pol’skii, and Dmitrov). In 1147, Iurii met with Prince Sviatoslav Ol’govich of Novgorod-Severskii in the settlement of Moscow. The founding of Moscow traditionally dates from the meeting, in connection with which Moscow is first mentioned in historical sources. In 1156, Iurii fortified Moscow with new wooden walls and a moat.

In 1147, Iurii resumed his struggle for Kiev, and in 1149 he took the city; in 1151, however, he was defeated by Iziaslav Mstislavich. In 1155, Iurii again seized Kiev. After his death an uprising broke out in the city, and during the course of the rebellion his conquests in the south were lost.

In 1954 a monument was erected in Moscow to Iurii Dolgorukii as the founder of the city. His likeness appears on the medal In Memory of the 800th Anniversary of Moscow, which was introduced in 1947.


Voronin, N. N. Zodchestvo Severo-Vostochnoi Rusi XII-XV vv., vol. 1. Moscow, 1961.
Kuchkin, V. A. “Rostovo-Suzdal’skaia zemlia v X-pervoi treti XIII vv.” Istoriia SSSR, 1969, no. 2.