Kiev Rebellion of 1068–69

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kiev Rebellion of 1068–69


a major antifeudal uprising of the urban and rural population of Kievan Rus’, associated with growing feudal exploitation. The rebellion broke out when the Kievan prince Iziaslav Iaroslavich, fearing to arm the population, refused to give arms and horses to the Kievans so that they could continue fighting against the Polovtsy, who were pillaging southern Rus’ and had defeated the coalition of the sons of Iaroslav in a battle at the Al’ta River in 1068. The angry Kievans freed the captive prince of Polotsk, Vseslav Briachislavich, who had been captured by trickery in 1067 by the sons of Iaroslav, and proclaimed him their prince. Iziaslav fled to Poland.

Following Kiev’s example, antifeudal risings occurred in a number of rural regions in the late 1060’s and early 1070’s. The disturbances were often led by pagan priests, the volkhvy, who took advantage of popular resistance to conversion to Christianity. Rebellious Kiev, led by Vseslav, held out for seven months, but in April 1069 the uprising was harshly suppressed by Iziaslav, aided by Polish forces led by King Bolesław II the Bold. After fighting against the Poles at the head of the Kievan militia, Vseslav secretly fled to Polotsk. The feudal lords responded to the Kievan rebellion and other uprisings of the 1060’s and the early 1070’s by promulgating new laws (Code of the Iaroslavichi) that increased the punishment for attempts on the life or property of the feudal lords and other property owners.


Tikhomirov, M. N. Krest’ianskie i gorodskie vosstaniia na Rusi XI-XIII vv. Moscow, 1955.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.