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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Vytautas). Born 1350; died 1430. Grand prince of Lithuania from 1392. Son of Keistut.

After the union of Lithuania with Poland in 1385, Vitovt, supported by Lithuanian and Russian boyars living in the Russian regions of Lithuania, fought for Lithuania’s independence from Poland. He won the Polish king Jagello’s recognition as grand prince of Lithuania with the rights of a vicegerent. Obstructing the unification policy of the Muscovite princes, Vitovt concluded treaties with the princes of Tver’ (1427), Riazan’ (1430), and Pronsk (1430), who were hostile to Moscow. In 1404 he seized Smolensk, and he intervened in the affairs of Novgorod and Pskov. During 1406-08, he violated the borders of the Muscovite principality three times.

Under Vitovt, Lithuanian possessions extended to the upper reaches of the Oka River and to Mozhaisk. He took southern Podolia from the Tatars, extended his domains to the Black Sea, and fought stubbornly against the Teutonic Knights. Vitovt and Jagello were the organizers of the defeat of the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Grünwald in 1410. In 1422, Vitovt made Żemaitija part of Lithuania again. (It had been seized by the Teutonic Knights in 1398.) Supported by his servitors, he tried to eliminate Gedyminas’ appanage princes in Rus’ and replace them with his vicegerents. Vitovt’s abolition of local principalities in Podolia, Kiev, Vitebsk, and other places enhanced the political importance of the Lithuanian boyars.


Liubavskii, M. K. Ocherk istorii Litovsko-Russkogo gosudarstva. Moscow, 1910.
Pashuto, V. T. Obrazovanie Litovskogo gosudarstva. Moscow, 1959.
Lietuvos TSR istorija, vol. 1. Vilnius, 1957.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
She added that as of May 2017, double-layer electric buses began to operate, now 30 electric buses of E433 "Vitovt Max Electro" model run in Minsk.
According to Filiushkin (65ff), the title gosudar' (which he does not identify with dominus), was introduced into Russian titulature by Ivan III, though it was already in use in slightly differing forms in the kingdom of Poland-Lithuania: for instance, by Vitovt. Filiushkin accepts that the title gosudar' was used in Russia with two different kinds of meaning, ruler, khoziain, pomeshchik; and superior ruler or king, korol', according to a dictionary of medieval Russian by R.