Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars

These lists begin with Rurik, a Scandinavian Varangian who assumed power in the city of Novgorod in the late 9th century. His successors ruled from the city of Kiev. They were known as the Veliki Kniaz, translated into English as "Grand Duke" or "Grand Prince". In 988 Vladimir I became the first duke to convert to Christianity.

The center of power was transferred to the city of Vladimir under Andrey Bogolyubsky in 1168, and then to Moscow under Daniil in 1263. The Mongols of the Golden Horde invaded in the 13th century, destroying Kiev and putting most of the region under their domination for the next two centuries. The dukes were vassals of the Mongols, and had to pay tribute.

Ivan III "the Great" was the first Grand Duke to use the title Tsar (meaning "emperor", ultimately related to Latin Caesar) but it was his grandson Ivan IV "the Terrible" who was first crowned as such. The line of Rurik ended shortly thereafter. The reigns of Boris Gudonov and the Polish king Ladislaus followed, and then the Romanov dynasty came to power. It continued until 1917, when Tsar Nikolai II was executed by the Bolsheviks.

There have been 4 female tsars, called tsaritsas or tsarinas, notably Yekaterina (Catherine) the Great.

Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars Chronologically

Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars by Frequency of Name

Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars Alphabetically (Grouped by Name)