Russian Grand Dukes and Tsars

Rurik was 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.

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NameYearsAlso Known As
Sviatoslav I945-972
Yaropolk I972-980
Vladimir I the Great980-1015(Volodymyr)
Sviatopolk I1015-1019
Yaroslav I the Wise1019-1054
Iziaslav I1054-1073; 1077-1078
Sviatoslav II1073-1076
Vsevolod I1078-1093
Sviatopolk II1093-1113
Vladimir II Monomakh1113-1125
Mstislav I the Great1125-1132
Yaropolk II1132-1139
Vsevolod II1139-1146
Iziaslav II1146-1154
Yuriy I Dolgorukiy1154-1157(George)
Iziaslav III1157-1159
Mstislav II1167-1169
Andrey Bogolyubsky1168-1174(Andrei, Andrew)
Vsevolod III1176-1212
Yuriy II1212-1216; 1218-1238(George, Yuri)
Yaroslav II1238-1246
Sviatoslav III1246-1249
Andrey II1249-1252(Andrei, Andrew)
Aleksandr Nevskiy1252-1263(Alexander)
Yaroslav III1264-1271
Dimitri I1277-1281
Andrey III1281-1283(Andrei, Andrew)
Yuriy1303-1325(George, Yuri)
Ivan I1325-1341
Ivan II1353-1359
Vasiliy I1389-1425(Vasili)
Vasiliy II1425-1462(Vasili)
Ivan III the Great1462-1505
Vasiliy III1505-1533(Vasili)
Ivan IV the Terrible1533-1584
Simeon Bekbulatovich1574-1576
Feodor I1584-1598(Theodore)
Boris Godunov1598-1605
Feodor II1605(Theodore)
Vasiliy IV1606-1610(Vasili)
Mikhail I1613-1645(Michael)
Feodor III1676-1682(Theodore)
Ivan V1682-1696
Pyotr I the Great1682-1725(Peter)
Yekaterina I1725-1727(Catherine)
Pyotr II1727-1730(Peter)
Ivan VI1740-1741
Pyotr III1762(Peter)
Yekaterina II the Great1762-1796(Catherine)
Aleksandr I1801-1825(Alexander)
Nikolai I1825-1855(Nicholas)
Aleksandr II1855-1881(Alexander)
Aleksandr III1881-1894(Alexander)
Nikolai II1894-1917(Nicholas)
Mikhail II1917(Michael)