Mstislav Mstislavich the Bold (Russian: Мстисла́в Мстисла́вич Уда́тный; Удало́й, Ukrainian: Мстисла́в II Мстисла́вич) was one of the most popular and active princes of Kievan Rus' in the last decades of the country's existence.
He was the son of Mstislav the Brave of Smolensk by a princess of Ryazan. In 1193 and 1203, his bravery in the Kypchak wars brought him fame all over Kievan Rus'. At that time, he married a daughter of Kypchak Khan Kotian. In 1209 he was mentioned as a ruler of Toropets. A year later, he came and took the Novgorodian throne, seizing Sviatoslav Vsevolodovich's men (Sviatoslav himself was detained in the archbishop's compound in Novgorod).
On his way to Novgorod, Mstislav delivered the key town of Torzhok from a siege laid to it by Vsevolod III of Vladimir. He led two successful Novgorodian campaigns against the Chudes in 1212 and 1214. In 1215, he expelled Vsevolod IV from Kiev and elevated his uncle Mstislav Romanovich to the throne.
In 1216, Mstislav mustered a large coalition of princes of Rus' which defeated Vladimir-Suzdal on the Lipitsa River. After that he installed his ally Konstantin of Rostov as Grand Prince of Vladimir and married his own daughter to Yaroslav of Vladimir, who had fortified himself in Torzhok. In the meantime, his other enemies had him deposed in Novgorod, and Mstislav had to abandon Northern Rus for Halych. In 1219, he concluded peace with his chief rival, Danylo of Halych, who thereupon married Mstislav's daughter Anna.
In 1223, Mstislav joined a coalition of perhaps 18 princes, which, along with Polovtsian allies, pursued the Mongols from the Dnieper River for nine days and joined battle with them at Kalka River. The battle resulted in a Rus victory over the Mongol force, forcing the Mongols to flee and avoiding a potential invasion of Rus territories.
Mstislav reigned in Halych until 1227, submitting to the new Tsar of Kiev, Mstislav III, who unified the Slavic principalities into one state, the Tsardom of Kiev. He died in Halych in 1228.
| Preceded by:|
Sviatoslav of Novgorod
|Prince of Novgorod|| Succeeded by:|