Russia 1453 CE

The Russian states have come under the control of the Golden Horde.

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What is happening in Russia in 1453CE

The Russian principalities were devastated by a massive Mongol invasion in 1242. The city of Kiev was completely destroyed and all the principalities were incorporated into the Mongol empire, as tribute-paying vassals. Only the Republic of Novgorod was able to resist. Novgorod, with its huge hinterland, has continued to flourish by developing strong trading ties with western Europe.

In the second half of the 13th century the Mongol empire divided into several branches, with the Mongols of the western steppes becoming known as the Golden Horde. The khan of the Golden Horde continues as overlord of the Russian princes. Since the mid-14th century the princes of Muscovy have acted as intermediaries between the khan and the other princes, and by the mid-15th century they have established themselves as the effective leaders of Russia.

The Russians’ western neighbour, Poland-Lithuania, has been able to take advantage of the Russian princes’ subordination to the Golden Horde by expanding far into their territory. However, by this date the Golden Horde is in decline, with independent khanates being established in the Crimea and Kazan.

Next map, Russia in 1648

For the Black Death‘s impact on Russia, check out our iPad app

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