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History Of Smolensk
May 13, 2017 17:26


Smolensk was originally built on the lands of the Krivichs. The city was first mentioned in the year 863. Even then the city was strongly fortified, however the numerous and well-protected population could not resist the Prince Prophetic Oleg, and in 882 Smolensk was annexed to Kievan Rus.

The time of prosperity of the Smolensk Principality fell to the 12th century. And in 1222 the Prince Mstislav captured Polotsk and put the eldest son of Mstislav Romanovich of Kiev — Svyatoslav - to reign there. After the battle of the Kalka River in 1223 Smolensk grew weak and was forced to seek assistance from neighbors to protect itself against Lithuania. Besides, the Price Svyatoslav Mstislavich reigning in Polotsk added some more trouble to Smolensk: in 1232 he captured the city and killed many inhabitants. Still, during the Tatar-Mongol Invasion Smolensk survived, though the eastern areas of the Principality were damaged.

At the end of the 14th century Smolensk fell under the rule of Lithuania; and in 1404 Vytautas finally annexed it to Lithuania.

Only in 1514 Smolensk and a bit later some parts of the Smolensk land shifted to Moscow for a brief period of time. Then the land of Smolensk became a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Smolensk wars of the years 1632-1634 returned Smolensk to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Russia regained the city only in 1654 as a result of the Russo-Polish war. Smolensk Governorate was formed in 1708. In 1944 Smolensk Oblast acquired modern boundaries.


Author: Anna Dorozhkina


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