Michael of Chernigov

1179 - Sep 20, 1246

Saint Michael of Chernigov or Mikhail Vsevolodovich was a Rus' prince. He was grand prince of Kiev; and he was also prince of Pereyaslavl, of Novgorod-Seversk, of Chernigov, of Novgorod, and of Halych.
Archaeological evidence reveals that Chernihiv towns enjoyed an unprecedented degree of prosperity during his period which suggests that promoting trade was a priority for him. Commercial interests, in part, also motivated him to seize control of Halych and Kiev because they were channels through which goods from the Rhine valley and Hungary passed to Chernihiv. He also negotiated commercial treaties and political alliances with the Poles and the Hungarians.
He alleviated the tax burden of the Novgorodians and granted their boyars greater political freedom from the prince. He was the last autonomous senior prince of Kiev, where he was deposed not by a more powerful prince but by the invincible Mongols.
On the eve of Mongol invasion, he was one of the most powerful princes in Rus'. He has been accused of ineffective leadership because he failed to unite the princes of Rus' against the invaders; in his defense it must be pointed out that this was an impossible task.
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