After the Battle of Kulikovo, the Moscow Principality began to “gather” Russian lands around itself. This was taken care of, in particular, by the great Moscow prince Ivan III, who resorted both to bribery and to violence. Ivan III became a widower early. The preeminent Italian diplomats, in order to persuade him to join the alliance against Turkey, convinced the prince that Moscow could become the heir to Constantinople, seized in 1453 by the Turks. They recommended that Ivan III marry the niece of the last Byzantine emperor, Sophia Palaeologus, according to them – a beautiful woman written. Ivan III decided on this marriage. Marriage with an intelligent, cunning and very burdensome relative of the Byzantine emperor raised his prestige both in the princedom and abroad.
Grand Duchy of Moscow
As a result, the Tatars gave way, went to wintering. Henceforth, the Moscow principality was free to spread its shoulders: the Mongol-Tatar yoke came to an end.
The collapse of the Horde and the appearance in the Black Sea region of belligerent Turks forced the Russian princes to sacrifice their ambition and move to the service of the Grand Duke of Moscow. The Novgorod veche bell was sent to Moscow, the Novgorod Republic ceased to exist. But the devastating system for the Muscovite state – the small principalities – Ivan III preserved.