The fragmentation and princely internecine strife undermined the power of Russia. This situation in the XIII century. took advantage of the Mongol conquerors.
The Mongols lived in the steppes of Central Asia. They were nomadic tribes, breeding horses, oxen and sheep. In 1206, at the kurultai of the Mongolian nobility, the leader of one of the Temujin tribes was proclaimed Genghis Khan, that is, the great khan. Thus, a mighty Mongolian state was formed.
In the following years, the Mongols conquered northern China, southern Siberia, Central Asia and Transcaucasia. In 1223 the military squads of the Russian princes first met with the Mongols in the Battle of the River. Kalka. Rusichi suffered a crushing defeat. In 1237 the Mongolian troops, led by the formidable Khan Batu, invaded
XVI century. An excerpt from the Nikon Chronicle about the Battle of the River. Raw
Already at the end of February the Grand Duke Yury Vsevolodovich came… the messenger came with the news that the city of Vladimir was taken, the bishop, the Grand Duchess, the princes and all the people burned, and some were killed.
Hearing this, Prince Yuri and his brother Svyatoslav and his nephews – Vasilko, Vsevolod and Vladimir – and with their men sat on horses and went against the filthy. Grand Duke Yuri Vsevolodovich began to put regiments when suddenly they came to the Tatars. Prince Yuri forgot about all the sorrow and went to them. The regiments came together, and the boula was a great battle… blood was pouring like water. The Tatars defeated the Russian soldiers with God’s help. Was killed then the Grand Duke of Vladimir Yuri Vsevolodovich and many of his commander and boyars, and his army was killed…
From Kozelsk Baty went south to the Polovtsian steppes to his main nomad camps. Here forces were collected for subsequent conquests. In 1239, Batu destroyed Pereiaslav and Chernigov, and in the autumn of the following year the Mongolian horses already pranced beneath the walls of Kiev. After a long siege, Kiev was taken and burnt to the ground.
In the spring of 1241 the Mongols reached the western borders of Rus and invaded the territory of Hungary and Poland. The exhausted army of Batu suffered great losses. In 1242, he led his dilapidated troops to the lower reaches of the Volga, where the nomads founded their state Golden Horde with the capital Sarai. In Russia, a long period of the Golden Horde yoke began.
Russian princes were forced to obey the khan. Applicants for the reign were to receive a khan’s label – a charter that granted the right to rule the principality. Pursuit of labels often led to meanness and betrayal. Capital city Vladimir almost lost his supremacy. Receiving from Khan a label for the great reign, the princes did not have to be in Vladimir. They could be great princes and live in their own possessions. However, for the title of Grand Duke fierce struggle was fought.
In the cities of Russia, the Khan’s governors of the Baskaks were in charge of everything. They looked after the princes and collected tribute from the people of Rus. To monitor the payment of tribute, the Horde people conducted censuses. In the territory of North-Eastern Russia the first such census was carried out in 1257.
However, since the mid-14th century. The Golden Horde begins to decline, control over the conquered peoples is weakened.