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He was the son of Rostislav Mstislavich, appanage prince of Smolensk. His mother's name is not known. He married in 1149 to Maria, daughter of Svyatoslav Ol'govich, prince of Novgorod-Seversk, and later Chernigiv and Kursk. His sons were Yaropolk; and Mstislav-Boris Starii, appanage prince of Smolensk and then prince of Kyiv; and he had one daughter. He was prince of Smolensk from 1160 to 1173, again in 1174-75, and 1177-1180. He was prince of Kyiv from 1171- 1172 and again in 1175. The family is shown on this chart.
His rule as prince at Kyiv was a result of the wars between the sons and grandsons of Mstislav I Vladimirovich and his brother, Yuri Vladimirovich Dolgoruki. During this period he ruled for some time jointly with his uncle, Vladimir Mstislavich.


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