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He was born about in 980 the son either of Vladimir I or of Yaropolk I by a captured Byzantine nun. They are shown on this family chart. He married about in 1013 a daughter of King Boleslaw I of Poland. He died without heirs. He was prince of Turov 988-1015 and prince of Kyiv 1015-16 and 1018-19. No sooner had the news of the death of Vladimir been heard than his eldest son, Svyatopolk, "The cursed" reigning over the Turov region, proclaimed himself Great Prince.
The youngest son of Vladimir, Boris, had on his father's orders been fighting the Pechenegs, but was returning to Kiev, and was camped on the river Alta when news of his father's death reached him. The entourage of Boris as well as Boyars, all of whom greatly admired him, counseled him to go to Kiev and succeed his father's reign; but the young Prince replied, that he would not raise a hand on an older brother, as he was now to be held in the same esteem as his father. Following this the army disbanded leaving Boris with a small number of loyal men.

Meanwhile Svyatopolk, at first did not wish to quarrel with Boris and meant to peacefully resolve the matter, moved quickly on learning that the army had left Boris and resolved to kill his brother. This is how the chronicle recounts history. Svyatopolk arrived at night in Vishgorod, and secretly called a meeting of the Vishgorod boyars and brought in some unknown by the name of Putsha and asked them: "Are you loyal to me?" Having received an affirmative response, he asked them: "Being that you are, then do not speak to anyone, act quickly and kill my brother Boris."

Putsha with his buddies took to the road to the river Al'ta. Upon arriving there, during the night, they approached the tent of Boris, they heard that the Prince Boris was saying matins. They stopped while the Prince prayed and laid down on the bed, the killers broke into the tent and drove spears into Boris and his trusted servant Georgi. The evil doers threw a blanket over the still breathing Prince and dropped him in a cart. Svyatopolk, upon hearing that his brother is still alive, sent two Varangians to end his life, which they did, driving a sword thru his heart. The body was secretly brought to the church of Saint Vasilii. This murder was shortly followed by another. Boris has a younger brother, Gleb, who reigned over Murom and was unaware of the death of Vladimir. Svyatopolk dispatched a messenger with the news that Vladimir is gravely ill and is calling for him to come to him. Gleb gathered together his entourage and stopped on the way close to Novgorod. At this time a messenger from his brother in Novgorod caught up with Gleb. "Don't go, Prince," the messenger was instructed by Yaroslav to tell him, "Your father is dead, and Svyatopolk has murdered your brother." Gleb, was stunned, began to weep and mourn his brother. At that moment the murderers Svyatopolk had sent came; forcing Gleb to a nearby boat and slit the young prince's throat; they threw the corpse between two water pumps on the shore; the remains of the prince were carried to Vishgorod and were laid down next to his brother Boris when Yaroslav was reigning. The closest to Kiev, Prince Svyatoslav, reigning over the land of the Drevliane, upon hearing of the fate of Boris and Gleb, ran to Hungary. Svyatopolk sent a party after him which caught up to Svyatoslav in the Carpathian mountains, where he was also murdered. The moment came that Svyatopolk started to think he could rule alone. But another half-brother, Yaroslav, was in the key spot, Novgorod, from which he could quickly recruit a Varangian war party to contest the throne. Actually he already was assembling a Varangian force to defend against his father, Vladimir.
1015 AD - Vladimir dies and Svyatopolk I takes the throne in Kyiv. He arranges the murder of Boris, Glev and Svyatoslav.
1016 AD - Yaroslav assembles 1000 Varangians and 40,000 local troops from Novgorod region and sails down the Dniper. Svyatopolk marches with the Kyivan and Pecheneg troops to meet them at Lyubech. The two armies meet across the river. There they confront each other for 3 months. As winter is coming and the lakes freezing Yaroslav has to act. Svyatopolk's Kyivan troops are between two lakes and his Pecheneg allies at some distance. Yaroslav crosses the river and drives the Kyivans toward the lakes, where the ice broke and they were overthrown. Svyatopolk flees toward Poland, where his father-in-law is king.
1018 AD - Svyatopolk returns with Boleslaw and the Polish army. Yaroslav marches out of Kyiv to meet the Poles at Volyn across the Bug river. In a surprise attack Boleslaw defeats Yaroslav who flees back to Novgorod. Svyatopolk returns to rule Kyiv but Boleslaw's troops loot the city. At this Svyatopolk forces Boleslaw out of the city and back to Poland. Boleslaw takes the Cherven towns along the way home. 1018-19 AD - Yaroslav recruits another Varangian army plus more Novgorodians and returns to Kyiv. This time Svyatopolk flees to the Pecheneg. 1019 AD - Svyatopolk marches with a large Pecheneg army against Kyiv. Yaroslav organizes a large army and confronts him at the Al'ta river. A terrible battle ensues in which casualties are high on both sides. Yaroslav is victorious and Svyatopolk again flees toward Poland. He dies enroute, suffering as the chronicler reports the just retribution of God as did Cain and Lamech. .


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