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He was the second son of Andrei Ivanovich, appanage prince of Serpukhov and his second wife, Maria Ivanovna, princess of Galich. And grandson if Ivan I of Moscow. He became appanage prince of Serphkhov in 1358 until his death. Two of his uncles who ruled Moscow as Simeon I and Ivan II died early, but his father, Andrei Ivanovich (Prince of Serpukhov), also died young as did his elder brother, Ivan Andreevich. All this brought Vladimir's first cousin, Dmitrii Ivanovich, to the throne in Moscow, but greatly enhanced Vladimir's lands and power as well. He married about 1372 to Elyena, daughter of Ol'gered, grand prince of Lithuania. Their sons were Ivan, appanage prince of Serpukhov; Semyon, appanage prince of Borovsk; Andrei Bol'shoi, prince of Serpukhov, who died as a child; Yaroslav, appanage prince of Maloyarslavets; Fedor, prince of Serpukhov; Andrei Menshoi, appanage prince of Radonezh; and Vasilii, appanage prince of Uglich.. The family is shown on this chart.


His title was Prince of Serpukhov and Borovsk. He was one of the greatest military commanders of 14th century Russia and a strong ally and supporter of Dmitrii Ivanovich Donskoi and Dmitrii's son, Vasilii I, in their place as Grand Princes of Muscovy and Vladimir. The two cousin's first joint military campaign took place in 1362. In 1367 they began construction of the first white stone walls to enlarge the Kremlin in Moscow, for which Vladimir contributed men from his appanage. This turned Moscow into the only first rate stone fortress in northeastern Russia.
Throughout his life Vladimir Andreevich fought Dmitrii's battles against Tver, Riazan, Novgorod, Lithuania, and the Tatars. In 1370, when the Lithuanians advanced on Moscow again in support of Tver, Dmitrii held the city while Vladimir took a field army to L'vov, deep in the Lithuanian rear area. This daring move aborted the Lithuanian campaign and gained for Vladimir added lands from Dmitrii and the hand of the Lithuanian princess Elena from her father, Ol'gerd. In 1373 the Golden Horde Tatars under Mamai attacked and sacked the Riazan area, but Dmitrii and Vladimir each brought their armies to the Oka River to prevent a Tatar attack on Moscow. In recognition of the recurrent Tatar threat, the next year Vladimir fortified one of his villages, Serpukhov, on the Oka River 56 miles south of Moscow. This fortress became a major center of Russian defenses against the Tatars for the next 200 years, until its importance was reduced by Russian expansion far to the south.

The remainder of the 1370's was spent in warfare against Tver and Lithuania. The cousins devastated Tver in 1375 forcing Mikhail of Tver to submit. By 1380 Mamai was ready to try his strength against Moscow again. In alliance with the Lithuanians he brought the full Tatar host against Moscow. Once again Vladimir brought his troops to his cousin's assistance and himself took command of a major part of the battle. Along with part of Dmitrii's troops, he led his forces in an ambush position from which his attack against the Tatar flank gained the victory for the combined Russian armies. The battle was at Kulikovo field near the Don River and was renowned as the most famous Russian victory over the Mongols. Dmitrii received the honorific “Donskoi” and Vladimir the honorific “Krabryi” (the brave). Unfortunately the victory was short lived. The new Tatar Khan, Toqtamish, returned with a stronger army in 1382. With both Dmitrii and Vladimir out of Moscow mobilizing their armies, Toqtamish captured the city by a ruse and then plundered it and many other Russian towns. Vladimir managed to defeat one of the Tatar detachments, but the damage was done and the Grand Prince had to resume paying tribute to Sarai. The disaster prompted Vladimir to make an agreement with Dmitrii's son and successor, Vasilii I, in 1390 that specified that in case of danger one or the other would be in the city at all times.

During the 1380's Vladimir continued to lead his army in support of Dmitrii; for instance, against Novgorod in 1385. Relations between Vladimir and Dmitrii were strained in the later 1380's, but Vladimir agreed to a treaty recognizing Dmitrii's son as successor. After Vasilii I came to the throne in 1389, Vladimir briefly asserted his potential to support Tver, but did not defect. He continued to support Vasilii against the Tatars. In 1395 Moscow faced the most serious threat yet when Tamerlane approached, having already disposed of Toqtamish. While Vasilii led the field army to block the Oka River crossing at Kolomna, Vladimir prepared Moscow for the coming siege. Tamerlane changed his mind and retired after destroying Yelets and ravaging the region of the upper Don River valley. Vladimir's final military service came in 1408 when the Tatars again appeared, this time under Idiqu. With Vasilii out of the city at Kostroma Vladimir again organized and commanded the defense. Idiqu besieged the city for three weeks, but Vladimir's careful preparations and able leadership enabled the latter to hold the Kremlin until the Tatars departed.(46) Vladimir Andreevich died in 1410 leaving his lands to two sons. His granddaughter, Maria, became the wife of Vasilii II.


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