Evpaty Kolovrat by Ivan Korzhev, 2009
Evpaty Kolovrat by Maximilian Presnyakov, 2009

Evpaty Kolovrat (Russian: Евпатий Коловрат, tr. Yevpatiy Kolovrat, pronounced [jɪfˈpatʲɪj kəlɐˈvrat]; c.1200 – 1238) is a Russian bogatyr described in The Tale of the Destruction of Ryazan. According to the tale he died while fighting the vastly superior army of the Mongol ruler Batu Khan, trying to avenge the destruction of Ryazan a few weeks earlier.[1]


Kolovrat was visiting Chernigov during the Siege of Ryazan, which occurred between 16 and 21 December 1237. Learning about the tragedy he rushed back home only to find the city destroyed and most its inhabitants killed. He gathered 1700 people from his soldiers and the survivors of the siege and went after Batu Khan with a sole purpose of avenging the carnage. Kolovrat's forces suddenly attacked the rear guard of Batu Khan's army and annihilated it in a fierce battle. Perplexed, Batu Khan sent a much larger force led by his relative Khostovrul. Khostovrul promised to capture Kolovrat alive, and for this purpose challenged Kolovrat for a duel. A man of extraordinary strength, Kolovrat split his opponent in half with his sword and proceeded to kill the surrounding Mongols, splitting many of them down to the saddle. The remaining Khostovrul's soldiers retreated and killed Kolovrat from a distance using stone launchers. In a sign of respect to Kolovrat's bravery, Batu Khan returned his body to his soldiers and let them return home.[1]


The bravery and strength of Kolovrat were praised in the Russian literature, art and media by

The tale of Kolovrat is depicted in the 1985 Soviet short animated film The Tale of Evpaty Kolovrat and is being produced as a full-length movie.[3]