Igor II of Kiev

Ihor II Olhovych (Ігор II Ольгович, Ihor II Ol'hovych in Ukrainian; Игорь II Ольгович, Igor II Ol'govich in Russian; died September 19, 1147), Prince of Chernihiv and Grand Prince of Kyiv (Kyiv, 1146). Son of Oleh Svyatoslavych of Chernihiv (modern Chernihiv). Saint - feast day: 5 June.

He was the chosen successor of his brother, Vsevolod II of Kyiv. Though his brother had extracted promises of loyalty from his Kyievan subjects, Ihor and his family, the Olhovychi, were unpopular and there was resistance against his accession. The chroniclers accused Ihor of being dishonest, greedy, scheming, and violent. He had reigned less than two weeks before the Kyievans invited his cousin and rival, Iziaslav Mstyslavych, to be their prince. Reneging on a promise he had made not to seek power, Iziaslav attacked and defeated Ihor and his brother Sviatoslav.

Sviatoslav escaped, but Ihor got bogged down in some marshes and was unable to flee because of an infirmity in his legs. He was captured, and Iziaslav had him thrown into a pit. He languished in the pit until autumn 1146, when, desperately ill, he requested permission to become a monk. Iziaslav released him, but Ihor was so weak he had to be carried from the pit and nearly died of illness. He became a monk at the monastery of St. Feodor in Kyiv under the name Ihnati. In 1147, a mob attacked Ihor under the mistaken impression that he intended to usurp Iziaslav's throne. Iziaslav's brother, Volodymyr, tried to rescue Ihor, but the mob tore down a balcony on which Ihor had sought sanctuary, and thus killed him. His body was dragged behind a cart and exhibited in a market before it could be salvaged by Volodymyr.

Miracles were alleged to have occurred around Ihor's body, and he was proclaimed a saint-martyr. Eventually his remains were sent to Transfiguration Cathedral, Chernihiv.


  • Dimnik, Martin. The Dynasty of Chernigov, 1146-1246, 2003
Preceded by Grand Prince of Kyiv
Succeeded by