Lithuanian–Muscovite War (1487–1494)

The Lithuanian-Muscovite War of 1487–1494 (First border war) was the war of the Grand Duchy of Moscow, in alliance with the Crimean Khanate, against the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia in alliance with the Golden Horde Khan Akhmat, united by personal union (Union of Krewo). Kingdom of Poland under the leadership of Grand Duke Casimir IV Jagiellon.

Lithuanian-Muscovite War (1487—1494)
Part of Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars
Result Eternal Peace (1494)
POL COA Pogoń Litewska Książęca.svgGrand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia
Golden Horde[1]
Coat of Arms of Moscow.svg Grand Duchy of Moscow
Flag of the Crimean Tatar people.svgCrimean Khanate
Commanders and leaders
Casimir IV Jagiellon
Alexander Jagiellon
Ivan III of Russia
Meñli I Giray

Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia was home for Ruthenians (ethnic Ukrainians, Belarusians) and the war was going for capturing Belarusians and Ukrainian lands (Kievan inheritance) under Moscow rule. [2]


By the 1480s, the Grand Duchy of Moscow had conquered the Novgorod Republic, the Principality of Tver, and in 1487, Moscow's troops took Kazan and made the Khanate of Kazan own vassal. At the same time, the doctrine of the "Third Rome" was formed in Moscow, and the Muscovite princes began to actively "collect Russian lands" that had previously been part of Kievan Rus'.

In the second half of the 15th century, the Moscow launched an active offensive on Ukrainian and Belarusian lands. At the same time, after the civil war in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (1432–1438) and the unsuccessful attempt to create the Grand Duchy of Rus, some of the Ukrainian magnates and princes decided to turn to Moscow for help. Disagreeing with the policy of unification of the Lithuanian-Rus state with Poland, they negotiated with the Moscow prince and even began to move to the Moscow. [3]

In the summer of 1482, Prince Ivan III of Russia sent an embassy, valuable gifts, and a considerable sum of money to the Crimean Khan Meñli I Giray with an attempt to attack the Ukrainian lands. Mengli Geray, at the urging of the Grand Prince of Moscow, went on a campaign to Kyiv. On September 1, he captured the city, burned cathedrals and churches, and captured many people. As a gift to Prince Ivan of Moscow, the khan sent a cart with looted goods from Kyiv's cathedrals and churches, including an iconostasis, a golden bowl and a discus from St. Sophia Cathedral.

At the same time, in the 1480s, a number of raids by Moscow detachments took place on the border territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Russia and Samogitia. Thus, in 1487, Prince Ivan Vorotynsky attacked Mezetsk and plundered it. This was the reason for the official start of the war.

The Moscow-Lithuanian war is divided into two stages:

  • 1st stage 1487—1492;
  • 2nd stage 1492—1494

The first stage took place, mostly in border skirmishes in the north-eastern principalities of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia.

In 1492–1494, concluding a new alliance with the Crimean Khan, Moscow made a number of joint campaigns in the Kyiv, Podillya, Volyn, and Chernihiv regions. Thus, in 1493 Mengli-Girey together with the Grand Duke of Moscow Ivan III conducted a joint campaign in Kyiv and Kyiv region.


In February 1494, the Eternal Peace was concluded, according to which most of the so-called "Upper Oka Principalities" went to Moscow, and Lithuania agreed to give Veliky Novgorod, Pskov, Tver and Ryazan to Moscow. Moscow renounced its claims to Smolensk and Bryansk, which remained part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia. In addition, the Grand Duke of Lithuania (since 1492) Alexander Jagiellon married Ivan III's daughter Elena. [4]


  1. ^ Базилевич Костянтин Васильович Внешняя политика русского централизованного государства (вторая половина XV века) — С. 116, 148—151.
  3. ^ Грушевський, Михайло. "Том IV. Розділ III. Стор. 11. Історія України-Руси".
  4. ^ "Московсько-литовські війни наприкінці ХV - першій половині ХVI ст".