Sack of Chernigov

The Sack of Chernigov is one of the conflicts in the western campaign of the Mongols in 1235-1242 and the Mongol invasion of Russia in 1237-1242. The siege and capture of the capital of the Chernigov Principality by the Mongols was in the autumn of 1239.

Sack of Chernigov
Part of the Mongol invasion of Rus'
DateOctober 18, 1239
Result Mongol victory
Mongol Empire COA of Chernihiv Principality.svg Principality of Chernigov
Commanders and leaders
Batu Khan Mstislav III Glebovich
Casualties and losses
Light Heavy


Most of the Principality of Chernigov was located on the left bank of the river Dnieper, within the basins of the Desna and Seim rivers. The principality was supposedly populated by mostly Slavic tribes of Siverians and partially by the Dnieper Polans. Later the territory of the principality extended to the lands of the Radimichs and partially the Vyatichs and Drehovichs. The capital of the principality was the city of Chernigov, the other main important cities were Novgorod-Seversky, Starodub-Seversky, Trubchevsk and Kozelsk. Ownership and influence of the Chernigov Principality bordered Murom-Ryazan Land to the north and Tmutorokan Principality to the southeast.


The Mongol invasion of Rus' can be divided into two phases. In the winter of 1237-38, they conquered the northern Rus' territories (the principalities of Ryazan and Vladimir-Suzdal) with the exception of the Novgorod Republic, but in the spring of 1238 they retreated back to the Wild Fields.[1] The second campaign, aimed at the southern Rus' territories (the principalities of Chernigov and Kiev) came in 1239.[2]


In the autumn of 1239, the Tatar horde captured Hlukhiv, Kursk, Rylsk, and Putivl, and advanced towards Chernigov.[3] When Prince Mstislav heard that the Tatars were attacking the town, he came with his troops to confront them.[4] The nomads used catapults that hurled stones the distance of a bowshot and a half. Mstislav escaped, but many of his men were killed.[5]


After Chernigov fell on October 18, the Tatars pillaged the towns in the surrounding countryside. Even the capital city of Kiev fell in autumn of 1240.The Principality of Chernigov was dissolved after the Mongol invasion.[6]


  1. ^ "Никифоровская летопись. Никифорівський літопис. Том 35. Литовсько-білоруські літописи". Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  2. ^ "Новгородская летопись". Retrieved 2018-03-11.
  3. ^ Grigorjevič., Jan, Vasilij (1991). Batu-kan : istorijski roman. Lobačev, Đorđe., BIGZ). Beograd: Prosveta. ISBN 8607005944. OCLC 438360055.
  4. ^ 1875-1954., I︠A︡n, V. (Vasiliĭ) (1993). Do poslednjeg mora : istorijski roman. Beograd: Srpska književna zadruga. ISBN 8637903940. OCLC 32322549.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "RUSSIA". Retrieved 2018-02-25.
  6. ^ Pelenski, Jaroslaw (1992). "The contest for the 'Kievan inheritance' in Russian-Ukrainian relation: the origins and early ramifications" (PDF). Ukraine and Russia in Their Historical Encounter. Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies: 3–19.