Dnipro-Buh Estuary Coast in Context of Eastern Campaigns of Prince Sviatoslav (964-972)

Keywords: Dnipro-Buh estuary, Kyivan Rus, Khazaria, Oghuz, Pechenegs

Abstract

The debatable aspects of the eastern policy of Kyivan Rus during the reign of Prince Sviatoslav (964-972) are studied in the paper. Particular attention is paid to the campaigns of Rus troops against the Khazar Khaganate. The quantity of Sviatoslav’s eastern campaigns, the complement of their participants, the influence of Byzantine diplomacy on their organization, evidence of sources on the geography of military operations, and a role played by the Dnipro-Buh estuary as a strategic point on the Rus’ waterway to the Caspian Sea are considered.

Analysis of written sources and the international context of the eastern policy of Prince Sviatoslav of Kyiv makes it possible to state that the military operations of Rus troops against Khazaria can be combined into two campaigns that are of 965 and 968-969. The route of those campaigns passed along the ancient waterway, which connected the Middle Dnipro region with the Caspian Sea. Waypoints of that route can be considered being the Dnipro trade route, the Black and Azov Seas, the Don and Volga rivers. An important place on this route was taken by the Dnipro-Buh estuary and its coast, in particular the island of St. Epheria (Berezan) and the Biloberezhzhia. It was there that Sviatoslav’s troops made a stop for rest and re-equipment of ships for seafaring. Probably, in 965, Sviatoslav’s allies were “a large group of Turks.” The latter could be recognized as a combined contingent of Oghuz and Pechenegs or detachments of one of those tribes. The campaign of 965 could enjoy the support of Byzantium, which during the 10th century considered Khazaria its competitor in the struggle for influence in the region.

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Published
13.11.2021
How to Cite
KuzovkovV. (2021). Dnipro-Buh Estuary Coast in Context of Eastern Campaigns of Prince Sviatoslav (964-972). Eminak: Scientific Quarterly Journal, (3(35), 59-66. https://doi.org/10.33782/eminak2021.3(35).541
Section
Archaelogy