List of Russian rulers

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Russian tsar throne in front of the Romanov family coat of arms - exhibited in the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg

The list of Russian rulers includes all rulers of the Russian Empire and its predecessor states from 862 to 1917, when the monarchy was ended by a revolution. From 1478 the ruler was named Tsar , who also bore the title of Keeper of the Byzantine Throne . In 1721 the title, although often still referred to as Tsar, was changed to Kaiser .

Capital Novgorod

Veliky Novgorod is one of the oldest cities in Russia (founded in 859) and was ruled by the Warsaw prince Ryurik, the founder of the first East Slav empire, from 862 to 879. Novgorod was already a large center with more than ten thousand inhabitants in the medieval empire of the Kievan Rus. The social structure consisted of three classes: rich merchants and bankers (also landowners) were at the top, ordinary merchants were representatives of the middle class; Craftsmen and day laborers belonged to the lower class of the population. In the High Middle Ages, Novgorod was, besides Constantinople, the only city in Europe where not only the nobility and clergy, but also the common people could read and write, which today includes the more than 1000 letters written on birch bark found during archaeological excavations (see above birch bark documents), which tell of everyday life in the medieval city. In Novgorod at that time trade and culture flourished. This is how famous icon painters such as Theophanes the Greek and Andrei Rublev worked . The Norwegian kings Olav I. Tryggvason , Olav II. Haraldsson , Magnus I. , Harald III. often sought refuge in Novgorod when danger threatened. Olav I. Tryggvason and Magnus I. spent their childhood and youth here and had a close relationship with the city throughout their lives.

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
1000 Rurik.JPG Rjurik
(* around 830, † around 879)
862-878 Prince The Warsaw prince is considered to be the founder of the Rurikid dynasty . Whether it is a real person or a legend is controversial. He is said to have ruled Novgorod from 862 to 879.

Rurikid dynasty

Grand Duke of Kievan Rus

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
1899. Russian konung Oleg by Vasnetsov-2.jpg Oleg, "the Prophet"
(† 912 or 922)
879-912 Regent / Prince Is considered the founder of the Grand Duchy of Kiev. Ruled as regent for Ryurik's son Igor and marched against Constantinople in 907. As with Ryurik, its actual existence is not completely assured.
Knyaz Igor in 945 by Lebedev.jpg Igor I.
(* around 878, † around 945)
912-945 Prince Son of Ryurik. First prince whose existence is considered certain.
Ольга княгиня.jpg Olga, "the saint"
(* 890; † July 11, 969)
945-962 Regent Mrs. Igors. After the death of her husband, she ruled the empire for her underage son Svyatoslav. After she was baptized in 957, she tried to Christianize the Kievan Rus, but failed. She also led several campaigns against the Drewljanen .
Svatoslav titularnik.png Svyatoslav I, "the Conqueror"
(* around 942; † spring 972)
962-972 Prince Son of Igor I and Olgas. He destroyed the Khazar Empire and increased his sphere of influence to the Don. Then he conquered the Eastern Bulgarian Empire on the Danube, as a result of which it came to war with Byzantium . While retreating from Preslav, where he had moved his residence, he was killed by the Pechenegs .
Yaropolk murder.jpg Jaropolk I
(* between 958 and 960; † 980)
972-980 Prince Son of Svyatoslav I. After the death of his father, the kingdom was divided between the brothers and a dispute broke out between the brothers. He resumed Christianization . He was able to defend himself against the attacks of his brother Oleg, but he finally lost his power to brother Vladimir in 980.
Vladimir Svyatoslavovich.jpg Vladimir I, "the great"
(* 960, † July 15, 1015)
980-1015 Prince / Grand Prince Son of Svyatoslav I. He conquered Novgorod and, after killing his half-brother Yaropolk I, gained control of Kiev. Baptized himself in 987, he continued to promote Christianity. It is to this fact that he owes his nickname the saint . Shortly before his death, there was a falling out with his son Yaroslav. But the campaign against his son did not take place.
Zaślubiny Świętopełka.JPG Svjatopolk I, "The Cursed"
(* 978 or 979; † 1019)
1015-1019 Grand Duke The son of Vladimir I. After his father's death, Svyatopolk prevailed in Kiev, while his half-brother continued to hold his own in Novgorod. In 1016 the armies of the brothers faced each other. Svyatopolk was defeated and fled to Poland. He returned briefly as ruler in 1018 before Yaroslav finally defeated him.
Yaroslav I of Russia (Granovitaya palata, 1881-2) .jpg Yaroslav I, "the wise"
(* 979 or 986; † 1054)
1019-1054 Grand Duke Son of Vladimir I. He was awarded the city of Novgorod, over which he continued to rule even after the death of Vladimir. There were disputes with his father and his successor Svyatopolk I. He won the decisive battle and in 1019 finally prevailed as ruler of Kiev. He passed the first Russian law and waged several wars against the Poles. He also established the seniority principle .
Minskitsjaslav.jpg Isjaslav I
(* 1024 - † October 3, 1078)
1054-1068, 1069-1073 and
Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav I.
Vseslav of Polotsk.jpg Wseslaw
(* 1029; † 1101)
1068-1069 Grand Duke Great-grandson of Vladimir I, Prince of Polotsk
Izbornik.jpg Svyatoslav II
(* 1027 - † December 27, 1076)
1073-1076 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav I.
Vsevolod yaroslavich.jpg Vsevolod I
(* 1030; † April 13, 1093)
1078-1093 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav I.
Michael of salonica.jpg Svyatopolk II
(* 1050; † 1113)
1093-1113 Grand Duke Son of Isjaslav I.
1000 Monomah.jpg Vladimir II Monomakh
(* 1053 - 19 May 1125)
1113-1125 Grand Duke Son of Vsevolod I.
Mstislav I of Kiev (Tsarskiy titulyarnik) .jpg Mstislaw I, "the great"
(June 1076 - April 1132)
1125-1132 Grand Duke Son of Vladimir II
Sin foto.svg Jaropolk II
(* 1082; † 1139)
1132-1139 Grand Duke Son of Vladimir II
Изяслав мстиславович.jpg Vyacheslav I
(* 1083; † 1154)
1139, 1150 and 1151-1154 Grand Duke Son of Vladimir II
Vsevolod Ol'govich.jpg Vsevolod II
(* 1104; † 1146)
1139-1146 Grand Duke Svyatoslav II's grandson
CvKnyazIgor.jpg Igor II
(† September 19, 1147)
1146 Grand Duke Brother of Vsevolod II
Ізяслав II Пантелеймон.jpg Isjaslav II.
(* 1096; † 1154)
1146-1149, 1150 and 1151-1154 Grand Duke Son of Mstislav I.
Dolgorukiy titularnik.jpg Yuri Dolgoruki
(1090 - May 15, 1157)
1149-1150, 1150-1151, and
Grand Duke Son of Vladimir II
Izyaslav III.jpg Isjaslav III.
(*? † 1162)
1155, 1157-1158 and
Grand Duke Svyatoslav II's grandson
Rostislav Mstislavich.jpg Rostislaw
(* around 1110; † 1167)
1154-1155, 1159-1161, and
Grand Duke Son of Mstislav I.
Mstislav Izjaslavich.jpg Mstislaw II.
(*?; † 1170)
1158-1159 and
Grand Duke Son of Isjaslav II.

Grand Duke of Vladimir-Suzdal

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
Князь Андрей Боголюбский.jpg Andrej Bogoljubski
(* 1111; † 1174)
1168-1174 Grand Duke Son of Yuri Dolgorukis
Sin foto.svg Mikhail Jurjewitsch
(* unknown; † June 20, 1176)
1174 and 1175-1176 Grand Duke Son of Yuri Dolgorukis
Sin foto.svg Jaropolk Rostislavich
(* unknown, † after 1196)
1174-1175 Grand Duke Andrei Bogoljubski's nephew
Bolshoe Gnezdo.JPG Vsevolod III., The big nest
(* 1154, † 1212)
1176-1212 Grand Duke Son of Yuri Dolgorukis
Benevolence of the Grand Duke Constantine (Boris Chorikov) .jpg Constantine
(* 1185 - † February 2, 1218)
1216-1218 Grand Duke Son of Vsevolod III.
Flight of Yuri II of Vladimir (Boris Chorikov) .jpg Juri II.
(* 1188; † 1238)
1212-1216 and
Grand Duke Son of Vsevolod III.
Yaroslav Vsevolodovich (Spas Nereditsi) .jpeg Yaroslav II
(1190 - September 30, 1246)
1238-1246 Grand Duke Son of Vsevolod III.
Sin foto.svg Svyatoslav III.
(* 1196- † 1252)
1246-1248 Grand Duke Son of Vsevolod III.
Andrei2.jpg Andrej II.
(* Unknown; † 1264)
1248-1252 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav II
Alexander Nevsky.jpg Alexander Newski
(around 1220 - 14 November 1263)
1252-1263 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav II
Yaroslav Yaroslavich in Novgorod.jpeg Yaroslav III
(* 1230; † 1271/72)
1263-1271 / 72 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav II
Vasily Yaroslavich Grand Dukes of Vladimir.jpg Wassili
(* 1241; † 1276)
1271 / 72-1276 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav II
33 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg Dimitri I
(* around 1250; † 1294)
1276-1281 and
Grand Duke Son of Alexander Newski
Sin foto.svg Andrei III
(* around 1255 - † July 27, 1304)
1281-1283 and
Grand Duke Son of Alexander Newski
35 History of the Russian state in the image of its sovereign rulers - fragment.jpg Michail
(* 1271; † 1318)
1304-1318 Grand Duke Son of Yaroslav III. and Prince of Tver
Jurij of Moscov.jpg Yuri III.
(* 1281; November 21, 1325)
1318-1322 Grand Duke Son of Daniil Alexandrovich; Grandson of Alexander Nevsky and Prince of Moscow
Facial Chronicle - b.07, p.247 - Murder of Yuri of Moscow.jpg Dimitri II.
(* 1299, † September 15, 1326)
1322-1326 Grand Duke Son of Mikhail and Prince of Tver
Alexander Pskov.jpg Alexander II
(1301 - 29 October 1339)
1326-1327 Grand Duke Son of Mikhail and Prince of Tver

Grand Duke of Moscow and Tsar of Russia

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
Daniil of Moscow (fresco in Archang. Cat) .jpg Daniil Alexandrowitsch Moskowski
(* 1261; † 1303)
1272-1303 Prince Son of Alexander Newski
Jurij of Moscov.jpg Juri I. Daniilowitsch
(* 1281; † 1325)
1303-1325 Prince Son of Daniil Alexandrovich ; Alexander Newski's grandson
Ivan Kalita.jpg Ivan I, "the money sack"
(* 1288; † 1341)



Grand Duke

Son of Daniil Alexandrovich ; Alexander Newski's grandson
Simeon Dumny.jpg Simeon, "the proud"
(* 1316; † 1353)
1341-1353 Grand Duke Ivan I's son Simeon received the principality of Moscow when the empire was divided by Ivan I. Moscow remained the decisive power center of the empire. He was able to prevent the earlier conflicts with Tver from emerging, not least through the marriage to Maria von Tver. He died of the plague epidemic of 1353.
Ivan2.jpg Ivan II, "the beautiful"
(* March 30, 1326; † November 13, 1359)
1353-1359 Grand Duke Son of Ivan I. He unexpectedly ascended the throne after the death of his brother and his sons. He annexed the area around Wereja south of Moscow. After a short reign, Ivan died and his underage son Dmitri Donskoy became Grand Duke.
Dmitri Donskoy.jpg Dmitri I. Donskoy
(October 12, 1350 - May 19, 1389)
1359-1389 Grand Duke Son of Ivan II
Vasili I of Russia.jpg Vasily I
(* 1371; † February 1425)
1389-1425 Grand Duke Son of Dimitris I.
Vasil2b.gif Vasily II, "the blind one"
(* March 10, 1415, † March 1462)
1425-1462 Grand Duke Son of Wassilis I.
Ivan III of Russia.jpg Ivan III, "the great"
(* January 22, 1440 - † October 27, 1505)
1462-1505 Grand Duke Son Wassilis II. Was the first Grand Duke to use the title of Tsar of Russia
Vasili III.jpg Vasily III.
(* 1479- † 1533)
1505-1533 Grand Duke Son of Ivan III.
Ivan IV by anonim (18th c., GIM) 2.jpg Ivan IV, "the terrible"
(* 25 August 1530, † 28 March 1584)
1533-1584 Tsar Son of Wassilis III. He was the first crowned Russian tsar in 1547
Tsarskiy titulyarnik feodor iv.jpg Fyodor I
(May 31, 1557 - January 17, 1598)
1584-1598 Tsar Son of Ivan IV. Last tsar of the Rurikid dynasty. Fyodor was mentally retarded and completely insignificant as a ruler. A Regency Council ruled for him, which also included Boris Godunov.

Time of Troubles (different dynasties)

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
Boris Godunov by anonim (17th c., GIM) .jpg Boris Godunow
(* 1552; † April 23, 1605)
1598-1605 Tsar He was the first ruler after the end of the Rurikid dynasty. He came to power through the election of Semsky Sobor and was proclaimed tsar on February 21. In 1601 there were deep social and political crises. At the same time, the first false Dimitri appeared to claim the throne of the tsar. Boris Godunov died unexpectedly on April 23, 1605.
Makovsky False Dmitrys agents murdering Feodor Godunov and his mother 1862.jpg Fyodor II Godunov
(1589 - June 20, 1605)
1605 Tsar Son of Boris Godunov. He succeeded his father briefly on the throne before he was overthrown and murdered by supporters of the false Dimitris.
Lžidimitrij I..jpg Dimitri I, "the wrong one"
(* unknown; † May 27, 1606)
1605-1606 Tsar He claimed to be the youngest son of Ivan the Terrible. With the help of the Polish king Sigismund III. Wasa , he obtained the dignity of tsar, converted to Catholicism and married the Polish woman Marina . Through his politics he lost the support of the nobility. He was murdered in a revolt evoked by his successor, Vasily.
Vasili IV of Russia.PNG Vasily IV Shuisky
(September 22, 1552 - September 12, 1612)
1606-1610 Tsar Vasily Shuisky was elected tsar after the death of the false Dimitri. During his reign there were clashes between the noble families. A second fake Dimitri appeared and found support among the nobility. With Swedish help he held out until 1610, when he was taken prisoner in Poland, where he died in 1612.
Wladyslaw IV.jpg Władysław IV. Wasa
(born June 9, 1595 - † May 20, 1648)
1610-1613 - In the period from 1610 to 1613 he was designated tsar. After the Poles had invaded Moscow, Władysław was to take over the dignity of the Tsar. His father Sigismund claimed the throne for himself and in the end neither of them took over the Russian throne.

Romanov dynasty

Tsar of Russia

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
Mikhail fjodorovich2.jpg Michael I
(July 22, 1596 - July 23, 1645)
1613-1645 Tsar Son of Philaret . First tsar of the Romanov family , who was elected and crowned tsar in 1613. At the beginning he had to fend off violent attacks from the Poles, who did not recognize him as tsar.
Alexis I of Russia (Hermitage) .jpg Alexei I, "the meekest"
(born March 29, 1629, † February 8, 1676)
1645-1676 Tsar Son of Michael I. During his reign there was severe oppression of the peasants. The additional high tax burden repeatedly led to uprisings from 1648 onwards. In 1649 serfdom was established by law. Alexei waged a war with Poland from 1654, in which Sweden also entered in 1656 and fought against Russia. It was not until the Peace of Andrussovo in 1667 that the war ended and Smolensk, Kiev and eastern Ukraine became part of Russia.
Feodor III of Russia.jpg Fyodor III
(June 9, 1661 - May 7, 1682)
1676-1682 Tsar Son of Alexeis I. He was at war with the Ottoman Empire for most of his reign . Fyodor had initiated many reforms, but he never finished most of them. The abolition of the rank order in the military was important .
Sophia Alekseyevna by anonim (19 c., Hermitage) .jpg Sofia Alexejewna
(September 27, 1657 - July 14, 1704)
1682-1689 Regent Daughter Alexeis I. After Fjodor's death, the question of succession arose. After bloody uprisings by the Strelitzen , she was declared regent for the two underage tsars Ivan V and Peter I. The unsuccessful campaigns against the Crimean Tatars led to their overthrow in August 1689. Peter I had them sheared to the nun.
Ivan V by anonim (GIM) .jpg Ivan V
(September 6, 1666 - February 8, 1696)
1682-1696 Tsar Son Alexeis I. He was crowned tsar together with Peter. Due to his health, Ivan never played a political role. In the first few years the government was with his sister Sofia, who had been appointed regent. After their disempowerment, his brother Peter ruled.
Peter the Great 1838.jpg Peter I, "the great"
(born June 9, 1672; † February 8, 1725)
1682-1725 Tsar Son of Alexeis I.

Emperor of Russia

image Name (life data) Reign title Remarks
Peter the Great 1838.jpg Peter I, "the great"
(born June 9, 1672; † February 8, 1725)
1682-1725 Emperor Son Alexeis I. In 1721 Peter accepted the title of emperor . In 1724 he made his second wife co-regent. He reformed the Russian Empire based on the Western model.
Catherine I of Russia by Nattier.jpg Catherine I
(April 15, 1684 - May 17, 1727)
1725-1727 empress Mrs. Peters I. First Empress of Russia. Peter the Great appointed her co-regent as early as 1724. After his death, Alexander Danilowitsch Mensikov helped her to the throne. She handed over the government to him, but died two years later.
Peter II of Russia by Vedekind (1730s, Samara) .jpg Peter II
(born October 23, 1715 - † January 29, 1730)
1727-1730 Emperor Grandson of Peter I, last male Romanov on the throne. The young tsar was strongly influenced, Menshikov first tried to expand his power, but was overthrown by Dolgoruki. He moved the court back to Moscow. In 1730, Peter developed smallpox and died.
Anna Ioannovna (Kuskovo) .jpg Anna
(February 7, 1693 - October 28, 1740)
1730-1740 empress Daughter of Ivan V. She cared little about government affairs. Under her reign the spread towards Central Asia began. Russia participated in the War of the Polish Succession and the Russo-Austrian Turkish War. Their reign is also called the Dark Age.
Ivan6russia1740.jpg Ivan VI
(23 August 1740 - 16 July 1764)
1740-1741 Emperor Ivan V's great-grandson Empress Anna appointed her sister's grandson to be the heir to the throne. As a baby he ascended the throne of Russia under the reign of Anna Leopoldovna . Elisabeth Petrovna overthrew the young tsar the following year. Ivan was imprisoned and murdered in 1764.
Elizabeth of Russia by V.Eriksen.jpg Elisabeth
(December 29, 1709 - January 5, 1762)
1741-1762 empress Daughter of Peter I and Katharinas I. Last of the original Romanovs on the throne. In terms of domestic politics, Elisabeth was able to stabilize the empire. It led a strict religious policy, which meant that Jews and those of different faiths suffered from reprisals. In the Seven Years' War Russia fought on Austria's side against Prussia.
Coronation portrait of Peter III of Russia -1761.JPG Peter III
(February 21, 1728 - July 17, 1762)
1762 Emperor Grandson of Peter I and Katharinas I, founder of the Romanow-Holstein-Gottorp line . Made peace with Prussia and switched to his side in the Seven Years' War. He was overthrown by a plot that put his wife Katharina on the throne. Supporters of the Tsarina murdered him in July 1762.
Grand Duchess Catherine Alexeevna by IP Argunov after Rotari (1762, Kuskovo museum) .jpg Catherine II, "the great"
(* May 2, 1729; † November 17, 1796)
1762-1796 empress Mrs. Peters III. She disempowered her husband and was proclaimed empress. It promoted the settlement of foreigners in Russia. It was able to expand Russia's sphere of influence to such an extent that after two wars against the Turks Russia had access to the Black Sea. She also played a decisive role in the three partitions of Poland and in 1788 waged war against the Swedes.
Paul i russia.jpg Paul I
(October 1, 1754 - March 23, 1801)
1796-1801 Emperor Son of Peter III. and Catherine II. He made an alliance with France, the enemy of his previous allies. Conspirators wanted to force him to abdicate. Paul refused and was murdered.
Alexander I by S.Shchukin (1809, Tver) .png Alexander I.
(23 December 1777 - 1 December 1825)
1801-1825 Emperor Son of Paul I fought against Napoleon in the Bund and brokered the peace of Tilsit. Participated in the wars of liberation that ended with the fall of Napoleon. He also participated in the Congress of Vienna in the reorganization of Europe.
Franz Krüger - Portrait of Emperor Nicholas I - WGA12289.jpg Nicholas I
(July 6, 1796 - March 2, 1855)
1825-1855 Emperor Son of Paul I Domestically, the Decembrists attacked him. He also faced the November uprising of the Poles. In terms of foreign policy, he waged war against Persia and Turkey, among others. Nikolaus wanted to conquer Turkey again in 1853 and thus triggered the Crimean War , the end of which he never lived to see.
Alexander II by Ivan Tyurin (1860s, GIM) .jpg Alexander II, "the liberator"
(April 29, 1818 - March 13, 1881)
1855-1881 Emperor Son of Nicholas I. He agreed to the Peace of Paris in 1856 , thus ending the Crimean War. The abolition of serfdom earned him the name Liberator Tsar. In 1877, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire due to the Bulgarian April Uprising . He began many reforms, but had opponents of the regime monitored and persecuted. He died in an explosives attack.
Shilder AlexanderIII.jpg Alexander III, "the peacemaker"
(* March 10, 1845, † November 1, 1894)
1881-1894 Emperor Son of Alexander II. After coming to power, he lifted many of his murdered father's liberalizations. He strengthened the autocracy in Russia and founded the secret police Okhrana . During his reign, Russia did not wage wars, which is why he was nicknamed "the peacemaker".
Nicholas II of Russia painted by Earnest Lipgart.jpg Nicholas II
(May 18, 1868 - July 17, 1918)
1894-1917 Emperor Son of Alexander III. Last crowned emperor of Russia. The defeat in the war against Japan in 1905 - after the crackdown on a peaceful demonstration on St. Petersburg's Bloody Sunday - triggered the Russian Revolution in 1905 . The emperor had to accept the formation of a Duma. 1914-18 Russia fought in the First World War . Nikolaus abdicated in 1917 as a result of the February Revolution and was murdered by the Bolsheviks with his family in the summer of 1918 . He has been venerated as a saint by the Russian Orthodox Church since 2000.


Nikolai II had renounced the throne in 1917 in favor of his brother Mikhail Alexandrovich Romanov , but Russia's Provisional Government had immediately urged Mikhail to renounce the throne. Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolajewitsch Romanow the Younger was proclaimed tsar in 1922 by Zemsky Sobor of the Amur Provisional Government . However, he could not take office because he was in exile in Paris at the time and the Amur Provisional Government was overturned in December 1922.

See also


  • Hans-Joachim Torke (Ed.): The Russian Tsars 1547–1917 . Verlag CH Beck, Munich 1995, ISBN 3-406-42105-9 .