The expanses of the Eastern European Plain have long been inhabited by Slavs, our direct ancestors. It is still not known exactly when they came there. Whatever it was, but soon they spread widely throughout the great waterway of those years. Slavic cities and villages sprang up from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Despite the fact that they were of the same tribe-tribe, especially peaceful relations between them were never.
The reality of this historical figure is still fierce debate among scientists. Whether there was such a person, or it is a collective character, the prototype of which was served by all the first rulers of Russia. Whether he was a Varangian, or a Slav. By the way, we almost do not know about who the rulers of Russia were before Rurik, so everything in this question rests solely on assumptions.
Slavic origin is very likely, since Ryurik could have nicknamed him Sokol, which from the Old Slavonic language was translated into Norman dialects precisely as "ryurik". Whatever it was, but it is he who is considered the founder of the entire Old Russian state. Rurik combined (as far as was possible at all) under his hand many Slavic tribes.
However, almost all rulers of Russia engaged in this business with varying success. It is thanks to their efforts that our country today has such a significant position on the world map.
Rurik had Igor's son, but by the time of his father's death, he was too small, and so his uncle, Oleg, became the Grand Duke . He glorified his name with militancy and with the luck that accompanied him on the military path. Particularly remarkable is his march to Constantinople, which opened to the Slavs incredible prospects from the emerging opportunities for trade with distant eastern countries. His contemporaries so respected that they called him "prophetic Oleg".
Of course, the first rulers of Russia were figures so legendary that we most likely would never know about their real exploits, but Oleg certainly was indeed an outstanding personality.
Igor, the son of Rurik, following the example of Oleg also repeatedly went on hikes, added a lot of land, but he was not such a fortunate soldier, and his campaign against Greece was completely deplorable. He was cruel, often "ripped off" the defeated tribes to the last, for which he subsequently paid. Igor was warned that the Drevlyane did not forgive him, they advised him to take a large squad on the polyudye. He did not listen and was killed. In general, this was once told about the series "Rulers of Russia".
However, the Drevlyane soon regretted their actions. Igor's wife, Olga, first dealt with their two conciliatory embassies, and then burned the main city of the Drevlyans, Korosten. Contemporaries testify that it was distinguished by a rare mind and strong-willed rigidity. During her rule, she did not lose a single inch of the land that she had won by her husband and his ancestors. It is known that in the declining years Christianity took over.
Svyatoslav went to his ancestor, Oleg. He was also noted for his boldness, determination, and directness. He was an excellent warrior, tamed and conquered many tribes of the Slavs, often beat the Pechenegs, for which they hated him. Like other rulers of Russia, preferred (if possible) to agree "amicably". If the tribes agreed to recognize the supremacy of Kiev and repaid tribute, then even the rulers of them remained the same.
General characteristics of the 1st century
Since the first rulers of Russia reigned in the Great Crown Prince, the era of constant trouble and civil strife gradually began to end. There was a relative order: the prince's squad defended the lines from the arrogant and ferocious nomadic tribes, and they, in turn, undertook to help the warriors and pay tribute to the polyudye. The main concern of those princes was the Khazars: at that time they were paid tribute (not regular, with the next raid) by many Slavic tribes, which greatly undermined the authority of the central government.
Another problem was the lack of common belief. The Slavs, who conquered Constantinople, looked with contempt, since at that time monotheism (Judaism, Christianity) was already actively established, and the Gentiles were considered almost animals. But the tribes actively resisted all attempts to intervene in their faith. This is the story of "Rulers of Russia" - the film quite truthfully conveys the reality of that era.
This contributed to the growth of the number of small disorders within the young state. But Olga, who adopted Christianity and began to promote and encourage the construction of Christian churches in Kiev, paved the way for the baptism of the country. The second century began, in which the rulers of Ancient Rus created many more great things.
Vladimir the Saint Equal to the Apostles (980-1015)
As you know, between Yaropolk, Oleg and Vladimir, who were the heirs of Svyatoslav, never had brotherly love. It did not help even that my father, during his lifetime, determined his land for each of them. It ended with the fact that Vladimir destroyed his brothers and began to rule alone.
This prince, ruler in Ancient Rus, repulsed the regiments of the Red Russia, fought valiantly and decisively against the Pechenegs and Bulgarians. He became famous as a generous ruler who did not spare gold for gifting loyal people. First he demolished almost all the Christian churches and churches that were built with his mother, and a small Christian community suffered persistent persecution from him.
But the political situation has developed so that the country had to be led to monotheism. In addition, contemporaries speak of a strong feeling that flared up in the prince to the Byzantine princess Anna. For a pagan, no one would give it up. So the rulers of Ancient Rus came to the conclusion about the need to receive baptism.
That is why in 988 the prince and all his associates were baptized, and then a new religion began to spread among the people. Vasily and Constantine, the emperors of Byzantium, gave Anna for Prince Vladimir. About Vladimir, contemporaries responded as a strict, tough (sometimes even cruel) person, but loved him for his straightforwardness, honesty and justice. The church still extols the name of the prince for the reason that he began to mass build churches and churches in the country. This was the first ruler of Rus, who was baptized.
Like his father, during the life of Vladimir, Vladimir distributed the lands to his numerous sons: Svyatopolk, Izyaslav, Yaroslav, Mstislav, Svyatoslav, Boris and Gleb. After his father died, Svyatopolk decided to rule on his own, for which he issued an order to eliminate his own brothers, but was ousted from Kiev by Yaroslav the Novgorod.
With the help of the Polish king Boleslaw the Brave, he was able to regain possession of Kiev, but the people accepted it coolly. Soon he was forced to flee the city, and then died en route. His death is a dark story. It is assumed that he himself took his own life. In popular legends he is nicknamed "cursed".
Yaroslav the Wise (1019-1054)
Izyaslav was the eldest son of Yaroslav. Originally rules Kiev, distinguished himself as a good ruler, but the people knew how to get along not too well. The last and played a role. When he went to the Polovtsy and suffered a failure in that campaign, the Kievites simply drove him out, calling on the reign of his brother, Svyatoslav. After he died, Izyaslav returned to the capital city.
In principle, he was a very good ruler, but he fell into rather difficult times. Like all the first rulers of Kievan Rus, he was forced to solve a lot of difficult issues.
General characteristic of the 2nd century
In those centuries, from the composition of Rus, several practically independent principalities stand out : Kiev (the most powerful), Chernigov, Rostov-Suzdal (Vladimir-Suzdal subsequently), Galicia-Volyn. Novgorod stood apart. Managing Veche following the example of Greek policies, he generally looked at the princes is not too good.
Despite this fragmentation, formally Russia was still considered an independent state. Yaroslav was able to push his borders to the very Rosi River (tributary of the Dnieper). Under Vladimir, the country adopts Christianity, the influence of Byzantium on its internal affairs increases.
Thus, at the head of the newly created church stands the metropolitan, who submitted directly to Tsargrad. The new faith brought with it not only religion, but also new writing, new laws. The princes at that time acted together with the church, built many new temples, promoted the enlightenment of their people. It was at this time that the famous Nestor lived, who is the author of numerous written monuments of that time.
Unfortunately, everything was not so smooth. The eternal problem was both the constant raids of nomads, as well as internal feuds, constantly tearing the country, depriving it of its strength. As Nestor put it, the author of The Lay of Igor's Campaign, "the Russian land moans" from them. The Enlightenment ideas of the Church are beginning to manifest, but so far the people are not accepting the new religion badly.
Thus began the third century.
Vsevolod I (1078-1093)
Vsevolod the First could well have remained in history as an exemplary ruler. He was truthful, honest, promoted the formation and development of writing, he himself knew five languages. But he was not distinguished by a developed military and political talent. Constant raids of the Polovtsians, the sea, drought and famine did not contribute to his authority. Only his son Vladimir, later nicknamed Monomakh, kept his father on the throne (a unique case, by the way).
Svyatopolk II (1093-1113)
The military booty was huge. The Grand Dukes of Polotsk in that battle killed almost two dozen. This victory was loudly spread across all the Slavic lands, both in the East and in the West.
Vladimir Monomakh (1113-1125)
Despite the fact that according to seniority he was not supposed to occupy the Kiev throne, it was Vladimir who was elected unanimously there. Such love is explained by the rare political and military talent of the prince. He was distinguished by his intelligence, political and military courage, he was very brave in military practice.
Each campaign for the Polovtsi was considered a holiday (the Polovtsi did not share his views). It is under Monomakh that the princes who are too zealous in questions of independence receive a severe cut. Leaves the descendants of the "Teachings to the children", which tells about the importance of honest and selfless service to their homeland.
Mstislav I (1125-1132)
Following the dictates of his father, he lived in peace with his brothers and other princes, but fretted at one hint of disobedience and striving for strife. Thus, he banishes the princes of the Polovtsian people in anger from the country, after which they are forced to flee from the discontent of the ruler in Byzantium. In general, many rulers of Kievan Rus tried without need not to kill their enemies.
Known for his skillful political intrigues, which eventually turned badly against the "monomahoviches". At the end of his reign he decides to transfer the throne not to his brother, but to his nephew. The case almost comes to distemper, but the descendants of Oleg Svyatoslavovich, "Olegovichi", still rise to the throne. Not for long, though.
Vsevolod II (1139-1146)
Izyaslav II (1146-1154)
But the residents of Kiev enthusiastically took Izyaslav II Mstislavovich, who with his brilliant political abilities, military prowess and mind vividly reminded them of his grandfather, Monomakh. It was he who introduced the rule that has been left unchallenged since then: if an uncle lives in the same princely family, then the nephew can not get his throne.
He was in terrible hostility with Yuri Vladimirovich, prince of Rostov-Suzdal land. His name will not say much to many, but later Yuri will be called Dolgoruky. Izyaslav twice had to flee Kiev, but until his death he never gave the throne.
Yuri Dolgoruky (1154-1157)
Yuri finally gets access to the Kiev throne. Having stayed on him for only three years, he achieved a lot: he could reconcile (or punish) the princes, helped unite the fragmented lands under strong power. However, all his work was meaningless, since after the death of Dolgoruky, the bickering between the princes flares up with renewed vigor.
Mstislav II (1157-1169)
It was devastation and svara that led to the ascension of Mstislav II Izyaslavovich to the throne. He was a good ruler, but he was not very good in character, and also indulged in princely internecine strife ("divide and conquer"). From Kiev he is expelled by Andrei Yurievich, son of Dolgoruky. Known in history under the moniker Bogolyubsky.
In 1169, Andrew did not limit himself to expelling his father's worst enemy, incidentally, Kiev was asleep to the ground. So he at the same time took revenge on the people of Kiev, who by that time acquired the habit of expelling the princes at any time, calling on themselves to the principality of anyone who would promise them "bread and circuses."
Andrei Bogolyubsky (1169-1174)
So what did the first rulers of Russia do? The table will give a general answer to this question.
The First Century
Creation of a prototype of a strong and united state, defense of its border from enemies. The adoption of Christianity as an important political and social step
The Second Century
Further expansion of the territory of Russia, confrontation with the attempts of "separatism"
The third century
Further increment of new lands, the reconciliation of some dissatisfied princes, the creation of prerequisites for autocracy
In principle, all the rulers of Russia from Ryurik to Putin were engaged in the same. The table is unlikely to convey all the hardships our people have suffered in the complex path of state formation.