List of rulers of Belarus

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History of Belarusian states can be traced far to Principality of Polotsk. From 13th century lands of modern Belarus were a major part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania which later became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. In 19th century Belarus together with Lithuania formed the Northwestern Krai of Russian Empire. At the beginning of the 20th century there was the short-lived Belarusian People's Republic, and in 1922 Belarus became part of the USSR as Belarusian SSR except West Belarus, which was under Polish rule, which was briefly interrupted due to Soviet occupation during the Polish-Soviet War. In 1991, Belarus regained its independence.

Pre-Rurikid rulers[edit]


Rurikid Belarus[edit]

In 978, with the marriage of Rogneda, daughter of Ragvalod, with Vladimir I of Kiev, the Principality of Polotsk became property of the Rurik Dynasty. It was ruled by Rurikid members until the second half of the 14th century, when it was taken by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Between 978 and 1101, the Principality of Polotsk's domain was uncontested in the majority of the Belarusian territory. Polotsk possibly reached the peak of its influence with the access of Vseslav the Seer to the Kievan throne, but at the death of the latter Polotsk was split in three smaller principalities: a smaller Polotsk, the Principality of Minsk and the Principality of Vitebsk.

Rurik Dynasty[edit]

The Rurikids were descendants of Rurik (Hrørekr), a Varangian pagan konung or chieftain, who supposedly was of haplogroup N1c1, which is common among Finno-Ugric peoples and not so rare in Baltic region.[1]

Portrait Name Born Reign Marriage (s) Death Notes
Vladimir I the Great
Vladimir Basil Sviatoslavich
(Володимир Великий/Володимѣръ Свѧтославичь)
Old Norse: Valdamarr Sveinaldsson
Vladimir-I-Sviatoslavich.jpg c.958
Son of Sviatoslav I the Brave and Malusha/Malfrida
978-987 Olava/Allogia
at least one son

A Greek nun
(widow of his brother)
at least one son

Rogneda of Polotsk
(possibly in bigamy)
eight children

Adela (of Bulgaria?)
at least two children (maximum four)

Malfrida (of Bohemia?)
Before 1000
two children

Anna Porphyrogenita of Byzantium
three children

Regelindis (?) of Saxony (granddaughter of Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor)
After 1011
one or two daughters

two children
15 July 1015
Berestove, Kiev
aged 57–58
His early rule is characterized by a staunch pagan reaction but in 988 he was baptized into Orthodoxy and successfully converted Kievan Rus' to Christianity. In 987 gave Polotsk to his son Iziaslav.
Old Norse:[4][5][6] Ragnheiðr[7][8] Ragnvaldsdotter
Anton Losenko. Vladimir and Rogneda.jpg c.966
Daughter of Ragvalod I
987-1000 Vladimir I the Great
eight children
aged 33–34
Co-ruling with her son, Iziaslav I.[9]
Iziaslav I
Iziasłaŭ, Rahnieda, Volodymyr. Ізяслаў, Рагнеда, Володимир.jpg c.978
Son of Vladimir I of Kiev and Rogneda of Polotsk
987-1001 Unknown
two children
aged 22–23
Co-ruling with his mother, Rogneda.[9]
Izgoi Vseslav I
Всеславъ сн҃ъ Изѧславль
First son of Iziaslav I
1001-1003 Unmarried 1003
aged c.12-13
An izgoi (orphan protected by the church), inherited the Principality, but died still as a minor.
Izgoi Bryachislav I
Брѧчиславъ сн҃ъ Изѧславль
Bračysłaŭ. Брачыслаў (XV).jpg c.997
Second son of Iziaslav I
1003-1044 Unknown
at least one son
aged 46–47
An izgoi until his majority (c.1011), inherited the Principality from his minor brother. Challenged the authority of his uncle, Yaroslav the Wise.
Izgoi Vseslav II the Seer
Vseslav Basil Bryacheslavich
(Всеслав Брячиславич)
Я. Драздовіч Пярсцёнак князя Усяслава Чарадзея.jpg c.1039
Son of Bryachislav of Polotsk
six sons
24 April 1101
aged 61–62
An izgoi until his majority (c.1055), followed the politic of his father, and reached, in 1068, the status of Prince of the Kievan Rus', being deposed in the following year. Was also deposed from Polotsk, which was ruled by the sons of Iziaslav I of Kiev until 1071. After his death, Polotsk was divided between his sons.
Mstislav I
Mstislav Iziaslavich
(Мстислав Изяславич)
After 1043
First son of Iziaslav I of Kiev and Gertrude of Poland
1069 Unknown
at least one son
less than 25-26
Dethroned Vseslav the Seer, but died in the same year.
Sviatopolk I
Sviatopolk Michael Iziaslavich
(Всеволод Ярославич)
Old Norse: Sveinpolk Izjasleifsson (?)
14 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 8 November 1050
Second son of Iziaslav I of Kiev and Gertrude of Poland
1069-1071 Unknown name
(daughter of Spytihněv II of Bohemia)[10]
three children

Olenna of the Kipchaks
four children
26 April 1113
aged 62
His descendants lost their rights to the Kievan throne. Kept the Polotsk throne until 1071, when Vseslav took it back.

Decline of the Principality of Polotsk[edit]

On the death of Vseslav the Seer, the Principality was divided between his sons and descendants, in three major principalities:

  Principality of Polotsk   Principality of Minsk   Principality of Vitebsk

Rurik Dynasty[edit]

(Note:The list follows one single numbering for all principalities, and continues the previous table.)

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Gleb I Hleb Mienski (silver coin, reverse).gif 1060 1101-1119 13 September 1119 Minsk Anastasia of Turov-Pinsk
four children
Son of Vseslav II. After his death his Principality was ruled by the Princes of Kiev, until 1146.
Rogvolod II Boris I Rahvałod-Barys (Połacak). Рагвалод-Барыс (Полацак).jpg Before 1101 1101-1128 1128 Polotsk Unknown
three children
Son of Vseslav II.
Sviatoslav I Before 1101 1101-1129 1129 Vitebsk Sophia (Komnene?)
five children
Son of Vseslav II. Between 1129 and 1132 Vitebsk was ruled by Kiev.
Vladimir II Monomakh Vladimir-II-Vsevolodovich Monomakh.jpg 1053 1119-1125 19 May 1125 Minsk Gytha of Wessex
five or six children

Euphemia of Byzantium
six or seven children

Unknown name
(daughter of Aepa Ocenevich, Khan in Cumania)
After 1107
no known children
Son of Vsevolod I of Kiev. Also Prince of the Kievan Rus'.
Mstislav II the Great Mstislav I of Kiev (Tsarskiy titulyarnik).jpg 1 June 1076 1125-1129 14 April 1132 Minsk Christina of Sweden
ten children

Liubava Dmitrievna of Novgorod
two children
Also Prince of the Kievan Rus'.
1129-1132 Minsk and Vitebsk
David I Vseslav of Polotsk.jpg Before 1101 1128-1129 1129 Polotsk Unknown
three children
Son of Vseslav II.
Iziaslav II 20 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1096[11] 1129-1132 13 November 1154[11] Polotsk Agnes of Germany
before 1151
five children

Rusudan of Georgia[11]
no children
Son of Mstislav I of Kiev. Also Prince of Kiev. Occupied Polotsk.
Yaropolk I Yaropolk II Vladimirovich.jpg 1082 1132–1139 18 February 1139 Minsk Helena of Ossetia
one child
Brother of Mstislav II. Also Prince of Kiev.
Sviatopolk II After 1096 1132 20 February 1154 Polotsk Euphemia of Olomouc[12]
1143 or 1144
no children
Brother of his predecessor. Also Prince of Novgorod and Pskov.
Vasilko I Sviatoslavich ? 1132-1144 1144 Polotsk and Vitebsk Unknown
seven children
Son of Sviatoslav of Vitebsk, who was son of Vseslav II.
Viacheslav I 18 History Of Russia by William Tooke.jpg 1083 1139 2 February 1154 Minsk Unmarried
before 1139
one child
Brother of his predecessor. Also Prince of Kiev.
Vsevolod I Vsevolod II Olgovich.jpg 1104 1139-1146 1 August 1146 Minsk Maria of Rus'
one child
Grandson of Sviatoslav II of Rus', married Maria, sister of Mstislav I, Yaropolk II and Viacheslav I. Also Prince of Kiev.
Rogvolod III Vassili ? 1144-1151

After 1171 Polotsk Unknown
five children
Son of Rogvolod II.
Rostislav I Glebovich ? 1146-1151 1165 Minsk Sophia of Volhynia
before 1158
seven children
Son of Gleb I.
1151-1159 Polotsk
1159-1165 Minsk
Volodar I Glebovich c.1090 1151-1159

c.1180 Minsk Richeza of Poland
1135 or 1136
three children
Brother of his predecessor. The inheritance of his heir (Vladimir Volodarovich) to Polotsk made a possible reunion of the two principalities.
1167 Polotsk and Minsk
1167-c.1180 Minsk
Vseslav III Vasilkovich ? 1144-1162 1186 Vitebsk Unknown
three children
Son of Vasilko I.


Roman I Bryachislavich ? 1162-1165 1186 Vitebsk Unknown
three children
Kinsman of his predecessor.
David II 1140 1165-1167 23 April 1197 Vitebsk Unknown
three children
Son of Vseslav II.
Bryachislav II Vasilkovich ? 1167-1175

After 1186 Vitebsk Unknown
two children
Brother of Vseslav III.
Boris II Davidovich ? c.1180-c.1185 c.1185 Polotsk Unknown
five children

Sviatocna (Elisabeth?) of Pomerania
one child
Son of David Sviatoslavich of Vitebsk, who was grandson of Vseslav II.
Vladimir III Volodarovich Between 1135 and 1150 c.1180-1216 1216 Minsk Unknown Son of Volodar I Glebovich. Possibly co-ruling in Minsk with his brother, who after his death and subsequent annexation of Minsk, succeeded in Polotsk.
c.1185-1216 Polotsk and Minsk
Vasilko II Volodarovich Between 1135 and 1150 c.1180-1216 1222 Minsk Unknown
1216-1222 Polotsk
Vasilko III Bryachislavich ? 1186-1221 c.1221 Vitebsk
Sviatoslav II Mstislavich ? 1222-1232 1239 Polotsk Unknown Son of Mstislav III of Kiev.
Bryachislav III Vasilkovich ? 1221-1232 c.1255 Vitebsk Unknown
five children
Son of Vasilko Bryachislavich. In 1232 lost Vitebsk to Lithuania, and after his death also Polotsk.
1232-c.1255 Polotsk

Lithuanian Princes of Polotsk[edit]

Palemonid dynasty
Gediminid dynasty

Grand Dukes of Grand Duchy of Lithuania[edit]

Title: Grand Duke ("Вялікі князь" in Belarusian, "Wielki książę" in Polish, "Kunigaikštis" or "Didysis Kunigaikštis" in Lithuanian)

Elected kings of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth[edit]

General-Governors of Northwestern Krai of the Russian Empire[edit]

Leaders of Belarus since 1918[edit]

Belarusian People's Republic (1918–1920)[edit]

Chairmen of the Rada[edit]

Chairman of the Provisional Revolutionary Workers–and–Peasants' Soviet Government[edit]

Chairmen of the Central Executive Committee[edit]

Belarusian People's Republic in Exile (1920–present)[edit]


(In Vilnius to 1925, then in Prague, presently in Canada)

West Belarus under Polish rule (1919-1939)[edit]

Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic (1920–1991)[edit]

First secretaries of the Byelorussian Communist Party[edit]

Republic of Belarus (1991–Present)[edit]

Chairmen of the Supreme Soviet[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ DNA Testing of the Rurikid and Gediminid Princes
  2. ^ Лаўр., 56;
  3. ^ Іпац., 53;
  4. ^ Рыдзевская Е. А. Древняя Русь и Скандинавия IX—XIV вв. / Отв. ред. И. П. Шаскольский // Древнейшие государства на территории СССР. Материалы и исследования. 1978 г. — М.: Наука, 1978. — 240 с.
  5. ^ Джаксон Т. Н. Глава 8. «Palteskja ok þat ríki allt, er þar liggr til» // Austr í Görðum: древнерусские топонимы в древнескандинавских источниках. — М.: Языки русской культуры, 2001.
  6. ^ Duczko W. Ruś Wikingów. Historia obecności Skandynawów we wczesnośredniowiecznej Europie Wschodniej. — Warszawa, 2007. — S. 108.
  7. ^ Рогнедь // Этимологический словарь русского языка / М. Р. Фасмер. — М.: Прогресс, 1964—1973.
  8. ^ Михеев С. М. Легенда о Владимире и Рогнеде и скандинавская традиция (к параллели с легендой о сыновьях Хейдрека) // Именослов. История языка. История культуры. — СПб., 2010. (Труды Центра славяно-германских исследований. I.) — С. 169—179.
  9. ^ a b As was the Norse royal custom, she was sent with her elder son to govern the land of her parents, i.e. Polotsk.
  10. ^ According to A. Nazarenko. It was thought not long ago that the first wife of Sviatopolk was Barbara Komnene, a supposed daughter of Alexios I Komnenos. However, the lack of tradition of such a name in the Byzantine Empire led to doubt. Today she may be considered fictional.
  11. ^ a b c Cite error: The named reference Monomakh branch Mstyslavychi was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  • "Rulers of Belarus". Retrieved 2006-03-21.

External links[edit]