Andrei II was the son of Grand Prince Yaroslav II of Russia. He was given the Grand Prince's throne by the Great Khan of the Mongols (who were then overlords of Russia) in 1248 or 1249, ousting his uncle Sviatoslav III.

He didn't have too much time on the throne because in 1251 someone, possibly his younger brother Alexander Nevsky, who was Prince of Kiev at the time, denounced him to the Khan for holding back some of the taxes and tributes collected for the Mongols. Alexander brought troops up to Vladimir, Andrei's capitol city, and Andrei fled to Sweden. He was reconciled to the Khan in 1256 and allowed to return to Russia, but Alexander had already been given the Grand Prince's throne, so Andrei was given the office of prince of several individual cities.

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