Andrei III was the son of Grand Prince Alexander Nevsky of Russia. He came to the throne by overthrowing his older brother Dmitry I in 1281. Dmitry appealed to the Mongols who were the overlords of Russia at the time and got their forces to help him regain the throne in 1283. However, after some years Andrei regained the favor of the Mongols and with their support, overthrew Dmitry again in 1294. Dmitri died shortly afterward, and Andrei had no great competition.

During the remainder of Andrei's reign, he was able to defeat the Swedish who had built a fort on the Neva River, blocking Russia's access to the Baltic Sea. Also during his period, Andrei's younger brother Daniel gained a lot of territory from other Russian princes for his city of Moscow. Nonetheless, when Andrei died in 1304, he was succeeded by his cousin Mikhail.

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