Sviatopolk II of Russia
was the son
of Izyaslav I
, and succeeded his uncle Vsevolod
to the throne of Kievan Russia in 1093
, at the invitation of his cousin Vladimir Monomakh
(Vsevolod's son), who wished to avoid civil war. Before that Sviatopolk had been prince of Polotsk, then Novgorod
, and finally Turov.
As soon as he became Grand Prince, the tribes of Polovtsi to the south sent ambassadors to him, trying to make peace with Russia. Unfortunately, Sviatopolk threw the ambassadors in prison, provoking an attack from the Polovtsi. On the advice of his cousin Vladimir, Sviatopolk released the prisoners, but would not make peace with the tribes. At the next several battles, the Russians were beaten and eventually forced to make temporary peace on Polovtsi terms (including having Sviatopolk marry one of their princesses). This did not stop fighting for long, though. Sviatopolk's cousin Oleg (son of Sviatoslav II) also rebelled, and was often allied with the Polovtsi. The united forces of Sviatopolk and Vladimir were enough to force Oleg to do what the rest of the family wanted, which was supposed to have been settled at a family conference in 1097.
The constant shifting of alliances within the family continued. By 1100, Sviatopolk was briefly persuaded by his cousin David that Vladimir and another cousin, Vasilko, were plotting against him, and allowed David to have Vasilko captured and blinded. Vladimir and company persuaded Sviatopolk that they were not plotting against him and Sviatopolk joined the march against David for his crimes, and another family conference that year was supposed to settle whose descendants would rule what cities. It took another three years before all the princes really settled down, though.
In the early part of his reign, Sviatopolk fought with the clergy over their power and their money, but later on he got back on good terms with the Orthodox Church, granting money for monasteries and churches. In general, though, he is remembered as ruthless and self-serving. Sviatopolk died in 1113 and was succeeded by his cousin Vladimir II.