Vladimir II (or "Vladimir Monomakh" after his Byzantine
grandfather on his mother's side, Constantine Monomachus) was the son of Vsevolod
. He was an important figure during his father's reign, ruling the city of Cherngiv and showing up at the councils of the various princes, but on Vsevolod's death yielded the throne of the Grand Prince of Russia
to his cousin Sviatopolk II
to try and keep some peace between the constantly fighting members of the royal family. He became Grand Prince in 1113
on Sviatopolk's death because the city council of Kiev
voted him into the position, rather than Sviatopolk's son.
As Grand Prince in Kiev, Vladimir was almost constantly fighting off invasions from the Polovtsy to the South (he claimed in the "Testament" he wrote for his children to have killed 200 Polovtsy princes). He managed to keep a fair amount of peace between the Russian princes, and founded the new city of Vladimir in northeastern Russia as a part of colonization of the empty forests in that area.
He was regarded as one of the great rulers of Russia (and probably the last great ruler of the Kievan period), and his gold-and-fur cap remained in use to crown future grand princes and tsars. His Testament, a set of instructions to his children, is one of the first known pieces of Russian writing not from the Church. In it he recommended piety, hospitality, and learning, even though he also told the stories of the battles he'd fought. When Vladimir died in 1125 he was succeeded by his son Mstislav I.