Next to the Germans and the Danes, less attention has been paid to the part that the Russians played in the conquests in Livonia, during the XIII century. Nonetheless, they had significant influence, and their activities varied: Russians allied themselves with either the Germans of the Estonians, or if needed, acted alone. Estonians had relationships with Novgorod, Pihkva, Polotsk and even the principality of Vladimir-Suzdal, and arranged join campaigns with Russian princes. Russians were the only significant military power that the Estonians managed to convince to help them in their fight against the crusaders. Russian participation in the Livonian Crusade shows the diplomatic skills of the Estonians, but also the ever present interest of the Russians in the territories around the Baltic Sea.
Image: sculpture of prince Vyachko and Meelis in Tartu
Image source: Vikipedia