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Previously known for pillaging settlers on the frontier, the nomads now preferred peaceful relations, warning their neighbors: "These terrible strangers have taken our country, and tomorrow they will take yours if you do not come and help us".In response to this call, Mstislav the Bold and Mstislav Romanovich the Old joined forces and set out eastward to meet the foe, only to be routed on April 1, 1223, at the Battle of the Kalka River.Here they had their headquarters and held parts of Rus' in subjection for nearly three centuries.All of the Russian states, including Novgorod, Smolensk, Galich and Pskov, submitted to the Tatar-Mongol rule.This time the invaders came to stay, and they built for themselves a capital, called Sarai, on the lower Volga.Here the commander of the Golden Horde, as the western section of the Mongol empire was called, fixed his golden headquarters and represented his sovereign the grand khan who lived with the Great Horde in the Orkhon Valley.The campaign was heralded by the Battle of the Kalka River in May 1223, which resulted in a Mongol victory over the forces of several Rus' principalities. A full-scale invasion of Rus' by Batu Khan followed, from 1237 to 1242.The invasion was ended by the Mongol succession process upon the death of Ögedei Khan.

No one knew their origin or whence they came, or what religion they practiced.

The Mongols then resolved to "reach the ultimate sea", where they could proceed no further, and invaded Hungary (under Batu Khan) and Poland (under Baidar and Kaidu).

Prince Michael of Chernigov was passed between fires in accordance with ancient Turco-Mongol tradition.

All Rus' principalities were forced to submit to Mongol rule and became part of the Golden Horde empire, some of which lasted until 1480.

The invasion, facilitated by the beginning of the breakup of Kievan Rus' in the 13th century, had incalculable ramifications for the history of Eastern Europe, including the division of the East Slavic people into three separate nations: modern-day Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, As it was undergoing fragmentation, Kievan Rus' faced the unexpected eruption of an irresistible foreign foe coming from the mysterious regions of the Far East.

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