This is a list of all reigning monarchs in the history of Russia. It includes titles Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev, Grand Prince of Vladimir, Grand Prince of Moscow, Tsar of All Rus', and Emperor of All Russia. The list started with a semi-legendary Prince of Novgorod Rurik sometime in the mid 9th century (862) and ended with the Emperor of All Russia Nicolas II.
The vast territory known today as Russia covers an area that has been known historically by various names, including Rus', Kievan Rus', the Grand Duchy of Moscow the Tsardom of Muscovy and the Russian Empire, and the sovereigns of these many nations and throughout their histories have used likewise as wide a range of titles in their positions as chief magistrates of a country. Some of the earliest titles include Kniaz and Velikiy Kniaz, which mean "Prince" and "Great Prince" respectively but are often rendered as "Duke" and "Grand Duke" in Western literature; then the title of Tsar, meaning "Caesar", which was disputed to be the equal of either a king or emperor; finally culminating in the title of Emperor. The full title of the Russian Emperors, according to Article 59 of the 1906 Russian Constitution, was given as:
The Patriarchs of Moscow, who are the head of Russian Orthodox Church, also have acted as the leaders of Russia from time to time, usually in periods of political upheaval as during the Polish occupation and interregnum of 1610–1613.
In 1169 Vladimir-Suzdal troops took Kiev. This act underlined the declining importance of that city.