Dir (birth date and place unknown – 882, Kyiv) – Prince (Polianian) of Kyiv. One of the founders of the first East-Slavic state formation in the Dnipro area (Principality of Kyiv).
According to The Tale of Bygone Years, Dir was a co-regent with his brother Askold (or a sole ruler) in Kyiv. Some historians (Jan Dlugoszc and others) consider Askold and Dir to be direct heirs of Kyi, the legendary founder of Kyiv. In 860 they headed the Kyiv host in the campaign against Constantinople during the reign of Emperor Michael III. Many sources mention Christening of Askold and Dir and also of part of the population of the Kyivan state during their rule. In the time of Askold and Dir (867) Emperor Basil I and Constantinople Patriarch Ignatios (possibly Emperor Michael III and Patriarch Photios) sent to Rus a bishop and several clergymen for missionary work who set up an eparchy there. Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos informed of a treaty concluded between Byzantium and Kyivan Rus in 873–874 (according to other data – 875).
Prince Dir is also mentioned in Arabian sources as one of the most powerful Slavic Princes: thus, the 10 th-century Arabian scholar al-Mas’udi named him the first among the Slavic princes who owned big cities. The simultaneous presence of two Princes (Askold and Dir) in Kyiv sets wondering now, however at that time the duumvirate was customary. Still, there is an assumption that Dir reigned independently in the 870 s. Correspondingly, Askold ruled before him – in the 850 s – 860 s.
There is information that Askold and Dir waged struggle against the Pechenegs, Danube Bulgars, Ulichi, and Drevlians.
The time of Askold and Dir was the period of the flourishing of the Kyivan state, evidenced by its stable social structure and form of government, geopolitical situation, ethnic composition, and established international relations.
According to chronicle sources, Dir was killed together with his brother Askold in 882 by the order of the Prince Oleh of Novgorod. Was buried behind St. Irene’s Church in Kyiv.