Alexander Nevsky was the Russian leader, prince of Novgorod and grand prince of Vladimir. He was an outstanding military leader and statesman. He protected Russia against European invasion during the Middle Ages. Alexander defeated the Swedes at the Neva River. His heirs ruled Russia until 1917.
Alexander was the son of Yaroslav Vsevolodovich, Prince of Pereiaslavl and Novgorod. In 1236 his father moved to Kiev and Alexander succeeded him as prince of Novgorod. Alexander Nevsky knew Latin and Greek, and one of his favorite books in his childhood was biography of Alexander the Great.
Alexander had to guard the western frontiers from the Swedes and the Germanic Sword Knights of Livonia. On July 15, 1240 Alexander defeated the Swedes at the mouth of the Neva River.